Own A Small Business Or Looking To Buy One? Why Automation Is Your Friend

Although it might feel like the automation of our world is sending us into the plot of a sci-fi film – many entrepreneurs are either unaware of or discount the potential benefits automation can bring to their business lives.

 

Think of a repetitive, mundane administrative task that your business requires. You make the time for it and do it because you have to, but that time could absolutely be spent accomplishing something else more productive – like growing your business.

 

 

What can you automate?

 

Your marketing strategy.

Marketing is the lifeblood of your business – it’s what brings new customers in through the door. Companies like Drip and ConvertKit creatively automate your email marketing to ensure you stay active in a customer’s inbox. As far as social media marketing goes, companies like Buffer and MeetEdgar manage and help schedule your social media posts so you don’t have to.

 

Your accounting.

Keeping track of invoices, managing your financial records and tracking expenses can be very time consuming – but with accounting software from places like Xero and Wave you can automate many aspects of your business accounting.

 

Your paperwork.

Long gone are the days of physical signatures and fax machines – now most of the paperwork, sales documents and contracts you need can be sent and signed electronically in seconds using products from companies like PandaDoc and HelloSign.

 

Your payroll.

If your business is big enough to have employees but small enough that a full-time payroll person isn’t in the cards – services like Gusto and Wagepoint can take the payroll pressure off of your plate.

 

These suggestions aren’t ads, by the way. The services we listed here are by no means the only ones out there and might not be the right fit for your business – they are merely examples to show you what’s out there. It is incredibly important that you do your homework when selecting an automated service to ensure that the time it saves you will be worth it.

 

A note for business owners:

 

Another major bonus to automating some of the administrative tasks within your business? When the time comes to sell, buyers will see that you’ve taken the “work smarter, not harder” approach when it comes to your business. This will speak volumes about how you see a business owner’s time as valuable and about how you have placed a priority on streamlining the business to make it successful.

 

A note for business buyers:

 

As you look at how prospective businesses are run and how the current owner spends their time, think “how can I automate this so I can turn the time I would have spent on this task into growth for my new business?” By thinking about the aspects of the business you can automate, you will be better prepared to see the potential of a new business opportunity instead of just what’s currently there.

 

If you’ve never considered how automation could help your small business, now is as good a time as any to start. Thoroughly research your options – then decide what could help you take some of the drudgery of business ownership off your plate.

 

Do you own a business and would like to know more about how streamlining your business may impress buyers? Are you considering buying a business and want to know what types of automation would best suit the industries you are interested in? Please feel free to leave any questions or comments and we would be happy to help.

 

 

 

Michael Monnot

941.518.7138
Mike@InfinityBusinessBrokers.com
12995 South Cleveland Avenue, Suite 249
Fort Myers, FL 33907

www.InfinityBusinessBrokers.com

 

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Business Owner? Why An Accountant Is A Great Idea

Running a small business can be very challenging. You get pulled in 16 different directions every day and have the fate of your business and your employees on your shoulders. While it might seem like you should be able to be all things at all times for your business, there is one very important part of your business you shouldn’t try to handle all on your own.

 

 

Your accounting.

 

Keeping track of the finances of your business needs a great deal of time and energy – time and energy you as a business owner should really be spending growing your business and your customer base. It may seem like an unnecessary expense, but by handing over the incredibly important task of managing the financial record keeping of your company to someone who specializes in that work – the time that delegating your accounting gives you will pay for itself with the growth you can create.

 

Your numbers are also critically important when the time comes to sell your business, as your financial records are the only way you can justify your asking price to a potential buyer. You don’t want a box of crumpled receipts to be the face you put on your business when the first buyer wants to see documentation. A properly curated account of your business will not only make your numbers clear, it will show potential buyers that you had the foresight to keep this very important responsibility in the proper hands.

 

If your business is so small that you can’t afford an accountant yet – there are options like QuickBooks, Xero and Wave, just as examples, that will give you a guided approach to keeping your financial records on track.

