The Walk-Thru: What Business Buyers Should Know

If you are in the market to buy a business, then one of the steps you will have in your future is the walk-thru. Much like buying a house, you will want to see the physical location of a business before you make any decisions on moving ahead with a sale.

 

 

Unlike a house, there will be a few more steps before you can see a business. It’s far less important to see the physical space when you are buying an existing business, and as such it’s a step that happens much farther along in the process than most new business buyers realize. When you buy a business the most important aspect is cash flow, not the color of the walls or what the machines look like. You will likely see the physical space after you’ve seen the marketing package, after multiple conference calls or meetings with the sellers – often after you’ve made an initial purchase offer. 

 

How do you start? First you will need to sign a confidentiality agreement, most often called a non-disclosure agreement. You will be required to sign this agreement before your walk-thru for a few reasons.

 

Existing businesses can face terrible consequences if the entire world finds out that they are for sale. There is a powerful misconception that any business for sale is a business moments away from closing its doors for good (although typically nothing could be farther from the truth). If the for-sale status is disclosed the entire staff could quit (taking their regular clients with them), vendors might cancel contracts, customers may decide to shop elsewhere – you get the idea. Non-disclosure/confidentiality agreements protect sellers and their businesses from these potentially disastrous leaks of information.

 

Once the non-disclosure agreements have been signed, you will not just be able to waltz into the business whenever you please. An appointment will need to be coordinated between you, the seller and the brokers involved. You will likely need to see the business before or after hours (so curious employees can be avoided).

 

Why do the brokers need to be there? One of the most important roles that a business broker plays is that of a buffer. We have seen too many deals fall apart because initially innocent communications directly between a buyer and a seller devolve into a major issue.

 

Some sellers (whether appropriate or not) find questions about the legitimacy or profitability of their business offensive. If this happens and your deal begins to unravel, you will want your broker around to smooth things over. Your own broker will also be able to tell you if they think the things that were seen or said during a walk-thru were on the up-and-up. You will want their experienced eyes with you.

 

You will need to be flexible on meeting times for your walk-thru, especially if the business is one that has more than one or two employees that can be easily avoided. You will likely need to do your tour either before the business opens or after they close to keep the staff (or observant regular customers) from finding out about the for-sale status.

 

If you really want to see the business during business hours, then you certainly can. You just need to talk to your broker about whether or not it would be appropriate to do so. It would be tough, for instance, to walk in and see a manufacturing floor where the public is never allowed – but if you were considering a café, you could go in and grab a cup of coffee. Have your broker let the seller know that you are planning on dropping in as this is seen as common courtesy to the other side.

 

If you do grab that cup of coffee, it is important that you keep a low profile. Don’t ask any strange questions of the staff that will make them suspicious or do something like demand to see the manager or owner. You are there purely for observational purposes.

 

Now that you’ve made the arrangements — like signing the appropriate non-disclosure agreements and making an appointment with the brokers and the sellers – keep your appointment and don’t be late. Getting a walk-thru together requires a lot of moving parts, so buyers who fail to show or fail to show on time show a lack of respect – and sellers may refuse to work with you.

 

Bring questions with you. This visit is a really great chance to find out about the ins and outs of this particular business – and you don’t want to waste the opportunity.

 

You should feel free to open doors, examine equipment, etc. – just ask the seller first. It is important to remember that not only does the business still belong to the seller, it is a huge part of their life. Again the message is just to be respectful of the other parties involved.

 

You should never feel like you have to rush through a walk-thru, but on the same token eating up a ton of everyone’s time because you love to tell long-winded fishing stories isn’t fair to anyone. Stay on point and make the most of this unique opportunity because there are many things about a business you can’t learn from reading a P&L.

 

Once the visit is complete, have a conversation with your broker about the things you saw, your concerns (especially those you weren’t comfortable bringing up in front of the seller) and ask if they saw anything they think the two of you should discuss further. Use their experience and knowledge to your advantage when using the information you gained via your visit.

