Selling Lawn Care Business

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by mikeclfc, Sep 12, 2011.

  1. mikeclfc

    mikeclfc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 55

    i am trying to get advice on possibly selling my lawn care business, in the south, i have only been in business one year and have 40 weekly residential customers, plus i cut for a preservation company who gives me around 70 yards every 2 weeks (althought they dont pay too good in comparison with regular residential work)

    None of them are under contract.

    i also have a trailer and equiptment to go with the business which is worth at least 7k at the price i paid for it. It is a startup rig which consists of a 22inch Honda commerical push mower, (brand new this year) an ariens (non commerical) (bought on july 31st this year) zero turn, 2 echo weedeaters (brand new this year), an echo stick edger (brand new this year) 3 backpack blowers (echo, redmax and stihl, an echo hedge trimmer and a 5x8 open trailer (brand new this year).

    The reason for selling is re-location due to unforseen events and not becuase i am not making money.

    My question is; besides my equiptment is my business worth anything with uncontracted customers?

    i am a fully legit business with a professionally deisgned logo, not someone who cuts grass out of their trunk.

    I feel that is is worth more than just the cost of equiptment as i built it up from nothing and worked my ass off for it all year.

    Any advice or comments would be appreciated.

  2. GainesvilleLawnscaping

    GainesvilleLawnscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    Without contracts, it's not worth anything. Even with contracts, it's only really worth the price of 2 cuts per customer, if they agree to stay with the person buying the company. A company will always seem like it's worth more in the eyes of the owner than the eyes of the buyer.
  3. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 19,647

    Where are you located?
  4. mikeclfc

    mikeclfc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 55

    thanks for the reply, i suppose i just thought even without contracts, i know the majoirty of my customers would stay will someone else taking over providing their work is of the quality required, they are reliable and their prices are similar to mine.

    i will provide the customers, its up to them if they can keep them or not.

    but i guess your point is valid.

    thanks again
  5. mikeclfc

    mikeclfc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 55

    im located in south east Louisianna
  6. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 19,647

    I was hoping you were in Bhm. I gusess if yor not making any money sell what you have for the equiptment and give the accounts with it, or add 2500$, what ever it takes to make the sale.
  7. mikeclfc

    mikeclfc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 55

    i thought if i could get 5-7k for equiptment plus customer list and contacts i would be happy, i am making money, good money actually as i have very little overheads, i owe nothing on my equiptment and my only expenses is gas and maintenance. im moving countries and need to sell maybe by the end of october
  8. SoGro

    SoGro LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    Yes there is value in your business and you can sell it. It takes some work and you might not get what you feel it is worth exactly. I had a business in jacksonville florida for 9 years and sold it at begining of the year and have spent the year traveling the country. I was not able to sell the actual company (name, phone number, etc), but I was able to sell the equipment and the accounts. I sold the accounts to two different guys. One was a guy that I knew was already in the business and things had slowed down for him with the economy. The other was a buddy of mine that works on fire department and he took equip and a day and half worth a work. I did not have any contracts with the customers. I ran a two man operation and worked four days a week and was profitable. The reason I got out of business was burnt out alittle and tired of dealing with the excuses from workers for not showing up or doing a bad job. I sold the accounts for four months value. Almost all of customers stayed with new guys. Because I knew the guys who bought accounts I allowed them to cut the accounts for two months and i recieved the money from my customers then they paid me for the next two months in advance. Be careful with this strategy and I only did this with them because of prior knowledge and experience with new guys. I would have loved to sell it as the entire business but could not get value i felt it was worth and did not want allow people to use my business reputation for nothing. I am planning on getting back into the business again this march when season starts back up. So yes you can get money from it. The idea that you cant get money bc you dont have contracts or they are only worth two cuts is ridiculus. It takes some work and negotiations, but if you have grown to 40 accounts in a year with another 70 biweekly then you should be able to make it happen. Dont listen to the negatives that people on these sites say. Good Luck
  9. mikeclfc

    mikeclfc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 55

    sogro, thanks for the input, i was thinking along the same lines of calling around and asking other small-medium business in the area, the problem is i dont know to many who i am on first name terms with so the trust would not be there, money would have to be paid up front for equiptment and accounts, saying that i would be prepared to let a buyer work with me for a 2-3 period week period after a deal has been done, to show them how i do things and what my customers like so they will be able to keep them satisfied and therefore keep their business.
  10. ACA L&L

    ACA L&L LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,102

    you can most definetly sell your company. If you sell it as a turn key operation with billing in place, paperwork, phone, email, equipment, propertys, then all the new owner has to do is drive the truck and go make money! Im convinced that smaller operations are harder to sell, but a medium sized company can maximize the amount the biz sells for when they advertise it as a turn key operation. When someone says you cant get anything for it well maybe thats why there just a lawn mower boy and not a bizness owner.

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