 

The point here? When it comes to the accounting part of your business, don’t try to go it alone. Get the help that will pay off with the growth and the future sale of your business.

 

Do you own a business and do all of your own accounting? Would you like to know more about how professional accounting help will make your business more desirable to buyers? Ask us! Leave any questions or comments and we would be happy to help.

 

 

 

Michael Monnot

941.518.7138
Mike@InfinityBusinessBrokers.com
12995 South Cleveland Avenue, Suite 249
Fort Myers, FL 33907

www.InfinityBusinessBrokers.com

 

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To Train Or Not To Train – How Long Should A Seller Stay?

You’re in the final stages of selling your business and are more than ready to start the next phase of your life. You and a buyer have agreed on a sale price and are in the final days of due diligence. As the final sale contract begins to come together one very important part of the agreement needs to be discussed – training.

 

No one in their right mind is going to take over a new business without having someone show them the ropes, and if you care at all about the future of your business, the jobs of your employees and your financial return from selling – you need to take the training part of your transaction very seriously. This is even more crucial if you have seller financing as part of your deal, because if the business falters after you leave – you won’t get paid.

 

So, what does a typical training period look like?

 

For the typical small business sale, the training period is two weeks.

 

If you and the buyer don’t think two weeks is enough time, there are a litany of options. You can agree to stay on to train in a full-time capacity for one period of time and then a part-time capacity for a period after that. You can also agree to the two full weeks and then agree to be available on a consulting basis for several weeks or months.

 

You don’t want to stay on any longer than necessary, but you do need to show a new owner EVERYTHING you do – from how you unlock doors to payroll. You need to introduce the new owner to your clients, your vendors and your staff. All of these things take time. 

 

They don’t, however, take forever. A buyer’s cold feet and nervousness about taking the reins shouldn’t dictate the amount of time you spend training. If you can teach them what they need to know in two weeks, then that’s it.

 

Here’s a very important caveat that you may not have considered. Once you hand over the keys, even if you are staying on in a training capacity, you are no longer the owner and no longer the boss. The new owner is in charge, and everyone needs to answer to them, not you. This dramatic shift in the power structure at a business you very recently owned can be emotionally difficult for some sellers, especially if the new owner makes changes you don’t agree with – another reason you should keep the training period as brief as possible. 

 

Talk to your business broker about what they would suggest for a training period in your case. Then remember to keep your cool when dealing with the new owner.

 

Are you thinking about selling your business and hadn’t considered a training period after the sale? Would you like to know what we would suggest as an acceptable training period for your business? Please feel free to leave any questions or comments here and we would be happy to help.

 

 

 

Michael Monnot

941.518.7138
Mike@InfinityBusinessBrokers.com
12995 South Cleveland Avenue, Suite 249
Fort Myers, FL 33907

www.InfinityBusinessBrokers.com

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Preparation And Finding A Business To Buy – 3 Steps You Should Take

How important is preparation when buying a business?

 

The short answer? Preparation is everything.

 

Think about buying a house. A home buyer doesn’t just drive up to the first house they see with a for sale sign in the yard and write a check. A home buyer researches the local neighborhoods, school districts and property taxes. They hire a real estate agent to help them with their search. They look at various options online and then schedule times to see homes. They also talk to banks so they can get pre-approved for a mortgage.

 

The process of buying a business is much more complex than the process of buying a house, yet business buyers come to the market overwhelmingly unprepared every day. They want to be driven around town by a business broker to scope out the local business market with no real thought about what they want or need from a business. If you are serious about buying a business, this is not the path to take. Instead, start with these steps:

 

  • Have a conversation with an experienced and qualified business broker about your goals for business ownership. For instance, if the reason you are considering buying your own business is so you can spend more time with your kids, then buying a large bar that will require your presence for 12 hours a day 7 days a week is probably not a good choice. A good broker will be able to match your goals with the right types of businesses.

