Why buying a lawn mowing business can be risky.




Buying a lawn mowing business

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How do you go about buying a lawn mowing business?

Now I’m assuming that you are reading this because you are thinking that a change of lifestyle is in order. 

Why not work outside mowing lawns?

It’s a healthy lifestyle business and you get to be your own boss.

What’s not to like?

If you do not have the backup funds or a part-time job to get you through the first six months while you build, then buying may be your only option. 

You know that when you are buying a lawn mowing business, then you have income from day one. 

If you buy a business that has well-priced lawns and good systems then you can turn it into a great business. However, if you buy a business with underpriced lawns and no systems, then you may struggle to break even. You may even find yourself going backward. 

Do remember that when you are buying a lawn mowing business, you are buying more than a lifestyle. You are buying a small business and all the responsibilities that come with it. 

Also, bear in mind that not only is this the first lawn-mowing business you are looking at buying. It is also quite possibly the first lean mowing business that the current owner has ever sold as well. 

That can be a potential minefield. Even if the business is great, the transition needs to be handled in the correct way to reduce client drop-off. 

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I once knew a lawn mowing contractor who was retiring and decided to sell his business. He had worked it for over a decade and although it was stable, it was sloppily run. There were a lot of badly priced lawns and customers who owed money. 

He had no idea what his business was worth, but he thought it must be worth a lot. After all, it was his baby and he had built it from the ground up. 

He advertised his business at a ridiculous price and sold it within a couple of weeks. This was because it was an independent non-franchised business and there was not a lot of competition at the time. 

I knew nothing about the sale until one day I bumped into an extremely unhappy buyer. He was struggling to make a profit and his customers were dropping like flies. Apparently, the old owner was not opposed to doing odd jobs for his customers for free. This was definitely not on the new buyer’s list of his obligations. It was not even mentioned. 

When I sold my first lawn mowing business, I made mistakes. I learned from them and when I sold my second business, I did better. 

Now I have sold over twenty (non-franchised) lawn mowing businesses in the last couple of decades. I have learned a thing or two about how to maximize the chances of buying a good business and how to spot the red flags. 

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If this is something that interests you, I have put together a buyer’s guide that can be purchased here

When you are buying a lawn mowing business you need to do your due diligence. The rule of thumb is that you should invest one hour of research for every $1k you plan to spend. 

I hope this helps and I wish you the best of luck in your search. 

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