Buying a business (route mostly)


#1

Anyone here have experience buying an established window cleaning business? Route work mostly, significant amount involved, not talking a few customers but quite a few.

Would appreciate any advice regarding valuation, payment terms, what to do with employees of the old business, etc. Thanks!


#2

I know Mike with @Majestic66 has, maybe he can chime in.


#3

Be more than happy to help you in anyway I can. If you wan to give me a call it’s the best way to get my ideas across.
516-721-6503. Mike
Leave your number if you get my voice mail


#4

we bought out larger commercial side lots of wfp and some route work.

great terms

i think it’s always better to be the purchaser rather than the seller!

the biz was ten years old solo and son which means alot when you build it from scratch so there’s some emotional attachment that makes it harder to realize the value.

pretty awesome if your able to utilize their employees (if theyre good) would make for a much nicer transition imo


#5

I can share my experiences having bought three routes and sold two of my business. Both times I sold it was because I was moving.

I value a route on a three or four month earning. Three if its good but not great. Four if great, and great is that you have verifiable proof that the account is done regularly and that payment is prompt.

I set up payment as follows - 25% due on first day. I will go with the buyer and introduce to each customer and walk them through any peculiarities of a job.
At the end of the second month, 25% more is due. At the end of the third month another 25%. The final payment is the end of the fourth month and the final 25% minus the individual value of any customer they lost through no fault of theirs.
This is for a 4 month valuation. Adjust if 3 months.
This minimizes both parties risk. Included NO materials, tools or vehicles. Nor employees.

Finally - I was strict and clear on no competition clauses. This was applied only to the customers that were sold. I didn’t care if you remain in the business, but there was NO provision for the seller to ever service my customers.

Hope this might help.


#6

I[quote=“TexasRich, post:5, topic:45706”]
I set up payment as follows - 25% due on first day. I will go with the buyer and introduce to each customer and walk them through any peculiarities of a job.

At the end of the second month, 25% more is due. At the end of the third month another 25%. The final payment is the end of the fourth month and the final 25% minus the individual value of any customer they lost through no fault of theirs.
[/quote]

This is exactly what I did when I sold a small route back in Cali last year , 4 months gross on a strong route


#7

I bought a business but it was not mostly route


#8

Following.


#9

I’ve bought out several routes over the years. Typically 3 months value of revenue.

However, if they are not collecting sales tax, the deal is off.

I’ve done well on most of them, but did get burned twice. Now I know.

One was 50% down and 50% in 90 days. One was 10k cash up front (yes, had to meet the dude at the bank and give him 10k in cash). So the demands of the seller do matter.

Most route one man businesses in the Houston area are extremely unprofessional, I haven’t bought a route in at least 10 years now.


#10

Thank you everyone for the advice and input; truly appreciated. Still looking for more input if anyone has not chimed in… please do.


#11

I dont have much to offer in the way of advise but I know there’s a website specifically set up to sell window cleaning biz/ routes. Its endorced by the wcr. I think of the name but maybe someone here knows what I’m talking about. @Chris probably.


#12

Really? That would be quite interesting to look at. Would be awesome if someone can point me there. @Chris or anyone else.


#13

yea we had an ad running for a guy who had / was building a site. I just went to take check it out and the site is gone. I guess he dedicded not to pursue it.

Sorry Guys


#14

Lots of interesting responses, thanks.