 

Are you considering buying a business, but would like to know more about the walk-thru process? Do you want to know what types of questions you should be asking during a visit? Ask us! Please feel free to leave comments or questions below.

 

 

 

Michael Monnot

941.518.7138
Mike@InfinityBusinessBrokers.com

 

 

 

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What Separates The Good Entrepreneurs From The Great

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whether you’re a business owner already or someone who is considering taking the entrepreneurial plunge, knowing what it takes to be great is essential to success. The essential ingredients to success come from knowing about the challenges you will face and having the will to persevere. The problems come from unrealistic expectations of what business ownership is really like.

 

Many budding entrepreneurs come to the business market looking for a business they can buy for a small amount of capital that is going to make them buckets and buckets of money. This is far, far from reality. Owning your own business does give you the flexibility of deciding your own fate while doing something you are passionate about, but it rarely makes you filthy rich. If you are in it to become the next Mark Cuban, you might be in the wrong game.

 

One aspect of entrepreneurship most don’t consider is the mid-ownership crisis. Owning your own business is very tough, so late one night with a pile of work left to do before the sun comes up you will likely ask yourself “What am I doing here?” We regularly remark that it would be far easier to just go get a job and punch someone else’s clock. If you get to a mid-ownership crisis, don’t panic. If the issue is burn out, you can move to sell your current business and purchase another one in a different arena. If burn out isn’t the problem, then just hang in there. Great entrepreneurs know how to persevere and make the best of what they have to continually grow their business.

 

Another ingredient that separates the good from the great is leadership skills. If you own a business that isn’t a one-man show, then you not only have to motivate and manage your staff, you have to set a good example by being motivated all on your own. Many first-time business owners delegate anything and everything to their staff without lifting a finger – this can be a big mistake. The best leaders are those who would never ask their employees to do something they wouldn’t do themselves, and often demonstrate their leadership by rolling up their sleeves and working right alongside their staff. Regularly demonstrating to your staff that your heart is still in the game can be great for morale.

 

Great business owners also know the importance of the community’s perception. It can be difficult to keep from taking a bad review personally, especially if you are a company of one. Using any review (no matter how scathing or ridiculous it might initially seem to you) as constructive criticism can only help your business grow. Sure, there are trolls who live to complain and customers out there who no one could ever make happy, but responding politely to and implementing changes based on negative reviews will show your clientele that you are driven to be a part of the community for years to come.

 

Owning your own business can be really, really hard work – but the rewards of becoming a great entrepreneur are worth the effort.

 

Have you always wanted to buy your own business and are curious to see what’s currently available? 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

 

 

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You Don’t Need To Be The Next “Meta” – Why Small Businesses Are The Perfect Fit For Your Dreams

Many cubicle-bound professionals daydream of one day becoming their own boss and launching themselves into fame and fortune – the likes of a Zuckerberg or Gates – but notions and ideas that lofty can actually prevent you from having a profitable and satisfying career as the owner of a small business.

 

 

The American economy was built with small businesses and the entrepreneurial spirit of main street, and although some small businesses do become mega-corporations, most don’t. This isn’t a bad thing – for most small business owners a profitable time can be had without exponential growth.

 

Why should you keep your business ownership dreams out of the clouds? If you are realistic about your expectations as a business owner, then you are more likely to find the happiness and success that can come from a sensible entrepreneurial vision. Still need convincing that you should keep your goals a bit lower than “the next Meta or Google”? Here’s a few reasons while a small business can be far better than a mega-business:

 

Too many cooks in the kitchen.

If you’ve ever worked for a large company or even sat in a large meeting, you will know that the more people involved, the slower the process will go and the more resistant to change they will be. Large businesses are like large ships at sea – they take an enormous amount of time and effort to change direction. As a small business, you will be better equipped to shift with market trends, pivot with your customer’s needs and be able to implement changes without the enormous task of getting the approval of a large number of people before anything can happen. This can be critical in times of crisis, like the pandemic, when a quick pivot in your business model can save you. 

