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How many of you started out by buying out another business?

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by LLM Ann Arbor, Nov 27, 2006.


Did you buy accounts or another business when you started lawn or snow plowing?

  1. Yes I did...

  2. No, I started from scratch.

  1. LLM Ann Arbor

    LLM Ann Arbor Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    As opposed to starting from scratch?
  2. ECS

    ECS Senior Member
    Messages: 485

    I started from scratch. I was on unemployment and living on $286/week. When I started it was in September, lawn seasson was over. I had no lawn equipment and no plow. I sold everything we had and ordered my BOSS V. When I ordered it I only had a few customers. I did get several more and thought, GREAT, now I can make enough money to pay for the plow and buy my mower. Well it was a bad winter and I did not even make enough to pay for the plow. Spring came and I scraped up enough money to buy my mower. When I ordered my mower, I only had 4 accounts. That was in April, but in February I sent out letters to potential customers, properties that I wanted to take care of. By the time my mower came I had enough customers to allow me to make it.
  3. Proscapez LLC

    Proscapez LLC Senior Member
    Messages: 293

    I was helping out a women down the street, by cutting her lawn and a guy aproach me who was rebuilding a house acrossed the street and ask me if I had a business.
    I told him no. and he said, I'll give you $25.00 to cut my lawn. I thought about it and said sure.
    After I was done he gave me 3 more address and ask me to look at them and give him an estimate. I did and then, then he gave me more actully 22 house's my first year.
    My second year, a building inspector stoped me and said. I have seen you cutting many lawns around here and if you would like more business, to give him my phone number. I did and with a week I had a man call me and he gave me a few address to check out.
    I gave him a price and he gave me more address.
    I also picked up many other single homes, and then near the end of this year I was asked.
    If I do snow plowing which I said I wasnt, but if the price was right I would.
    Come to find out he is an Area Director of a resturant chain.
    He offered me 8 resturants, which I agreed to plow 3 my first year and more afterwards.
    In return he was please that I was honest with him and offered me there lawn contracts for next year.
    I'll tell you this I charge top dollar, but the job is always done right.
    We sat down to talk pricing, and he shouted out some numbers, which were higher then I was going to say.
    I told him I would give him a 10% discount on all the snow plowing and lawns he gave me.
    And again he was pleased and I was tickled pink.
  4. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 7,921

    Hell, I was rich!!!!payup :dizzy:

    Then I decided to get in to the snow business!!:D

    I started out subbing.
    Then started to get some of my own accounts.

    The guy I was plowing for quit plowing and moved to LosVages to flip houses.
    The last time I saw him he was mumbling some thing I can't repeat here about the winters around here:realmad:

    He divided up his accounts between his subbs.
    I took half of them and went out all on my own..

    I also have another business..
  5. ECS

    ECS Senior Member
    Messages: 485

    How did you start LLM?
  6. LLM Ann Arbor

    LLM Ann Arbor Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    From scratch. Had one customer agree to the lawn service and bought equipment. Was a very large residential.

    Im convinced its a hard way to go. I know buying accounts is risky, but even with some droppage which will happen its a start....some roots as it were.

    But Ive also heard all the horror stories about being ripped off and the seller going back nto the business etc etc.

    I do goodwork but am really disapointed Im not getting referals which i know are key.

    Im making some changes and i dunno....Im just a little disapointed with my results this last year.

    Not giving up....but trying to change and adapt and get agressive....

    My network is small since I moved here to be married and am not from this area as well....

    Itll turn around. I know it.
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2006
  7. ECS

    ECS Senior Member
    Messages: 485

    Im convinced its a hard way to go. I know buying accounts is risky, but even with some droppage which will happen its a start....some roots as it were.
    Big landscaper here bought out a fert company. Just so happened that I was now in charge of these customers and their properties. Guess who lost? He lost a a lot because I used who I felt was better. One property alone was over $10k a year. It is risky. I have spoken to him about this several times and I have given him a lot of work also. If I feel he can do the job which the cusomer wants, I call him. We get along very well even though I was the one responsible for him loosing a lot on his buying out this other company. Some of these properties, I had no idea it was him, just me doing what I thought was best for the property and my customer. I also took a couple of his lawns from him. We are both fine with this. We try and work together.