slow board lately

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by greenworldh20, Nov 10, 2003.

  1. greenworldh20

    greenworldh20 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 659

    is it the cold everyone 'winding down' for the season?

    lets get some conversation going over here!

  2. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,214

    Yeah I have been a slacker lately. Not much posting. Winding down with the last few blow outs. We ended up with 343 residential/ 2 commercial. I was trying for 400 total but 345 is still a good amount going into winter.

    Now I have a small list of repairs to go back and do. Either we didn't have the parts or not enough time - bonnets/poppets frozen, already replaced one 3/4" Febco RP, cracked copper, heads we blew off (too much pressure:D ), etc.

    Looking forward to watching it snow while I sit on my arse. Sorry Brian, i know you'll be plowing or at least running the show while everyone else plows. I love being able to sit at home and not have to go anywhere when it's snowing. Watch bad tv, drink hot cocoa, walk the dogs, watch everyone slide off our streets. I plowed for about 6 years. Rarely do I do it anymore. I covered for a buddy the last 2 weekends while he was away but no snow.

    Looking to better organize and simplify over the winter again. Looking into other companies that want out. The most recent one I was inquiring about didn't happen. His current employee decided to buy the whole thing.
  3. greenworldh20

    greenworldh20 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 659

    we were looking into growing by buying out another company...didn't happen...owner wanted too much $$$

    why do green industry companies over rate their business???

    he wanted $250k for his irrigation company....about 500 maintenance accounts and a big install worth $100k.

    would you purchase?

  4. SprinklerGuy

    SprinklerGuy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,778

    I wouldn't buy it for that.

    I have a guy here in man show, mobile phone for office...beat up chevy van. He claims to have a database of 1200 plus customers that he services pretty regular. He has been in business probably 15-20 years...older guy. He wanted 225k for the company!

    I negotiated with him couple of years ago...but he wouldnt budge. I wonder how the last couple of summers have been treating him? I should call him.

    I wonder what my database of 3400 clients is? Mine is good to, I just mailed quarterly newsletter and only got back around 200. Not bad!
  5. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,214

    Good to hear from ya Tony. Haven't seen you here much lately.

    I know we discussed this earlier in the year in the irrigation forum. But this was brought up in the Commercial Lawn Care section recently. Someone was asking about what our businesses might be worth. Here was my response.

    "This is a tough question for our industry. I'm a little different being in the irrigation service end of things.

    It is tough to get a high dollar if it is an owner/operator business. If the business has systems in place and can operate on its own or with minimal owner input, businesses tend to sell higher. If it's just a solo owner/operator business, your selling someone a job with a lot of hours and possibly not much return.

    I did kind of buy out someone this spring. This will be different to how you buy or sell with the maintence biz. The guy selling was retiring and did just like myself, all service work, no installs. So all I wanted was his client list. He had been told by a business broker that he should be able to get $40-$50k for it. That's not going to happen and he found out as well after pitching it to others. We agreed I would pay him a fee of $20 for every client of his I worked on in the first year after buying the list. If I went to a home 3 times, I paid him 3 times. This way I'm not paying for a client list where many might jump ship and use someone else. I paid on a per use basis for one year. He sent out a letter explaining his retirement and to use me for future services, to the 260 clients in his list. I also received the names and entered into Quickbooks. This was after weeding out the PITA clients.

    At years end I will have paid him between $3-$5k. That was all it was woth to me anyway. If he'd wanted a flat fee, I would have told him $3k. He does still have his service van and supplies up for sale. I will talk to him soon about the supplies at a reduced rate, but don't want the big van - kind of a moving van.

    I do have one tech and looking to hire another and some office help in the spring. I am trying to get away from doing all the work and "run" a business instead of "being" the business. Hope this helps in some way."

    Trying to sell a one man show is tough. My girlfriend was recently looking into a nutritional/supplement retail store in town for sale. They wanted almost $100k, but the owner was only pulling in about $35k. And was essentially the only employee. How long until that $100k would be paid off? And as we all know, when you're the owner/operator, you wear all the hats, and put in way more hours thanyou would like. They did have a 5 year lease just renewed, and have a lot of inventory but it just did not seem worth it. Retail Jail!

    I am still looking at other companies. I discussed with sprinklerguy a few weeks ago about one I was trying to buy. He wanted about $100k. But he had appx 1000 consistent customers, skid loader, trencher, mini-sneaker, trailers, inventory, 3 phone #s, ets. So if things went belly up due to our drought, the phisical assetts could still be sold off. All I wanted were the customers anyway. But in the end the guy's main employee is planning on buying it.
  6. greenworldh20

    greenworldh20 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 659

    i've heard that before...lets see him come up with the $$$. nothing negative about the employee...but i have seen it before. rarely does it work out. i would approach him again...

  7. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,214

    Well, I'm going to see how it pans out. I have talked to the employee twice in the last couple of weeks at the supply house. he is running things while the owner is away for the winter. he is already a little overwhelmed with the phone calls.

    One thought is that I will be able to buy the client list next season when he can't handle it, for a cheaper rate than I would have paid now. Or he may just refer everybody to me as most people do now. :D He would rather do the install work anyway.

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