So I was offered a business in Central Florida about 8 months ago that i declined. The business was divided into 2 counties one of which was offered to me at 10k for 40 accounts with 18.5k of revenue. They are mostly storefront and some small commercial accounts all totaling approx 6 days of work per month. The person selling is a one man show who is retiring. He was recently able to unload the accounts for the other county i don’t serve but its sounds like even that transaction isn’t fully finalized just a deposit given. I reached out to him last week and he called me and offered the accounts at 7k. I don’t really do much storefront but I used to and like it. After getting out of high rise last year to focus on residential and smaller commercial I would be open to storefront again now that I have the time to go after it.
So my question is - What is this worth? The seller doesn’t sound desperate and made a point to remind me he’s in no rush but it think he is. He even offered to finance it so it seems he really wants to unload it. Problem is I don’t think its worth 7k and I am certainly not hurtin for work. I wouId like to use it to keep the guys busy when its slower though and build upon it as he says he never sells to neighboring storefronts. Im considering offering 3 or 4k. Thoughts?
i’d personally be comfortable paying 20% of what the accounts bring in for a year if they are well priced stops. i wouldn’t want to be servicing under priced work AND kicking myself for having to pay an adfitional percentage.
Is this guaranteed business? Seems like this old guy is retiring then his customers may just shop around once you show up.
Maybe @Majestic66 can give some insight on buying route work.
Yes the route seems well priced and solid. Long time customers. I don’t think the customers will go shopping. Much of it is industrial areas so not a lot of bucket bobs selling. I know he has had several other people do the work for him for long periods of time when he couldn’t. But I gotta factor in some loss.
Personally, I wouldn’t buy. I’d just start advertising to those customers in the area he was servicing. No one in their right mind is going to pay half of the routes yearly gross for uncontracted accounts. Even if they have a contract, who is guaranteeing they stay?
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thats a good point. They are uncontracted. Thats part of the reason I’d offer less. However people are lazy. If they know there is no break in servicing and they have already seen us do their windows once…
Are these storefronts going on a monthly basis ? What does the 40 accounts make per month of so ? Is the route tight ?
If the guy has been servicing these accounts for a bit of time at least five years an there aren’t any bucket bobs around an you have growth potential I would throw an offer at him.
If he is willing to take a deposit an you set up monthly note payments with a no compete Claus an some sort of gaurntee on the work 3 months is nice. So if you lose anything within 3 months it comes off the principle is the way to go
Solicit hard an heavy all around the area adding another 40 accounts would be my goal if I were to take over
If you buy it have him work it with you an introduce you as the new guy that’s taking over
I wouldn’t worry about contracts. If he has been washing for years they will stay on. Of course there will be loss that should be expected, but if you solicit an add on who cares if you loss a few accounts
That’s my 2 cents. Figure what it’s worth is the hard part
I knew you would have something to say about the topic!
I could use a budget of 7k and network a lot more than 40 route jobs…
We all know “YOU” could Kyle!
But some just want to throw money at instant work.
@wcs Commercial route work are the low hanging sour apples…
If I was starting from scratch and have 7k to spend on getting accounts…
Join every networking opportunity in my market:
Chamber of Commerce events
find any engagement where business owners are at… restaurant associations, Elks Club meetings, etc…
I would make sure I did everything to make the appearance of my operation looked dependable and legit… embroidered polo shirts, hats, hoodies… amazing business cards… signage on my vehicle. Nice looking bid proposals and a professional invoicing system.
I would make sure I am in the Yellow Pages, Google pages, and any other listing that a owner/manager will look first when they have the need for a window cleaner.
thats the basic stuff I would do… and I bet all that would only cost you $1500 or under… most of it will cost you in grind and hustle…
Contrary to what many of the “gurus” and “coaches” in our industry will try to bend you over and give to you…
anything in business that is quick or instant… normally doesnt last… and is not a wise investment
That’s good … I’m sure you might even get a job or two out of all this time your wasting going to all these things shaking hands …hey I have a busines you need your store cleaned ok cool I’ll stop by an give you a price ,. Maybe they might even be within 15 minutes of each other , But I don’t have time … Time is money
If someone has a good route . Good means a lot of things so it has to add up them why not buy it. I don’t know what this guys work is worth, but it’s worth something. Let’s not forget there is a seller too. He deserves a fair shake he work hard building it . Whether he pounded the streets, bought years ago , or went to tmeetings, an shook hands , an did all the leg work that way. He worked hard keeping this work together servicing it for months after months . I’m the buyer doesn’t mean I’m going to throw a ton of money cause you worked hard .
Let’s say you buy this work from this guy. Let’s say it does 1500.00 a month for argument sake. He wants 7000.00. You put a thousand down with principle of 6000 . You pay him off at 400.00 a month. It’s going to take you one month to get your investment back what are you risking Not much.
Like Steve said " instant revenue". No meetings , no walking around hearing , no thank you , can you come back , the manager isn’t in , we have a guy , how much wel …the other guy. Screw that if route work is what you want nothing wrong with buying.
Btw there are no guarantees with your 7000 budget. That might bust who knows then your out 7000. I would rather risk 7000 on buying the work. I know I’m guaranteed to make that back at the least
These are monthly paying jobs. If I have a 3 month gaurntee Im Guaranteed That money for 3 months . 1500 x 3 is 4500 and I’m only putting X amount down. No risk my friend think about it.
look at the companies that mop up in commercial route work… the Fish Window Cleaning… in my area there is a company out of KC called A lot a Clean… they are aggressively selling all the time, whether its knocking on doors or at networking engagements…all the bucket bobs get on here and complain about Fish…but you never see them come up with a solution to beat them… The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
I am looking at the question of investing 7k into commercial route work and looking at what is the best play for that money… the best play IMO is investing that into your brand and operation… than buying a list of customers that have no initial relationship with you.
Time is money, but a maximum return on your money is the goal
I had a chance to buy a commercial route when I first started. It was roughly 50 accounts… 25k+ in revenue… guy had been cleaning for 30 years and was retiring. He wanted 10k if i remember right. At the time, I made the move to pass, cause I thought I can do a whole lot in my business with 10k. The guy retired without selling his accounts… I ended up picking up the majority of them and a lot more because I did what I stated in the post above.
Thats a solid basic plan Kyle.
If more people would think things through or as some say view it from 10,000 ft. They can or could build a good business.
This is when you first started right ? Usually when someone first starts out in this business there are lots of days when there is no work right ? 500.00 a day in one week equals 2500.00. How many days do you think you didn’t work when you first started ?
It’s a long year Jan-dec. don’t know anyone who stays busy 12 months when they first start
That is unles they buy a route 12 months revenue month after month
Something to be said about that
@Majestic66 My first 2 years I was in the process of transitioning out of a previous business I owned (several restaurants) and I did window cleaning as demand grew and by the time I was out of the restaurants I had enough window cleaning built up that I was able to start full time with it.