 

  • Talk to your broker about your work history and experience. Your choice of industry will need to take into account what kind of practical experience you have. If you’ve spent the last 20 years as an auto mechanic, then buying a large salon is probably not the best option. Business ownership comes with a steep learning curve so you don’t want to add learning a new industry to the list.

 

  • With your broker’s help, figure out what you can afford. If you’ve got $80,000 of capital to invest – you have no business looking at $80,000 businesses. It may take you several months to begin turning a profit, and during those months you will still need to pay your lease, payroll, pay for new inventory – not to mention the extra cash you will need during the closing process for things like licensing and attorney fees. Your business broker will be able to tell you what your budget for the purchase of a business should be based on how much money you have. An important note here – don’t lie to your broker about the amount of capital you actually have. Your deal will absolutely fall apart when the time comes to provide proof of finances.

 

Once you know what you can afford, know what industries would match with your practical experience and have an idea of what kinds of businesses would meet your goals – you can start the business search process, the right way.

 

Have you thought about buying a business but don’t know where to start? Do you have more questions about the business buying process? Ask us! Leave any questions or comments here and we would be happy to help.

 

 

 

Michael Monnot

941.518.7138
Mike@InfinityBusinessBrokers.com
12995 South Cleveland Avenue, Suite 249
Fort Myers, FL 33907

www.InfinityBusinessBrokers.com

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3 Misconceptions About Business Ownership & Why 2018 Is Your Year To Make The Entrepreneurial Leap

2018 is your year.

 

It’s New Year’s resolution time again, and although you might be thinking that 2018 is the year when you will finally lose that weight, get organized or spend less time staring at your phone – we all know that our resolutions have a way of dissolving before February rolls around.

 

If you really want to change your life, here’s a different approach. Buy your own business.

 

Business ownership can be tough, but so is dragging yourself out of bed everyday to go to a job you hate. Entrepreneurship, despite all of the challenges, is very rewarding. All of your effort benefits you directly. You get to do something you actually want to do for a living. You can, more or less, make your own schedule. Your destiny is in your own hands.

 

If it’s so great, why doesn’t everyone own their own business? Many people are deterred from the entrepreneurial path by some pretty powerful and pretty false misconceptions.

 

Misconception #1: You need to be a multi-millionaire to own a business.

Small businesses come in all shapes and sizes, so while there are businesses that only a multi-millionaire could afford, there are also lots of small businesses on the other end of the spectrum that won’t cost you more than you have while having real potential for growth with the right leadership.

 

Misconception #2: Business owners never get a day off.

Ok, so this one isn’t completely untrue, but while as a business owner you are always technically on the clock – it’s your clock. Need to go take care of a relative for three weeks? Need a day off to chaperone your kid’s field trip? You can. Smart small business owners put the right people in place so their presence isn’t necessary 100% of the time. They also utilize the digital world so they can work remotely whenever necessary.

 

Misconception #3: You need to be a business ownership expert.

We hear this one a lot. “I don’t know anything about owning a business.” Sure you do. How many times have you muttered under your breath because your boss was making a terrible decision? How often do you look at the way a company is run and say to yourself “if I was in charge…”. The only difference between someone who works in a particular industry and a person who owns a business in that industry is one took the entrepreneurial leap. You can too.

 

There was a time when small businesses were the only kind of businesses. Every major corporation started small. The entrepreneurial plunge shouldn’t be feared – it should be embraced. Make 2018 the year you changed your life. Buy a business!

 

Have you always wanted to buy a business but you don’t know where to start? Would you like to know how the business buying process works? Ask us! Please leave any comments or questions and we would be happy to help.

 

 

 

Michael Monnot

941.518.7138
Mike@InfinityBusinessBrokers.com
12995 South Cleveland Avenue, Suite 249
Fort Myers, FL 33907

www.InfinityBusinessBrokers.com

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Michael Monnot

941.518.7138
Mike@InfinityBusinessBrokers.com

12995 South Cleveland Avenue, Suite 249
Fort Myers, FL 33907




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