Retiring, how to sell business? suggestions

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by coldlake, May 10, 2002.

  1. coldlake

    coldlake LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    I'm getting old, and tired. I would like to sell my Lawn maint. business. With Truck and all mowers equipment etc. customers.
    any suggestions as to how to go about this? So as not to sound like an ad, I won"t go into listing whar is available in this form. Just need some direction as to what I should do.?:)
  2. rkbrown

    rkbrown LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 533

    I would suggest having an accountant take stock of your business and come up with a value. If you have one now, go to him/her, otherwise try to find one that has some familiarity with our industry.
  3. Dennis E.

    Dennis E. LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 349

    There are a LOT of things to consider. Equipment-age,type,condition. Accounts-type and how long you've had them. Etc.,etc.,etc. Will the business name go too? What about goodwill and the years you have worked to establish your service?
    You could lose some serious $$$ if you are not careful.
    Are you selling on terms or cash. Will you stay on to train a new owner,if requested?
    Like I said, a lot of things to take into consideration.
    Best of luck to ya'.:)
  4. heygrassman

    heygrassman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 509

    Talk to a business broker. It will cost you 10% but they have a great pulse on value. Accountants some times have a hard time seeing past the numbers.

  5. Tony Harrell

    Tony Harrell LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 739

    After you've done all of that, consider becoming a mentor to someone and passing your knowledge and experience to the next generation. You might possibly even make money from it.
  6. smburgess

    smburgess LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 467

    Business Broker is the way to go.

    ....or Ebay......:p
  7. tramahor

    tramahor LawnSite Member
    Messages: 82

    coldlake, email me, I just bought over 30 accounts from a local lco that was also wanting to hang up his hat. I had real good luck, I can share some info and maybe by your biz, Im up to 42 customers.:blob4:
  8. parkwest

    parkwest LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 678

    If you are a one man operation, basically all you are selling is your assets. Add up their liquidation value, add 10%, maybe (depends on their profit margin), for your accounts. Should be fair price for both parties. I am guessing you fall into this category. 95% of the posters on here fall under this category.

    If you have a real business, one that functions without your day to day participation, then its a matter of looking at your current balance sheet, income statement for this year, list of assets, last 3 years minimum of tax returns. Take this info put it into our spreadsheet formula and you should arrive at a fair value. If this is your category and you would like my help, email me.
  9. Fantasy Lawns

    Fantasy Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,912

    that's a real good food for thought ..... parkwest ..... n should awake some to look at the long term goals of our own operations

    we should try to grow the business to be self functional .... so when the day comes we get the most value for our time invested

    after all for many of us .... this is our 401k ..... so when or if we sell or pass the torch to a son (or daughter!) ..... we will have a secure amount of $ to live on

    growing to run a business ....n .... not the business run us ... should create the foundation of an operation which WILL give us some $$ to retire on
  10. parkwest

    parkwest LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 678

    For those of you who asked, let me clarify what I was saying.

    There is a big difference between buying a business and buying a job. A mature business is a fully functional entity. A one man operation would not be as valuble because the buyer can't buy you only your assets.

    The E-myth is a good book to explain this in more detail.

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