Well, thinking about it! Hi folks, long time no post, been very busy :)
Anyhow, we live in the sunny Dordogne (its raining today) and started our business up in 2002. its been hard work but we reckon we have a got it right. However, we are starting to think about retirement in the next year or so.
My question (s) is where the heck do we start? Sell business, where to advertise it, how to work out what its worth etc.
Basically we work from March to Nov, 6 days a week (sometimes) looking after 30 odd gardens from 100m2 to 6 acres. (cutting every 2 weeks) 30 something swimming pools and 15 houses for change overs at the weekend! We sub out the smaller gardens and house cleaning with 5 other gardeners, and 14 cleaners. (all self employed).
We dont do hedges, trees, landscaping or anything like this but sub that out to the above and stick anything from 5 - 10€/hr on top. Essentially we (wife & I) Cut grass on Mon, Tues , Wed, clean pools Thursday, I do Friday and Saturday pools while wifey does admin on Friday and travels between rental properties Saturday, delivering welcome packs and checking cleans. So pretty varied with loads of potential for increasing work if you want (need to) We turn down gardens and change overs every week as we reckon we have enough to do :)
All the pools and some of the gardens are on annual contracts, with the cost spread over 12 months so we have an income in the winter.
Equipment wise we have the best you can buy - Stihl brushcutters x3, Stihl chainsaw, hedge cutter, blower etc, Iseki sxg 323 mower and John deere 1445 out front mower, honda walk behind (and something else) for around pools . Van (Fiat Scudo) and Trailer everything from new. (JD had 276 hrs on the clock when we bought it)
We dont advertise and havent for 10 years, we do have a great web site though :)
Our thoughts are that we hand hold who ever takes over for a year to help them settle in and train up on pool maintenance etc -
Is there an agency that sells businesses like this in UK? Would it be worth sticking an add in Daltons weekly?
anyone fancy living the dream with a good business underway lol
Seriously if anyone has any suggestions, fire away!