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  • PRO
    I might so long as the business has traded under commercial rates a few years ago a guy offered us his business but he had been selling the service for less than we pay our guys. If the business had some value and would add value it might work but likely to be a major gamble. I would always worry about paying and then the customers don't want your service!
    • That was my thought too, about the customers jumping ship. It could be a personality issue where they would prefer someone else. The other issue would also be how much the hourly rate would be once worked out. It could well be that his rate is lower, so no incentive at all. If the rate goes up with the new gardener, again the customers may leave looking for a cheaper gardener. 

      I may be wrong, but his greatest asset are the tools and the van, potentially the commercial contracts, but not so much the private customer base. 

  • PRO
    It really depends how much he wants for it.
    And also if you want/need the extra clients.
    I would not buy and just wait for the retirement to happen and see what comes. All his clients will want someone new and they may ring you anyway.
    It's all down to personal situations I think.
    You would also need to think if you need or even want his tools and van?
    • I would only be interested in the customer base. The only way I could see things working for me at this time is going via a "pay as you go" service. So each time the customer has paid, a percentage would go to the previous gardener. Should the customer jump ship, then no further payments are made. Also payments would be limited to just 6 month, maximum a year.

      Another bug bear is that the sale/handover would commence in October/November, when the season comes to an end more or less and the customers then have ample time till the season starts properly again in February to look elsewhere.

      • PRO
        That's a bad time to swop over mah next year would be good.
        I tried the same deal with a guy this year( stage payments) but he did not go for it. He wanted £10000 for his part time round and a Suzuki van and some tools. Van and tools worth about 4 grand or so.
        I only wanted the round of customers his tools were old or just rubbish and I did not want the old van either.
        He wanted too much for it imo.
        Just be careful as the clients may not even want you. One man bands sell themselves as much as the work they do
        • I would expect a warm handover, and a contract with the customer to lock them in.

          £10K is a lot of money, as you stated, there is absolutely no incentive at all.

          I am not in a position to buy a full business anyway. I dont think I would want to expand either. If I were I could do it with £3K, van, tools & Insurances. So £10K could get me 3 Vans & crews. 

  • Interesting one!  If he is selling, lock, stock and barrel, which includes taking on existing staff and that business is making money, then it's worth consideration. If, on the other hand, he is just selling a round that is serviced by himself, then very careful consideration is needed, for the reason stated above.

    • Only serviced by the gardener himself supposedly. Everything you guys said is what went through my mind and was voiced to the seller. 

  • Following on, expansion is the the only way of making decent money from gardening IMO.  One man/woman can only earn so much.

    • True. Personally I am quite happy where I am and don't want the stress of having to look after employees, more customers etc.If I was 10 or 20 years younger it would be a completely different story.

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