Buying? How You Should Look At A Business

 

When most first-time business buyers first call us, they have only one requestthey want to go see some businesses. They want to drive by, pop in and take a tour.

 

This is exactly the opposite of what a new buyer should ask for. You are buying a business, not a house – and the differences between the two are huge.

 

A house is four walls and the stuff inside. To make a judgement about whether or not a particular house is a good investment, you need to walk around and have a look at those four walls and the stuff inside.

 

An operating business is not four walls and the stuff inside.

 

The four walls are usually leased from someone else and the equipment and furnishings are the assets of the business – not the business itself. Yes, when you buy a business you also buy the assets, but that isn’t all you are getting. You are getting cash flow.

 

You can’t drive by, pop in or take a tour of cash flow. You learn whether or not a business is a good investment by looking at the numbers, by talking to the seller, by going over inventory lists and by examining contracts.

 

The depreciated value of the equipment, the furnishings, the vehicles, even the color of the paint have very little to do with how a business is priced and should have very little to do with how you judge the price of a business. As such, tours are really not that important. Aesthetics can be easily changed once you take over – so focus on how the business makes money instead.

 

A better way to look at businesses starts with a conversation with an experienced and qualified business broker. In this initial conversation you and your broker will talk about what your goals are for business ownership and then search for businesses based on those goals. Once you have a few businesses in mind your broker can help you decide if the price is fair based on the numbers and also help you decide if you want to pursue more information.

 

Want to take a quick peek at what types of business are currently for sale? Use our Business Search Tool by clicking here.

 

Have more questions about buying a business? Ask us! Please 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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Buying A Business? Patience Is A Must

We’ve talked about this issue a handful of times, but it is so prevalent in the day-to-day of buying and selling businesses it merits revisiting from time to time. A great business broker spends their work day keeping business deals on track and moving towards a closing table, but they are only one part of a very complicated process.

 

 

As such, you as a buyer may get frustrated by the pace of your transaction – but in many cases there is absolutely nothing your broker can do.

 

What you need to remember is the only cure for tied hands is patience.

 

Here’s an example:

 

You are a motivated buyer who is very interested in a particular business and have put a decent offer on the table. You request through the seller’s business broker that the seller send over the information required for due diligence, like financial records, tax returns, etc.

 

Then you wait. And you wait.

 

Then the seller sends over partial records, which get forwarded to you from your broker, but the rest of the information you requested has yet to be produced. So you wait.

 

You constantly call and email your broker, and all they can tell you is they haven’t received the information from the seller so their hands are tied

 

Why does this happen?

 

Some sellers go on the market with the initial intention of reaching a closing table, but once they are in the process they realize that selling their business requires a ton of work on top of what is already required for the day-to-day operation of their business (producing information and being available for questions/meetings). Then they completely panic because are shortly going to be out of a job.

 

These realizations can cause some sellers to develop a decent case of cold feet. It can also cause a seller to be defensive, as constant requests for more financial information can give the impression that the buyer is trying to dig up dirt on the business.

 

This, of course, is not the case. Buying a business is a huge decision, and most buyers are going to want a thorough look at any business before they pull the trigger.

 

So how do you figure out if the problem is your broker or the seller?

 

If your broker is really good about answering your questions, is prompt with returning phone calls and emails and has been forthcoming about the issues they may be having with the other side – then their hands are probably are tied. If it takes your broker ten days to return your phone calls, then the problem is probably the broker.

 

As with everything in a business transaction, a good dose of patience will go a long way. This does not mean, however, that you have to sit around and wait for a seller to deliver information they have no intention of ever giving you. Talk to your broker if you have concerns about time frame issues, and understand that sometimes there really isn’t anything a broker can do to speed up the process.

 

Are you a buyer who is having a hard time getting information out of sellers? Are you concerned that the issue may be with your current broker and not with the seller? Please feel free to leave us a comment or question here, and we will be happy to assist you.

 

 

 

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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The Garage Start Up? Why Buying A Business Is Better

 

When you think about famous entrepreneurs, it often brings thoughts of a person who came up with an inspired idea and built a successful and thriving business from the ground up – with the romantic twist of doing so out of a garage with little to no seed money. While this may be the path for a few very driven and lucky individuals, the path for most entrepreneurs begins quite differently, with the purchase of an existing business.

 

Wait, what? Buy an already existing business? Why would I do that instead of starting my own business?

 

Typically, buying a business is a safer bet than building one from scratch. You get to take over as owner of an already built-out and proven location with trained employees and a ready-to-go set of operating procedures. This can be a great way to get into business ownership because it skips all of the disadvantages a start-up will encounter – like establishing a customer base, building cash flow, paying for build-outs, establishing marketing practices, training a brand-new staff, obtaining initial permits and licenses – to name just a few.

 

It is not, however, a fool-proof way to enter the world of business ownership. You need to choose a business that is profitable, or one that has easily-remedied issues that will make it profitable quickly. You need to choose a business that will fit with your goals for business ownership and one where you have some practical knowledge or experience. You also need to choose a business that has room for growth.

 

I have a lot of questions, who should I ask?

 

The smartest step any budding entrepreneur can make is to hire an experienced and qualified business broker. A broker will be a great asset, as they can help you find businesses that are right for you.

