We all get burned out. Burned out at work. Burned out in relationships. Burned out on life in general.
You feel like you need something new, something exciting to turn your life back towards happiness – but what new adventure can make this happen?
A hot new car? A brand new boat? Sure, these toys can be fun – but will they really bring you life-altering satisfaction? Probably not in the long run.
The happiest people are typically people who have followed their passions. They wake up every morning with the drive to do what they do because they love it – not because they have to. If you are truly dissatisfied with your career because deep down you always wanted to pursue another passion – maybe now is the time to make that change. Maybe making the jump to entrepreneurship is for you.
Entrepreneurs are a unique breed. They are willing to take risks. They have drive and passion. Best of all, they get to do what they love and don’t have to answer to anyone but themselves. Sounds good, doesn’t it?
The good news is you don’t have to make the jump to entrepreneurship by starting from scratch. Start-ups are notoriously tough, expensive and risky. You are developing an unproven product in an unproven location using unproven operating methods.
You can make your life easier by buying an existing business instead. With an existing business you remove the unproven part of the equation. You get to walk into a business with a proven product, location and operating procedures. You also get a previous owner who will train you before you take over the reins.
There are many, many businesses for sale from multiple industry sectors – so if you’ve ever considered following a passion in the small business world, there is likely a business out there that will fit well with your goals.Try a cursory search by clicking here, and then have a conversation with us about your goals for business ownership, the types of businesses you think you’d like and the capital you have to invest. You and your broker can then narrow the search to just those businesses that will be right for you.
We aren’t saying that an existing business is without risk or that an existing business won’t be a challenge. Owning a business, whether you started it or not, takes dedication. The hours might be long and the work might be hard – but all of your time and energy are spent working for yourself instead of for someone else.
Is small business ownership for you? It could be, and it could be the key to a happier life. The only way to find out is to start looking. Skip the new car and invest your money in a business that could bring you not only financial returns, but a better quality of life.
Would you like to know what types of businesses would fit with your goals? Do you want to know what your dream business would cost? Ask us! Please leave any questions or comments here and we would be happy to help.
In our society, the word “used” typically carries with it a less than ideal connotation – it means that someone else got the best and the “used” buyer is left with what’s left.
In the business world, however, “used” gets a boost because a “used” business is an existing business. Existing businesses are good.
If you are thinking about getting into the franchise ownership game, you will have to initially decide if you want to start a new franchise location or try to find an existing franchise location to purchase.
If this is your first business or your first franchise – then buying existing is probably the best option.
An existing location is proven.
A franchise location that already exists and is currently running is far less of a gamble than putting a brand new franchise in an unproven location. An existing location also has an existing staff and it’s own established daily operations. There won’t be as much guess work for you as the franchise owner because there will be a seller there to train you as to what works and what doesn’t at that particular location and with that particular staff. An existing location is turn-key instead of starting from scratch.
An existing location has records.
Another major benefit only an existing location will have? Records. Deciding how much a business is worth to you as a buyer is far easier if there are records of the cash flow and finances of an already existing location. Buying new means a great deal of guesswork as to the future projections on your investment.
An existing location already has customers.
You might be considering a franchise because it comes with the added benefit of an already loyal customer base. The brand will definitely get people in the door, but and already established location will come ready-made with regular clientele.
An existing location offers flexibility during negotiations.
When you start a new franchise location, there are often strict rules and fee structures you must abide by – and very little (if any) room for negotiation. When you buy an existing franchise, there will likely be fees associated with an ownership transfer, but the price you pay and the terms of your deal will be largely in the hands of you and the seller. This may allow you some wiggle room in terms of price and contract terms, but this will depend on the franchise itself.
If a franchise is the business path for you, don’t get hung up on the “used” nature of an existing location – for most buyers it can be a far better bet. Ask your business broker about what franchises are currently available on the market and about the terms required to take over an existing franchise location.
Do you have more questions about how the process to buy a franchise differs from buying an independent small business? Do you want to know what the purchase of a franchise might cost? Please feel free to leave any questions or comments here and we would be happy to help.
We’ve all had those pie-in-the-sky conversations at the dinner table over the holidays, when the discussion turns to entrepreneurial ambition and your uncle/grandmother/father says something along the lines of “Sure, I can help you buy a business!”
When considering borrowing money from family members (or from anyone with whom you have a personal relationship), there are a few things you should consider.
Buying a small business is a very expensive venture, where you will need working capital in addition to the amount you offer because of necessities like licensing fees, lease deposits, payroll and initial inventory – just to name a few. What your relative initially considered loaning you/investing in you will probably not be enough, so they will likely need to write a much bigger check then they had imagined.
They will also need to provide financial records to business brokers, sellers, landlords and property managers – even licensing agencies in some cases. This can be uncomfortably intrusive if the business in question isn’t even yours.
