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Thinking about selling the biz

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by K&N Snow, Apr 22, 2009.

  1. K&N Snow

    K&N Snow Member
    Messages: 45

    I just wanted to see what you all thought. Should I wait till fall before I try to sell? Do you think I should try to sell piece be piece or as a whole(If I can)? Do you have an idea what a customer list is worth? I've been doing snow for 10 years, so I think there might be some value.
    Thank you for the input.
  2. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Are you selling equipment? As far as just a customer list, I wouldn't pay anything for it. I'd just put out an ad and pick up some or all of them when they start looking for a new plow guy. If you have them under contract, maybe on the value of one or two storms (pushes) for an area getting an average of ten or more storms per winter. But then ONLY if the customers agreed to a new contract naming me as service provider and to be paid at the end of the next winter season.
  3. Flipper

    Flipper PlowSite.com Addict
    from CT
    Messages: 1,180

    Even with contracts I find customer lists to be pretty low in value. People can use change of ownership as cause to get out of a contract. I would do the same thing, just wait until after the company is sold then target the customers. I picked up 8 accounts last year after a large longtime local company was sold. Customers did not like the new owner or prices.

    If you are selling the whole business (name, equipment and all assets) then the customer base may have value. Especially true if you have customers who have agreed to stay with business after the sale.
  4. K&N Snow

    K&N Snow Member
    Messages: 45

    They have been customers for years and all are high paying they don't even look each year (The best kind) All the equipment would go its most of the value.

    RODHALL Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    NADA guide for the equment. nothing for list.

    i do not know about you... but not knowing who or how they would run this under buisness name. if it were me i sell the plows and if someone bought everything then give them the list, but if you have to sell it peice by peice then just toss the list, and close dowm the buisness after all you built the reputaion not them....
  6. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,780

    If you want to sell your customer list I have found this to be the best way to retain most of the customers.....

    Send your current list of customers a letter. Make it a nice one and explain you will not be offering plowing services in the future but that "so and so" is going to be stepping in and continuing service to them, your valued customers. Adivse them they will be getting an introductory letter from "so and so" shortly, and that you hope they will continue to use his services. So and so send out his nice letter, several people resign with him, and you should get 10 to 20 % of their bill for that season. No contract, no pay for you.
    I will say this though, if you think the guy is an idiot, don't recommend him to anyone.
  7. RLM

    RLM PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,270

    I have not sold off a business, but if a client has a contract, its a contract. My business is a corp, contracts are with the corp., not me personally. If I sold off the business as a whole, the contracts would still be in place at least in my eyes, I'm not an attorney & would definatly check with mine on it. What the buyer does after that is up to him (how he/she services the accounts, will reflect on the retention). What I'm getting at is it depends on how things are structured.
    The value to the list, past bids, etc, will vary, but I would say there is a value to a commercial list where you have all the up-to-date contact info for a property even with out a contract, that leg work is worth somthing. Thats leg work is the hardest part of the sales process, to have it in hand (a prospect list), is like being given a 1/3- 1/2 of your job done (as a sales person).

    Its a business, your selling it, you are selling the name, reputation, & everything associated with it. Why do you think people buy a McDonalds franchise (or any other), yes your buying the systems, but also everything else (including the name & reputation).
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2009
  8. K&N Snow

    K&N Snow Member
    Messages: 45

    But, Do you think I would try and sell it now or wait to late summer to fall
  9. LawnProLandscapes

    LawnProLandscapes PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,129

    i would start now with the equipment unless your trying to sell it as a whole.
  10. Silentroo

    Silentroo Senior Member
    Messages: 147

    Depending on City size and locations.

    I have sold both landscape and Snow companies a couple of times. Generally I sign everyone I can and sell it for a % of the contract.

    Right now in Minnesota there is a guy on Craigslist willing to sell 8 Town house association accounts he used to have for 1000 each. He will tell you size, give you maps, and tell you his price.

    Unsigned customers are not going to sign.

    I would say it depends on how much money you need out of it and the equipment. Plows and Sanders are not good to sell today. Skids, Loaders and such are. Not many new business people can sit on an investment for 6 months.
  11. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    How does selling accounts he USED to have work? What says the associations have to go along with the sale? Their contract is with XXX company, not YYY.
  12. Silentroo

    Silentroo Senior Member
    Messages: 147

    Well for him, not so good for the sucker how buys them.

    Of course 1k for the education may not be a bad price.

    If it works I can make millions selling stuff I used to have.

    Cars, Accounts, Trucks, Girlfriends....
  13. RLM

    RLM PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,270

    It's called "Intellecual Property", the town house gig may not be bad, depends on size of Assoc. etc, You try to find out who the president of an association & contact info, especially if self managed, is with say 200 units, then you know what they were paying also ( 200 units @ $ 150 ea ($ 30 K), all of a sudden that $ 1000 isn't much), especially if you can get in there before they send it out to bid .
  14. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    I'll take two of each and pay you with money I used to have.