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Hwy Maintenance & Guard Rail Installation



  • Price

  • Revenue

  • Cash Flow

  • Equipment

  • Inventory

  • Account Receivable

  • Location
    Northern Wisconsin

  • Employees
    15 FT, 3 – 4 PT summer helpers, 1 PT Office Administrator

  • Profit Margin

  • Reason for Sale

  • Service Area
    Work is done throughout Wisconsin, but most bid work is within a 3-hour radius

  • Lease
    520-sq. ft. office space with a 4,000-sq. ft. shop attached

This highway maintenance business, which includes sign installation, beam guard installation, fencing, and shoulder repair keep this Wisconsin state highway contractor booked solid from April through November. Showing a 20% profit margin, sales over the past four years average out to over $3M. Last year’s cash flow came out to over $700K, even with 16 employees and seasonal work!

The business is in northern Wisconsin and takes jobs across the state, but most bids are within a 3-hour radius of company headquarters. Services include landscaping, right-of-way brush cutting, sign and beam guard installation and fencing. Between 60 – 70% of income results from Wisconsin DOT projects, with the remaining income generated through work for sand mines, railroads and more. Work is mostly commercial, so growth exists in actively reaching out to private individuals.

During the season, the company employs 15 FT workers, all of whom are cross-trained to handle all services. One seller currently is the Superintendent, but there is an employee ready to be promoted to this position to handle more project management duties. Bidding and employee management is handled by the owners, who also have a PT Office Administrator to assist with day-to-day operations.

This is a great opportunity to take a reputable operation and grow it in any number of directions!  

Business Highlights

  • Years in Business: 18
  • Location: Northern Wisconsin
  • Service Area: Work is done throughout Wisconsin, but most bid work is within a 3-hour radius
  • Services: Landscaping, sign installation & beam guard installation for state highway projects, fencing, right-of-way brush cutting
  • Clients: 60 – 70% of revenue from Wisconsin DOT, 30 – 40% is sand mine, railroad, deer farms, municipalities, and private sector individuals
  • Building: 520-sq. ft. office space with a 4,000-sq. ft. shop attached
  • Reason for Selling: Retirement
  • Employees: 15 FT, 3 – 4 PT summer helpers, 1 PT Office Administrator
  • Season: April - November
  • Seller Training Period: Through a season
  • Growth Opportunities: More non-union work to increase employee base. Rebuild website.
  • Current Owner’s Responsibilities: Bidding, project management, employee management. More private work. More snow plowing.
  • Management Opportunity: One employee is currently ready to be promoted to Superintendent to handle more project management duties.

Financial Highlights

  • List Price: $2,900,000
  • 2017 Gross Sales: $3,597,397
  • Cash Flow:
    • 2017: $721,888
    • 2016: $714,927
    • 2015: $866,477
    • 2014: $648,067
  • Profit Margin: 24%
  • Assets Included in Purchase:
    • Equipment - $1,289,126
    • Vehicles - $640,047 – flatbed, bucket, and hydroseed trucks, trailers
    • A/R - $568,655
    • Inventory - $100,000
    • Backlog - $2,029,775

*replacement value

Cash Flow Analysis

Description of Financial StatementP&L StatementTax ReturnTax ReturnTax ReturnNotes
GROSS SALES$3,597,397$4,589,648$3,897,759$3,383,799
Net Income Shown on Financial Statement$445,427$461,292$625,235$426,491
Compensation to Owner$179,761$166,597$157,650$141,323
11% Tax on total W2 Salaries$39,024$18,326$17,342$15,546
Interest$1,911$7,022$0$847Non-onward going expense
Depreciation$0$6,806$11,237$10,435Non-cash item
Meals & Entertainment$1,540$684$813$589Non-onward going expense
Non-Business Telephone$4,200$4,200$4,200$4,200$350/month
Travel$5,000$5,000$5,000$3,636Personal travel expenses
Employee Benefit Plan$45,000$45,000$45,000$45,000Seller's union dues
Donations$25$0$0$0Non-onward going expense
TOTAL ADDBACKS$276,461$253,635$241,242$221,576
Seller's Cash Flow = Total Addbacks + Net Income$721,888$714,927$866,477$648,067
Profit Margin20.07 %15.58 %22.23 %19.15 %
  • 20% profit margin in 2017


  • YOY sales over $3M

Services & Clients


  • Landscaping
    • For WisDOT, this consists of restoring shoulders
      • Seeding, fertilizing, erosion mats, mulch
  • Sign Installation
  • Beam Guard installation
  • Fencing
    • All types of fencing
  • Machine Brushing
    • Right-of-way brush clearing
  • Snow Plowing
    • For railroad clients
      • Snow plowing at depots and along tracks

Client Base:

  • Wisconsin DOT – 60 to 70% of income
  • 30 – 40% Other
    • Sand mines
    • Railroads
    • Deer farmers
    • Municipalities
    • Private individuals

For Wisconsin DOT projects, the company bids as a subcontractor to a prime contractor, who actually gets the WisDOT contract. The prime contractor subcontracts portions of the work out to subcontractors. Bidding for WisDOT is done monthly, as the work is plentiful.

