I have been working for a business for about five years now and my boss is about to retire and I am out of the job if I don’t decide on whether I should buy his business (established since 72). Which consists of a trailer 40 foot ladder, 32 foot, 24 ,16 etc two 10 foot step ladders, two 6 foot, two 4 foot… and a ton of drop clothes, extension poles, pressure washer ( with extension pole for high places), roller frames, etc Should I buy this business for $20000 or should I start my own? I am very confident in my skills and if I could just get people to call or give me a chance then I feel confident that I will be successful. People have a hard time taking me seriously since I am so young.
That's WAY TOO MUCH for the deal… you can buy all of that equipment for much less (new or used) except perhaps for the trailer (use a full size Van instead)… but the REAL thing is finding work… ADVERTISING … try your local papers, or other areas, unless you plan on traveling great distances for estimates and to do the work… and then again finding RELIABLE HELP … painters who will show up on time (sober) and who know the trade… Best of Luck!
Aside from all of the equipment being offered, what about his customer base? I did not see you mention that in there? I agree with Magic Dave if its only equipment. I would negotiate with him I would settled for something closer to 10k. After all you have given him 5 years a good loyal service and quality work. Ask him to put in his customer base and phone number transfer. He is retiring and any phone calls he received he could simply pass them onto you. Just a thought though, you can always start out on your own as well. But it will take a while for you build up a customer base.
Hope this helps, and good luck in whichever decision you decide to make.