 

In your initial conversation with your broker you should talk about your previous work experience. You don’t want to have to learn a whole new industry at the same time you are learning how to operate a business.  You should also talk about your goals for business ownership. Your goals will determine what industries would be best for you. For instance, buying a bar with the goal of having evenings off isn’t going to work. Be a bit opened minded about the businesses that are available – you might be surprised to find a business that perfectly fits your goals in an industry you would never have thought of on your own.

 

The message here is entrepreneurship isn’t an impossible goal, and you don’t have to come up with a genius idea in your garage to get there. There are a myriad of businesses available everyday, and with help from a good business broker you can find the right one for you.

 

Have you always wanted to own your own business, but were unsure of where to start? Do you have questions about what a business broker does? Ask us! Leave any questions or comments here, 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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Are You Compulsive With NDAs? The Wrong Approach

Are you a buyer like this? Have you requested information on dozens of businesses and then when asked a question about one of these listings – you can’t remember which one we’re talking about?

 

 

Are you requesting and then signing Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) like it’s going out of style? Guess what? You are probably NEVER going to buy a business. Never. Not going to happen. Why?

 

Dozens and dozens of NDAs is not the way a successful buyer finds and then buys a business.

 

Buying a business requires that you keep your eye on the goal successful business ownership.

 

What do we mean by that?

 

First and foremost, signing the NDA should come after you’ve already made some decisions about whether of not a particular business is really what you’re looking for. You shouldn’t buy a business based on where it is, how it looks, or what the tax returns say. This is the information you will be able to access after you’ve signed the NDA. Sure, these are all important parts of a business, but as a buyer you need to be focused on whether a particular business is going to meet your goals for business ownership. The major mistake that unsuccessful business buyers and unsuccessful business owners make is they never considered what they want out of business ownership.

 

If your goal for business ownership is to have more time to spend with your family and the ability to do things like coach your kid’s soccer team – then buying the bar you think you’ve always wanted isn’t going to work – you’ll have to work seven nights a week. If your goal for business ownership is to make more money than you do at your current job, then buying a huge restaurant with zero restaurant industry experience isn’t going to work – you’ll be bankrupt in six months.

 

The path to a successful business purchase starts with a conversation. You and your business broker should have a talk about what your goals for business ownership are, about your prior work experience and about the amount of money you are looking to invest in a business. Then, and only then, should you sign NDAs for the businesses that will actually meet those goals. You might be surprised that a business you never would have considered on your own could be the perfect fit.

 

Narrow down your search, then request the information you need. This will help you keep your eye on the goal of business ownership.

 

Are you looking for businesses to buy but haven’t had a conversation about what your goals for business ownership are? Do you want to know more about how to successfully buy a business? Ask us! 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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3 Big Steps For Business Buyers

Ready to buy your own business?

 

 

Step 1: Arranging Capital

 

You could probably guess that step one is figuring out how you are going to pay for your new venture. 

 

If you don’t have enough cash on hand to fully fund the purchase of a business there are several resources available which you could tap. These options consist of acquiring funds from the Small Business Administration (SBA), traditional financial institutions like banks or seller financing.

 

No matter what the source of funds, any lender is going to have conditions which you will have to satisfy if you want to be approved for said funds. They are going to require you to have adequate cash readily available for a down payment in addition to having sufficient working capital to sustain the business.

 

You will need to be aware of and account for costs like closing fees. It is possible to either pay for the closing fees up front or plan to have them incorporated within the amount that you will be financing.

 

Having financing or at least a down payment in place before you begin your business search will simplify the process of finding the right business for you.

 

Step 2: Making Offers

 

You found a business that meets with your goals and have finished going over the initial financial records. You think this might be the business for you. It is time to make an offer, but how do you determine what that offer should be?

 

First, consult with your business broker. There are considerations that influence price such as the amount comparable businesses have actually sold for, the value of inventory and contracts, the amount of cash flow the business currently generates – the list goes on. By consulting with your business broker you can consider all aspects and decide whether the asking price is fair and how much you are willing to offer.

 

Step 3: Due Diligence

 

After an offer is accepted, the offer you submitted essentially becomes the purchase contract and you will move to the next stage – due diligence. This is a crucial step when purchasing a business.  It is due diligence which enables you to figure out whether or not this business is for you. It also helps to determine what price you will be prepared to pay for it.

 

Due diligence will begin with examining previous years of financial records. You will be able to learn about any unresolved legal actions, relationships with vendors and clients, intellectual property rights including copyrights or patents, as well as any future liabilities.

 

Once you have all the necessary information you can make an informed decision about whether or not to proceed. This is the nature and necessity of due diligence. Your findings during due diligence may also modify the amount you are willing to pay for the business. 

 

As soon as you have arrived at what you feel is a complete picture of the business and have also arrived at a price that takes into account what you found during due diligence – you and the seller will negotiate to amend the purchase contract and proceed to the closing table. This step typically requires using the expertise and negotiating skills of your business broker, and possibly a CPA and/or attorney to guide you through the process.

 

While buying a business might initially seem like a monumental task, when broken down into basic steps it is absolutely possible for any driven future entrepreneur. 

 

Do you have more questions about the steps required to buy a business? Would you like to know more about the due diligence process? Ask us! Please feel free to leave any questions or comments, 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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