Starting a landscaping business

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Starting a landscaping business

9/11/2007 - by: Acquireo Team - Director of Marketing, Acquireo.com

A landscaping business can be started from your home or you could buy an existing business. An interesting combination might be a nursery business with a landscaping business as an equal side business. The focus of the business could be homeowners, commercial accounts or both. The way to acquire customers will combine advertising, referrals and maybe help from a franchise commitment. The cost of getting started will depend greatly on the size of the business you buy or if you start a lawn care business from your home. This range opens the door for many potential owners to get into the business. The up-front expense can be very high dollars to the cost of an old pickup, a gas mower and a gas weed eater. Home customers are probably easier to get than commercial customers. Insurance coverage and legal employees is another factor in the cost of doing business.

Lawn care, tree care and outdoor plant care are all part of the landscaping business. Bushes and shrubs can be part of the mix also. Whether you are doing it for a commercial establishment or old Mrs. Smith’s tiny lawn there are similarities in the landscaping business. The private home may be easier to land, as companies are not constantly approaching them. The commercial building owner or a shopping center manager would be called upon often to consider a new landscape company. The competition and the requirements a commercial account may have can eliminate many small companies. The fastest way to grow is to buy a business with a built in clientele. You can build a business one customer at a time, but this will take time and weeks of frustration. On the other hand the small business is not a huge capital investment.

A large commercial landscaping company is going to have a steep asking price as the clients are in place and are likely to stay in place unless the company causes a rip in the relationship. A change of ownership will not be a big item as long as the service stays solid. A sharp increase in the monthly bill would not be the smart thing to do just after the purchase. If things stay relatively the same, the business would likely continue as before the ownership change.

A small home-based lawn care service would not be costly to start and could grow fairly fast in a decent location. People that need their lawns taken care of are expanding every year. Retirees are sometimes prevented from doing the work due to physical limitations or they just are willing to pay for the service. This group is easily contacted and referrals from existing customers could be obtained without a great deal of trouble.

Finding businesses for sale

A check on the Net, for landscape businesses for sale, shows a number of high dollar businesses for sale. The listings are interesting as most are in larger cities. There are few lower priced or small businesses listed individually. A business broker would have a more detailed list of possible purchases. Also they could help with the information about requirements for insurance and employment laws that need to be followed. The broker can help in the negotiation with the current owner if terms are the only way you can purchase the business.

Using the Net to uncover important information about this business area will save time and quickly let you know if you can pull it off with the money and skills you possess. A very large company purchase may not be available to all buyers, but it is worthwhile to know what is required to get in the game. Smaller entry companies may be open to purchase and with terms that are within your reach. The big advantage of a purchase of an existing business is the clients they bring with the purchase. This means there will be immediate cash flow from the purchase. This is a big plus with some people, as they like to see they are getting their purchase money back.

A really large company may be in need of good management rather than the work of a job foreman. A shake up of the sales force may be order to get the company growing again. This type of information will become rather obvious when studied by a person that knows what to look for and how to solve the discovered problems.

Money is the name of the game

A small company purchase or starting a company from scratch may be well within the resources of the buyer. A larger purchase may need terms from the old owner to complete the sale. The other sources for extra money could be a bank loan, business lenders loan or personal loans from friends or relatives.

A very large purchase of several million dollars may take corporate type financing as seen every day in large business buy-outs. This kind of a sale could be completed through private stock or ownership through an LLC. It is the amount of money needed to make the sale that would make this purchase far more difficult to bring about. Raising the needed funds would have a lot to do with who was heading the investment team and their history of success in the business world.

It is surprising to see some of the asking prices for some of the landscaping companies listed on the Internet sites. If these prices are backed up by profits, then this is a highly profitable business. A company in this high priced neighborhood could be in need of better management as its size has made it more difficult to run properly. This could open the door to a conglomerate offer from well-financed people.

A combination business possibility

A nursery and landscaping business would seem to be a natural combination for an owner to consider. They need each other’s skill and products so they could provide both to the customer. A person could find a small nursery for sale and piggy back a landscaping business on it. This may not be a common business, but it is worth looking at as a possibility.

Conclusion

The need for quality service from a landscaping company is growing as our population grows and gets older. Private homes make up the largest group of customers, but maybe not the most lucrative to have on the books. Commercial customers are what every company would like to have, but the competition is tough.

Finding companies for sale that you can afford to purchase is going to take some very good detective work and maybe the help of a solid business broker. The listings on the Net seem to be found in large cities and have substantial asking prices. Business brokers will have a more thorough list to work from. They are very worthwhile to seek out and ask questions. Once you have found a property that you think you can buy, the negotiating will start for real. A business broker may be very useful in the negotiations to make the deal. The deal, the financing and the property are all critical elements in the purchase of a business. Several situations should be looked at and compared as to their individual merits.


author: Acquireo Team

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