Would you sell out?

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by kc2006, Mar 1, 2008.

  1. kc2006

    kc2006 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

    So I got wind today that there might be someone wanting to buy me out.

    I'm a sub for plowing for a guy and i heard he wants to buy my company and hire me to work for him. No real details yet, he hasn't even said anything, I just heard it through family members.

    Just wanted to get some conversation going on the matter. What would it take for you to sell out and go work for someone else?

    From what I gather I'd be running the outdoor side of his business (he does indoor and outdoor maintenance for large commercial places). I think he wants me to grow the business for him and run it. He's older so he's set in his way, but he's always talking about expanding but never does anything on it. Plus I think he wants a future for his son, but he doesn't trust his son to take it all over (long story).

    For me to do it, he'd have to buy my accounts out, pay for any expenses that are already made for the up coming year (already have alot out for advertising, insurance and some other stuff), I wouldn't sign a non-compete form...ever, salary would have to be pretty nice possibly with bonuses for signing more work on, either a company truck or a fuel card because I'd have to drive almost an hour to get to his shop, and basicly have free reign of whatever I'm running. I highly doubt all that will happen, but if it did, I'd consider it. It'd basicly be like having my own business without the headache of dead beat non-payers and all the other not so fun aspects of business.

    So what would it take for you guys to sell it all and go work for someone?

    DLAWNS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,780

    I don't think that I could ever sell out. I've worked for various companies and have worked for myself. I don't think I could personally ever go back to working for somebody else. The number would have to be through the roof and the perks would have to be well worth it, along with tons of control over myself. Thats just my opinion, though.
  3. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Ah no I can agree to do no more lawn care, and I'll promise I won't touch a thing as far as conflict of interest is concerned...
    But I ain't working for someone else.
  4. txgrassguy

    txgrassguy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,083

    I'm not a small business so for someone to buy me out means they would have to pony up a bunch of dough.
    I have offers but I am not to the point I want to be - but when I am the only thing that will beat me to the Bank is Hillary petitioning the Supreme Court when she loses to Obama.
    I would sign a non compete clause as I have no interest in running a full service turf/grounds maintenance business again.
    I have been through the corporate wringer, as well as the self employed wringer both are about the same. The only attractant I have observed with being self employed is a certain freedom in accepting/declining jobs - you always have a boss - your customers.
  5. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,943

    Careful here! You are pretty far out on the limb. Remember the Florida and Michigan delegates ....

    The answer the initial question depends upon your size. As txgrassguy says, probably his operation is larger than most on LS, and is worth money. However, I suspect that most of us have very little to market if the time comes to sell out (speaking here primarily of small residential accounts). Reading so many posts, "... how much should I pay for xxx accounts, and yyyy equipment ...," usually the answer is focused on the equipment. Nobody is willing to pay much, if anything for accounts. Some contend that having a contract means something. I am doubtful this means a hoot.

    The "selling" and "buying" threads on LS are always different. For those selling, the account value is high. For those buying, the account value is low, next to nothing. The value depends upon which seat you have in the grandstand.

    I'm solo, with a full schedule of accounts, and some equipment. When the time comes, I will expect only something on the best pieces of equipment, but beyond that, nothing. In this area, accounts come and go, making their value small. At this point, I probably will start the season a few accounts short of a full schedule. I have little doubt those empty spots will be taken before the first mowing happens, or shortly thereafter -- then, I will be turning down work. So, the value of the account isn't worth much.
  6. Marek

    Marek LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,388

    Dont do it. You will be doing all the same stuff you are doing now , just the bills will be in someone elses name. I did this years ago only to go back out on my own 4 yrs later and have to almost start over. For me nothing is as important as me being in charge of my own time. Its rare to ever miss the kids sporting events or anything else I deem important. Right now the grass may look greener , but its not.Now days I make over 2x the money in half the time.
  7. jbone

    jbone LawnSite Member
    Messages: 125

    Im curious as to what would happen when his son (who he doesnt trust) comes to take his place?
  8. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 23,171

    In my experiences, sonny runs it into the ground.
  9. lifetree

    lifetree LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,369

    Exactly what I was thinking !!
  10. txgrassguy

    txgrassguy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,083

    The "selling" and "buying" threads on LS are always different. For those selling, the account value is high. For those buying, the account value is low, next to nothing. The value depends upon which seat you have in the grandstand.

    The selling of an actual revenue generating business with a decent P&L plus a high asset to debt ratio is actually quite easy.
    The difference in value between a "key" employee business, similar to a solo operation, to that of a repetitive model with employees and a management in place goes to the overall stability a repetitive model has over the solo - this is where selling becomes easy for the repetitive model.
    Any good CPA can ballpark a repetitive model, and their are CPA's that all they do is value businesses for selling.
    I had to go through this as on account of my pending divorce, and take it from me, contracts are worth the trouble to acquire.
    All of this said, I do intend to sell with-in the next three years. Not because I do not like the industry, my motive(s) are geared towards a rather healthy start to my retirement. Before my body goes completely, I want to be healthy enough to enjoy other parts of and too my life.

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