Coming up with a brand new business idea is a big challenge. You have to figure out a concept, find a location, come up with operating procedures, hire and train a staff, build out your space – the list is a long one.
If you’ve ever wanted to own your own business there’s a way to do so without having to start at ground level. You can buy an existing business instead – one that has a proven location, concept and track record.
If this sounds like it might be the right path for you, here’s your next question.
How are you going to pay for it?
In the small business world there are essentially 4 ways to finance the purchase of a business. Let’s take a look at your options:
This one is probably the most common. A buyer comes up with a substantial down payment and then the seller of the business finances the rest. This option is popular because small business funding can be difficult to get from a traditional lending institutions like a bank, so sellers will offer creative financing to open up the pool of buyers for their business. This is also popular among buyers because a seller who is willing to keep some skin in the game tells you volumes about how they view the future profitability of their business. They don’t get paid unless you succeed. A few caveats for this financing option. You will need to bring a large down payment, 10 or 15% isn’t going to cut it. Also, if you do end up defaulting on this loan the seller will get the business back.
The Small Business Association (SBA) does offer loans in the right situation to people buying a small business. There will be a fair share of bureaucracy with this financing option, as well as certain metrics both the buyer and the business itself will have to meet in order for the loan to happen.
In some situations a buyer is able to procure funds from loans made by family, friends or investors. This option should include a contract or written agreement by all parties that spells out every aspect of the loan – how it will be paid back, what metrics are necessary, how one or more parties can be bought out of the agreement should the need arise, etc.
Your Own Cash
Lastly, you can always use your own cash to fund the purchase of a business. Perhaps you have a decent amount of money in savings, maybe you’re considering refinancing your home or pulling funds out of investment accounts. This option will alleviate you from owing money to others but must be considered carefully if you are going to be investing all of your available cash into the purchase of a business.
If one or more of these financing options seem doable for you, the next step you should take is to have a conversation with an experienced and qualified business broker. They will be able to talk you through the options available to you and help you decide which option will best meet your goals for business ownership.
Have you always wanted to own your own business but weren’t sure how you would fund such an endeavor? Would you like to know more about how seller financing works? Do you have questions about the process required for a loan from the SBA? Ask us! Leave any questions or comments here, we would be happy to help.