If these considerations have you possibly rethinking borrowing from family, just remember that you absolutely can borrow from family successfully – there just needs to be good communication between both parties and a contract of some kind to ensure everyone is happy in the end.
You can also ask your business broker about other financing options that may be available.
Were you considering family financial help, but now think a SBA loan or seller financing might be a better way to go? Do you have questions about what a family loan contract might look like? Ask us! Please feel free to leave any questions or comments here, and we will be happy to help.
You’ve just left the closing table, and now you are the proud owner of your very own small business. Is it time to celebrate? Sure, but you also need to hit the ground running.
Why? I’ve bought an existing business, how hard can it be to just take over the seller’s responsibilities?
Really, really hard – especially if you make the mistake of taking your seller for granted during the previously negotiated training period.
Most training periods are only two weeks long, and learning every last aspect of your new business in that short amount of time can only happen if you buckle down and take full advantage of the plethora of information a seller has to give you.
You need to learn how to do things as simple as unlocking all of the doors and disarming the alarms to as difficult as how to put together the weekly payroll. You need to learn what licenses you will need to renew and when, how to set up and pay for utilities, how to order new inventory, how to run the website and social media accounts, what customers are regulars and what they expect, who the staff are and what they bring to the table, where all of the supplies are kept… you get the idea. It’s a lot.
The list is seemingly endless, but it is absolutely manageable in the typical two week training period – you as a buyer just have to make the most of every second of that two weeks.
Why can’t I just have a much longer training period?
First and foremost because if you apply yourself, two weeks is plenty of time. Secondly, it isn’t fair to keep a seller tied to a business they no longer own for longer than 99% of new business owners are able to learn the reins.
What about the 1% who didn’t learn the reins in two weeks? What happened there?
To be completely honest, buyers who weren’t able to get it together in a typical two weeks just didn’t try. They let the seller continue to run the business for that first two weeks like the seller was going to be there forever. They didn’t bother showing up, didn’t bother putting together a list of questions and didn’t work side by side with the seller to see everything they do and why. When the two weeks were up they were handed the keys to a business they knew almost nothing about – then blamed everyone but themselves for the mess they were now in.
The lesson here is that no one knows your new business better than the person you just bought it from – so use your training period to absorb every last drop of information you can from them, before it’s too late.
Are you considering buying a business and think two weeks isn’t enough time for training? Would you like to know more about the business buying process? Please ask us! Leave any questions or concerns here and we would be happy to help.
Anyone who’s ever had a job where they worked for someone else has considered life on the other side – as the owner of a business. The entrepreneurial dream is one where you control your own destiny and do something that gives you a reason to get up in the morning.
Many budding entrepreneurs hold back on their dream of business ownership because they think they could never afford it, owning a business is too risky or now isn’t a good time.
With the new year on the horizon, perhaps you should rethink these excuses that keep you from business ownership and start the new year on a path to your own dreams.
Excuse #1: I could never afford it.
Sure, there will always be businesses that are well outside of your price range, but think of it this way. If you had a small budget when you were looking for a place to live, you probably weren’t looking at mansions on the beach. You looked at your options within the framework of your budget. The same thing goes when you look for businesses. You might have to start small if you don’t have a lot of funds at your disposal, but small business ownership comes in many forms. If you work hard, you can make any business grow into what you need it to be. If you are shopping for businesses, you may also be able to find a seller who will take a significant down payment and seller finance the rest. You can also look into funding through the Small Business Administration (SBA). The SBA, as a government agency, will require a lot of paperwork but it could help you on your path to business ownership. Talk to a business broker about what funds you have available and what your goals for business ownership are. They will likely be able to find you a few options that would be feasible.
Excuse #2: Owning a business is too risky.
Yes, owning a business comes with it’s fair share of risk. You could end up bankrupt if you don’t put in the effort to make the business into a success. You could also walk into your “stable” job tomorrow and get laid off. In the working world nothing is ever a sure thing, so if you have always wanted to own your own business (and you have the passion and drive to get you there) – entrepreneurship is just as risky as anything else. Buying an established business is also typically less risky than trying to start your own company from scratch, as the concept and location have already been proven successful. Talk to your business broker about the risks you will be taking by buying an existing business.
Excuse #3: Now isn’t a good time.
The business market fluctuates from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market and back again on a regular basis. The good news if you are buyer is the market is about to be flooded with a wave of baby boomer owned businesses, and when this wave hits the market the tide will shift in the buyer’s favor. More and more businesses list every month, so now is as good a time as any to jump in and find the right business for you. Besides, you aren’t getting any younger- so why wait to fulfil your dreams?
If you have ever considered business ownership, now is a great time to take that dream and turn it into a reality. Make your new year’s resolution one where you buy yourself a business in 2016!
Do you have questions about the kind of business you can afford? Are you concerned about the risks or timing? Please contact us today or leave any questions/comments here and we would be happy to help.