 

Sustainability isn’t just for farms.

A massive company also comes with massive infrastructure and expense. You might be racking up massive sales, but a large chunk of the money coming in will have to be allocated to keeping the bones of the company supported. A very large business needs a very large location, a location that likely comes with a very high lease payment. There are the bills to keep the lights on, to keep the wireless working, to provide benefits to employees, to buy office supplies – the list of expenses can go on and on. If a very large company isn’t able to keep profits growing, it can be incredibly hard to support that massive infrastructure. If you are a small business, on the other hand, you can easily maintain a small but functioning location with a low monthly cost in terms of lease and utilities. If you have a bad quarter, unlike your massive counterpart, you have a sensible and sustainable monthly expense that will give you the ability to stay in the game long enough to get the numbers back in the black.

 

Corporate life is not for control freaks.

If controlling your own destiny is something that is very important to you, then life on a mega-corporate ladder can be tough. By owning your own business the responsibility and decisions are all yours, so any successes you achieve are that much more satisfying. You have complete control of where your professional life goes, and for some this alone is desirable enough to stay off the corporate ship.

 

The message here is if you are considering entrepreneurship, dream bigbut not so big that you talk yourself out of ever owning a business. Small business owners are driven and happy – so if you think this is a path you want for your life, make some realistic goals and then set them into action.

 

Have you thought about buying your own business, but aren’t sure entrepreneurship is for you? Do you have questions about how much money you could make by owning your own business? Ask us! Please feel free to leave a comment or question here, and we will be happy to help.

 

 

 

Michael Monnot

941.518.7138
Mike@InfinityBusinessBrokers.com

 

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Stay In Your Wheelhouse: Why You Shouldn’t Buy A Business You Know Nothing About

Sometimes it seems like a good idea. A hard about-face in life. Choosing to buy a business in an industry that interests you, but one where you’ve never spent a single, solitary second. How exciting, right? A whole new chapter of life – a new adventure.

 

Don’t do it. Here’s why.

 

Life as a business owner is tough. Really tough. It’s long hours, lots of responsibility and constant challenges. That toughness translates into rewards if you have the grit, experience and passion to be a successful entrepreneur. Notice we included the word experience. We’re not saying you need to have owned a business before. The romantic notion that the only requirements for success as a business owner are grit and passion just isn’t reality.

 

 

The reality is taking over a small business as the new owner comes with a sharp and steep learning curve. There are so many aspects of owning and running your new business that you will have to learn – quickly. How the operating procedures work and why they are the way they are. The nuances of your new staff. What needs to be where and when. How to place orders. How to manage inventory. How to stay on top of licenses, taxes, payroll. The list is long. What you don’t need in this mix is trying to learn an entirely new industry. If you want to be successful you’re going to have an exponentially easier time taking over a business where you have some real, practical experience. 

 

Here’s an example. Say you went to school to be an accountant, then you spent some time working as the accountant for a small manufacturing company. Like most people you’re a fan of a good happy hour and have always had a daydream of owning a tiki bar on the beach. When a 200 seat beach bar near you goes up for sale, you put in an offer and are able to work out a purchase contact with the seller. After closing on the sale you struggle with your now 24/7 work schedule. You’ve never worked anything but a classic 9 to 5, so having to open the bar at 10am and stay until 3am every day is rough. The huge staff you’ve inherited to run this large establishment are a constant source of drama you’ve never had to contend with. You fire one employee and then 9 more quit, including your weekend bar back. Now you’re juggling trying to fill the schedule and trying to hire someone who will actually show up to be the bar back on Saturday nights. So for 5 Saturday nights in a row you’re the one hauling kegs and refilling ice. And you didn’t realize how fast you’d go through lemons so you’re driving around at 4am looking for a 24 hour grocery store because there isn’t any time to order from your vendor and get lemons by tomorrow. Then your line cook calls in sick so you have to jump in and work the line for 3 days, cooking food you’ve never cooked at what seems an insane pace – much to the displeasure of your customers who keep sending the food back. 

