What Are The Qualities Of An Ideal Landscape Company From A Buyer’s Perspective?


In our first Virtual Harvester Huddle of 2023, (free Zoom meetings) my room talked about the current state of the market for buying and selling landscape companies based on the recent economic environment.  I thought you might be interested in what we are seeing/hearing. 

We also talked about the importance of knowing what a buyer is looking for.  The qualities that make your company attractive to a buyer will usually make your company perform at top levels for you too. * 

It’s never too early to investigate your ultimate exit, but it’s especially important to give yourself time to learn about your options.  If, as you are learning about your options you also get a plan together for putting the business in the best-case scenario for a transition, you should have the best possible result.  You’ll also have a road map for how to move forward that will inform your strategic decisions.  Your road map might be tweaked in the years to come, but you’ll know which way you are going.  

As we were talking about what qualities make an ideal company, I included this list of the top 10 qualities a buyer looks.  This is the starting place.  We are working with several clients who are working on their businesses so they will be in the “right place at the right time.”  Fortune favors the prepared mind.    

  • Buyers’ perspective 
    • Rising interest rate environment 
    • Market cooling off – numbers of transactions at all sizes dropped way down 
    • Private equity, banks, and others are getting much more selective 
    • Market expectations for landscaping businesses in 2023 remain optimistic, and demand for services remains high in most markets 
    • Uncertainty about 2024 (correction/recession slowing buying down) making buyers more selective 
  • Results 
    • Before putting more deals together with higher costs of funding, some are taking a pause after the high levels of buying in the past few years to integrate and capture economies of scale 
    • Waiting to see what happens in 2024
    • When considering new deals, standards are much higher
    • Increased scrutiny, higher standards for risk 
  • Sellers’ perspective   
    • Depending on your company size, may be moving to a buyer’s market 
    • Buyers will continue to pay a premium multiple for a quality company 
      • Smooth increasing revenues 
      • Strong market for growth – long-term growth potential 
      • Competitive gross profit margins 
      • Net income increasing 
      • Investment in infrastructure 
      • Lack of dependence on owner–bench strength in the management team 
      • Lack of concentration in small group of customers 
      • High levels of revenue retention 
      • Preference for recurring revenues 
      • Size premium – $1 mil and above in EBITDA 

If you would you like to discuss your company’s readiness for a transition and how your company might maximize its value, please give us a call or email.   Have you been wondering what steps a smart owner can take now to prepare for an exit from the company while achieving his/her goals?  We will be happy to have a confidential complimentary conversation with you.

You can reach me via email: [email protected] or on my cell phone a: 224-688-8838.

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Alison Hoffman

has more than 25 years of experience in strategy, operations, mergers and acquisitions and delivering business-to-business client solutions. Her areas of expertise include managing operations for profitable growth, organizational design and strategy activation. She brings a wealth of experience through her work in evaluating, valuing and purchasing over 30 companies, leading company-wide cultural and business integration projects and consolidating best practices among business processes and corresponding computing systems. Read Full Bio