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Buying accounts

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by joeonthemow, Sep 26, 2006.

  1. joeonthemow

    joeonthemow Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    I am looking at buying some snow accounts from a friend of mine who is retiring.It is mainly twin homes, all on contract for this year with a customer option for the following 2 years at a predetermined rate. Is there any rule of thumb on what to pay for accounts -- 1/2year of full year of plowing? I did a search and didn't really find any answers.

    If you could help me out I would appreciate it.

  2. derekbroerse

    derekbroerse 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,377

    Ouch. Touchy subject. I would say if he is really a 'friend' that if he is retiring, he should give the information to you and you can establish contact with these people and tell them that you are taking over his route, and that they have the option of staying with you (as recommended by the friend/previous plowguy) or trying to find someone else.

    I wouldn't pay for a contract unless it was something pretty spectacular.... maybe I am the oddball here though.

    When I got started, I bought the truck and blade from a friend and did exactly what I listed above. I kept his entire full-time route for several years, many of which I still have today. Others were lost for various reasons (customer bought a bobcat, tenant in the plaza has a plow now, etc.) but none for performance reasons.
  3. Jay brown

    Jay brown PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,783

    the last plow truck i bought we figured in the accounts with it. the accounts totaled what one stom would produce in $$$
  4. crazymike

    crazymike Senior Member
    from Toronto
    Messages: 639

    be careful buying accounts. Make sure you look at all legal aspects of the accounts.

    ie) can the customers pull out of the account if there is a change in contractor?

    - if the customer defaults on the contract, can you hold them legaly responsible. or do you have to go through the old contractor

    I wouldn't reccomend this as a main source of income. I would also question my friendship with someone charging me to take over something as easy to get as snow removal accounts.
  5. Eyesell

    Eyesell 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,107

    Well put Derek, your not an oddball at all as far as I'm concerned, my brother in law bought some lawn cutting customers once from a guy, but he had bigger fish to fry, this guy retiring, I agree, he should just pass them along as a friend would do.

    Just my .02 cents worth:eek:
  6. mike33

    mike33 Senior Member
    Messages: 335


    i belive buying or selling any accounts is bull. Why dont you go and ask the customer for the business cont. x is retiring. Another thing is if i was a business lot and cont x plowed me for 10 years i would be pissed if cont. t showed up and plowed than billed and i didnt know. Or what is your buddy going to say to the business or home owner " i retired but sold this job to another guy" Or am i looking at this picture wrong.
  7. Jay brown

    Jay brown PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,783

    in my case it was only $1000 paid. it was worth it to me strickly because of the time i saved with the paperwork( names and #'s and price) that was provided to me.
  8. jhook

    jhook Senior Member
    Messages: 375

    I bought some accounts about 4 years ago and thought it was a great way to grow my business. I paid about 30% of what theygenerated in a season. Basically, they guy wanted out of snowplowing and so we hooked up and we went together to each customer and he basically told them that I was taking over his business and would be carrying on. Of course I only paid him for the accounts that signed on - which was most of them. I think I still plow all those places 4 years later. One company even moved out of a location (which I still plow) and hired me at their next location (which is a bigger lot), and now they have passed my name on to their head office downtown who is looking for a new contractor.

    Guys, don't undervalue your route - THAT is your business. Any idiot can buy a truck and a plow, that doesn't mean he has a business. The customers that keep comming back year after year, the ones you call up in the fall and they say "great to hear from you, send me the new price and go ahead", that is worth a lot. payup
  9. Jay brown

    Jay brown PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,783

    amen jhook......... also in my case i hired their son(plowed the lots before) to drive the truck/route that i bought from them. so basically it's a self operating route. one of the lots( about 5 acres) they have been plowing for about 20 years.