 

If you’re someone who has experience in the restaurant industry, that scenario probably seems pretty normal. You know what it’s like to work late shifts and have to jump in and cover for people who’ve called in that night. You’re familiar with the drama that exists in every food industry staff. You understand that a 200 seat anything is huge, and not for anyone who’s a rookie. You know what food cost is and you understand what a bar needs (lemons) to function properly.

 

The point here is you really need to know what you’re getting into before you make the life-altering decision to buy a business. The only way to really know what owing a business is going to be like is by working in that industry at some point in your life. Our accountant from the example above could have bought a small manufacturing business or a small accounting firm and done quite well. Instead they are immediately overwhelmed and quickly burned out.

 

Don’t do this to yourself. Talk to a business broker about the practical experience and education you have. You might be surprised by the business and industry options available that would compliment the things you’ve done in the past. Set yourself up for success, not burnout.

 

Are you rethinking buying a business you know nothing about and want to know what industries and businesses would fit with your experience? Did you buy a business cold and have a story to share? Contact us or leave any questions or comments, we would be happy to help.

 

 

 

Michael Monnot

941.518.7138
Mike@InfinityBusinessBrokers.com

 

 

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Thinking About Hurricanes: Buying A Business In Florida

 

Hurricanes. They’re an inevitability of living in Florida (or anywhere on the Gulf or East coast of the United States for that matter). If you’re in the market to buy a business, how much should hurricanes factor into your decision? It depends. 

 

If you’ve decided that Florida is where you’d like to end up then hurricanes will just be something that happens. Your house will contain hurricane supplies and you’ll watch the advisories from the National Hurricane Center whenever a storm approaches.

 

If you are considering businesses, then factoring in hurricanes will depend on where you’d like the business to be and how your business might be affected by prolonged power/utility/internet outages. For instance, if you are looking for a beach bar on a barrier island you’ll need to be sure you consider that a bad hurricane that makes landfall where you are might cause catastrophic damage to your business. If you would be more comfortable with a business located in a more inland zone, you’ll still need to see where your business location stands in terms of evacuation and flooding zones. You need to think about how you will keep your business functioning if you lose power, water and/or internet access for days or weeks on end. If you’re considering that same beach bar, what is your plan if the business loses power and you can’t run the refrigerators that hold your inventory? If you can’t run your point-of-sale system without the internet, will you just revert to paper accounting or will you have a hot spot on standby? The point here is although hurricanes are typically an infrequent problem – the damage they can cause is something you need to think about when you are choosing a business based on location (and you need to consider your game plan if a storm comes you way).

 

When a storm does approach, you should be ready – long before the weather gets ugly. If your business requires power to run refrigerated storage systems (for example) you should invest in an on-demand generator system long before your first hurricane season. It can be difficult, if not impossible, to gather and install hurricane protections for your business if you wait until everyone is panicking and the store shelves are empty. If you think you want to secure windows with shutters or wood, get those installed or ready to be quickly installed outside of hurricane season. You also need to prep your business early as you will need to give your employees time to storm prep their homes before the storm rolls in.

 

You should also ensure you have the proper business insurance should the worst happen. You will need insurance for wind and water/flood damage, as well as enough coverage to replace your equipment, inventory, etc. should you need to or want to rebuild. 

 

You should also be ready for the cascade of cancellations that typically happen when the forecast cone falls on your area, whether the storm ends up impacting you or not. You should also come up with a set of protocols – like when you’ll close up shop, how you’ll secure the business, what you’ll do post-storm and then go over that information with employees so everyone is on the same page at the start of every hurricane season.

