Would you buy this business, if you were me?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by VAMower, Jun 18, 2008.

  1. VAMower

    VAMower LawnSite Member
    from VA
    Messages: 78

    First off thanks for taking the time to read this.

    I am curious what everyone's thoughts are on this business that I am considering purchasing. I have been mowing with a family friend for the last 4 months and am considering purchasing his lawn care business for about $20k. The purchase would include the following equipment:

    Ford Ranger, very low mileage, very good condition
    small trailer
    48" Exmark walk behind
    2 36" Exmark's
    1 21" mower
    2 Echo Trimmer's
    2 Echo Blower's
    1 aerator
    1 broadcast spreader
    numerous tools and garden equipment

    all the equipment is regularly serviced and maintained.

    The purchase would also include a little over 50 lawns that gross about $85k a year in sales from mowing fertilizing, leaf removal and small planting projects. Currently we mow about 2.5 - 3 days a week. Most lawns are in very good clusters from 3-7 with very few singles. Average lawn price is $38. Most of the current clients have been customers for 5+ years, no payment/collection issues, very loyal. Its a completely legit business with insurance and licensed.

    I have been reading this site for a while and have been very impressed with the knowledge of the members. Please let me know if you have any questions. My plan is to go full time and increase the customers and offer a few more services in order to increase revenue.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,899

    I think the accounts are worth about 7-k. You would have a better grip on the equipment value. Is he offering any favorable terms to sweeten the deal?
  3. Big C

    Big C LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,642

    Seems like a lot to take on for a solo newbie....are you sure that you can handle it?
  4. VAMower

    VAMower LawnSite Member
    from VA
    Messages: 78

    Yes, the terms are very attractive. I went to business school and the ROI from ongoing operations is pretty strong. The equipment is in pretty good shape, its been serviced by a pro twice a year and maintained regularly. I know this because I have done or seen a lot of it. No failures on any of it this season.

    As for handling the business I plan on hiring one or two helpers. Also, the current owner would still continue working with me part time. I would become the owner and handle the business end of things from here on out. He would just be able to mow and offer advice.

    Thanks for your responses, I hope this helps.
  5. Big C

    Big C LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,642

    Go for it.....good luck ....keep us posted on your progress!!!
  6. Honey Do Property Mgmt.

    Honey Do Property Mgmt. LawnSite Member
    Messages: 57

    Sounds like a deal to me!!!!
  7. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,899

    Terms are as important as price in my book. So if the terms are good I would give it my blessing. Good luck
  8. VAMower

    VAMower LawnSite Member
    from VA
    Messages: 78

    I figure by going full time adding about 10 more lawns and doing more projects on the existing properties I should be able to keep pretty busy but still be able to focus on the quality of the work being done without getting stretched too far.

    When the mowing/landscaping is done for the day how much time do you guys spend on non-mowing/landscaping related activities (accounting, returning calls, general management/ownership issues)? I imagine that this takes up about 1 day a week, hopefully its the rainy day. LOL.
  9. jiggz

    jiggz LawnSite Senior Member
    from jerz
    Messages: 646

    ok heres my advice

    BUY IT..

    Ane The reason I say this is

    One of my friends had the opportunity last season to buy the company her worked for.. funny thing is the numbers were almost identical 20 something grand for about 120,000 threw out the season .. but he graduated college and really wanted to use that degree so he said no.. to make a long story short.. two other people bought it..and they hired me to run the crew.. this is how we became friends and he continued to work there till the summer was over.. the dudes that bought the company just didn’t care they weren’t good people..anyhoo they let us go at the end of the season after telling us that we would be taken care of during the winter..

    Fast forward to this season.. they didnt start cutting until May wich is about 3-4 weeks late in Jersey and a lot of the customers got other people to cut.. when they finally did get around to going out they hired people that just didn’t give a **** and do horrible work.. I know because I have my own company this is my first season ans I have picked up a HUGE portion of there customer base.. he is doing it aswell on his own this season and picked up like a block of 15 houses that that were so unhappy with there work..

    Now when we talk hes always like maaaan im kicking myself for not buying that company..And im pretty sure you will be doing the same

    I would like to make a suggestion though.. I consider myself to be an extremely honest person. But theres times you have to bent truths a little bit.. When he introduces you to the customers.. you both should tell them that you have been helping him part time for the past few years.. I know it sounds stupid but it really will comfort the clientele when they understand that you have been taking care of the property for some time and there will be absolutely no changes ..ive seen it happen where the quality of the job is the same but the people just miss the old guy so they nitpick Mistakes that he might have made and would have gone un noticed, but if you’re “”the new guy” its gonna be a pain in the ass…

    good luck.. if there good clients and you can do a good job i say go for it..
  10. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Sure if I had 20g cash.

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