While the company mainly bids as a subcontractor, it has bid as a prime contractor in the past on a statewide signage project. However, projects like that are few and far between, as most have requirements beyond what this company provides.


  • 15 FT employees
    • 2 Operators
      • Run equipment, like post pounding truck
      • Part of Operating Engineers Union
    • 13 Laborers
      • Put in signs, roll out erosion mats, seeding, etc.
      • In Labor Union – hourly pay and benefits are paid into the union
  • 1 PT Office Administrator
    • Works 2 days per week
    • Assists with day-to-day operations
  • During the summer, there are 3 – 4 PT crew members (usually college aged)
    • Get parts, clean trucks, traffic control on job sites, etc.

Full-time employees are part of Unions as the client base requires Union employees. As this is a seasonal company, employees are laid off for the winter months and collect unemployment during that time.

One seller works in the office, handling about 1/3 of the bids and overseeing day-to-day operations.

The other seller handles 2/3 of bidding, is the company’s Superintendent and is also an Operator in the Operating Engineers Union.

One of the Operators is ready to become a Superintendent, which will help in covering more project management duties.

Standard Crew Sizes

  • Beam Guard Crew – 6 employees
  • Landscaping & Sign Installation Crew – 3 employees
  • There is 1 Operator on each crew

Growth Opportunities

  • More snow plowing
    • Currently this is done for the railroad clients, who need snow plowing at their depots and along their tracks
    • Would be a great way to capture more private sector clients needing snow removal from driveways, or from business owners needing to clear parking lots
  • More non-union work
    • A buyer wishing to hire some non-union employees would need to seek out more non-union work
  • Build website
    • There is currently a rudimentary website in place, but it does not showcase all that the company can do
    • A new website could be used to drive more private sector work

Valuation Details

The Firm Business Brokerage used a Cash Flow Valuation to determine the Purchase Price of a business. 

The formula used is as follows:

2017 Cash Flow          x          Prescribed Multiple =          Fair Market Value

Cash Flow is the sum of business net income plus any owner perks and any non-onward going expenses.

A multiple is prescribed by a 20 question, 100-point parameter ranking system that is used to analyze the current business health. Each question is based on a scale from 1 to 5: 1 being low, 2 below average, 3 average, 4 above average, 5 high. The average of the responses sum is the business’ prescribed multiple.

With this information, the computation is as follows:

$721,888         x          4          =          $2,887,552


The Fair Market Value found above positions the business List Price at $2,900,000.

Funding Example

Purchase Price:                          $2,900,000

15% Buyer Down Payment:             $435,000

15% Seller Financing:                      $435,000

70% Bank Loan:                                $2,030,000

Seller Financing 5-year term at a rate of 4.5% equals a monthly loan payment of $8,110.

Bank Loan 7-year term at a rate of 5.50% equals a monthly loan payment of $29,171.

After business expenses and loan payments, a buyer with a 15% down payment of $435,000 would retain a profit of $274,517 in the first year!

Please note that the decision of whether to extend a loan on any sale belongs to the bank, and this document does not guarantee specific terms or verify that financing is available. 

Purchase Price:



Bank Loan Needed: $


Funding Details


Offer Price: $

% Buyer Cash Down at Closing: $

% Seller Carry Back via Promissory Note: $

year term at a rate of %

% of Purchase Price secured by Buyer and Seller

Total Bank Loan Need: $

% of Purchase Price

Desired Loan Type:

Desired Bank Terms: year term at a rate of %

Total Business Assets, Inventory, and A/R: $

Total Undercollateralized Loan: $

Loan Payments

Monthly Payment to Bank: $
Yearly Payment to Bank: $
Monthly Payment to Seller: $
Yearly Payment to Seller: $
Total Monthly Debt Service: $
Total Yearly Debt Service: $


Fixed Charge Coverage Ratio

The bank will require a minimum ratio of 1.5 to be lendable.

Cash Flow:
2017 Cash Flow
Annual Debt Service: $

Buyer's Net Operating Income (NOI)

The amount of money the Buyer will retain as profit.

Cash Flow:
2017 Cash Flow
Annual Debt Service: -$

Buyer's Return on Investment (ROI)

The rate of return on the Buyer's down payment.

Down Payment: $
ROI: %


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210 N 78th St. 2nd Floor
Omaha, NE 68114

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