Thinking about buying a business? What can you buy with the capital you have available?
Although there are several factors to consider when purchasing a business – like finding one in an industry where you have some practical experience or finding one in an area close to where you live – what you can afford will probably be the biggest consideration of them all.
When deciding what you can and can’t afford, you may need to adjust your way of thinking about the capital you have. For instance, if you have $100,000 in cash to spend, you absolutely can’t afford a $100,000 business.
Covering the price tag alone isn’t going to be enough. You absolutely need to set aside a decent chuck of money for working capital. You need this extra capital to pay for attorney fees, for licensing and permits, for lease deposits, for first and last month’s rent, for utility deposits, for the first few weeks of payroll, for rent, for new inventory – the list goes on.
Wait, aren’t I buying a functioning business? Can’t I just use the money the business is making from day one? Why do I need so much working capital?
The short answer is you never know how much you are going to need. What if you lose an important client right out of the gate? What if you discover maintenance issues that immediately need work? What if you are taking over during a slow period of the fiscal year? You need to keep capital on hand to be able to cover the unexpected.
Another consideration? You will have a landlord who wants proof you can pay your rent – so not only will you have lease deposits that will need to be paid, you will likely need to prove you have the cash available for a decent amount of rent payments before you will be allowed to sign a lease. No landlord in their right mind is going to let someone sign a long-term commercial lease if they only have enough money to pay rent once in the bank.
The message here is to be smart with the money you have available. Don’t overstretch your financial capacity. Doing so can put your business ownership success in jeopardy. Have an honest and open discussion with your business broker about how much money you really have available and then listen to their advice regarding what businesses you can realistically afford. By leaving yourself a working capital buffer you are far more likely to survive the bumps in the road any new business owner is sure to encounter.
Would you like to know what types of businesses you could afford? Do you have questions about how much working capital you should set aside? Ask us! Leave questions or comments here and we would be happy to help.
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