 

Should hurricanes dissuade you from buying a business in Florida? No, not at all. Like earthquakes in California or tornadoes in the Midwest every area has it’s own unique natural disasters to consider and prepare for. Choosing a business in a hurricane prone area probably means that you’ve picked a business where there’s heavy tourist traffic (like the beach bar example) – so you need to weigh the potential for all the money you can make with the preparations necessary should a hurricane roll in. 

 

Are you thinking about buying a business and are worried about the potential for hurricane damage? Would you like to know more about what Florida businesses can do to prepare for storms? Please leave any questions or comments and we would be happy to help.

 

 

 

Michael Monnot

941.518.7138
Mike@InfinityBusinessBrokers.com

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Business Buyer: What’s In An Offer?

If you’ve found a business you really like, and you are ready for the next step, congratulations!

 

The next stage in the business transaction process is the initial offer, sometimes called a “purchase contract” or an “offer to purchase”.

 

 

Once a buyer makes an offer, the seller decides if they are willing to accept the offer. If they are, then the business transaction heads into a period called due diligence. Just like you can’t do an inspection on a house until you’ve had an accepted offer – in business sales an accepted offer will give a business buyer a chance to look over every aspect of the business and decide if they want to go ahead with the sale.

 

What goes into an offer?

 

This document will contain the terms, conditions, non-compete conditions, financing, inventory, transition details like training, warranties and any other aspects of the purchase.

 

Should I write my own offer?

 

In most cases, you will want to have a business broker put together an offer to purchase for you, although there are some standardized versions you may be able to use in the most simple of transactions. Business transactions are inherently complex, so having someone who writes these types of contracts all the time to help you will keep you from having issues (like if you unknowingly leave out what could be a crucial part of the contract) down the road. If you really want to write your own, just make sure you have your broker look it over before it gets handed over to the seller.

 

Is an offer set in stone?

 

Absolutely not! Your initial offer is contingent upon what you discover in due diligence. If what you uncover during this period makes you unwilling to go ahead with the purchase, you will have the opportunity to back out. If what you find during due diligence isn’t enough to kill the deal, but you discover, for instance, that the business is earning 15% less than was initially stated , you will be able to adjust your offer accordingly.

 

The moral of the story? An offer is an important part of the business transaction process, so use the experience of your business broker to guide you through this step.

 

Are you a buyer with your eye on a particular business but you aren’t sure what will need to go into the initial offer? Was your initial offer rejected by the seller and you need to know what to do next? Please leave us a comment or question and we would be happy to help you.

 

 

 

Michael Monnot

941.518.7138
Mike@InfinityBusinessBrokers.com

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Is It Too Ugly? Why You Need To Look Beyond The Mess

 

When you first start searching for a business to buy you might have an idea in your head of what that business will look like. In your mind the location is perfect, the windows are clean and everything is new and organized. When you are shopping for something like a house or a car this is often the case – as a clean home shows much more successfully than a dirty one. In the small business market, however, this expectation of perfection is going to be problematic.

 

Why?

 

Most small businesses are a mess because a small business is complex by nature. Sure, the parts that the customer sees are usually tidy – but walk into most back offices, kitchens, garages – and the reality will show itself. And the mess might not be just physical. As you start to peel back the layers on most small businesses problems will spill out. There might be interpersonal issues with the staff. The financial records might be an unorganized disaster. You get the idea.

 

Here’s the good news. If your first impression isn’t great it doesn’t mean it’s not a great business. It just means you need to dig a little deeper to see if the mess that’s in front of you is something manageable or something you aren’t going to want.

 

Here’s a few examples:

 

You walk in and it’s ugly.

 

The equipment is really old. The décor is really dated. The vehicles look worn out. When your first aesthetic impression of the physical parts of a business isn’t great, it doesn’t necessarily mean the business itself is bad or doesn’t make money. Instead of instantly deciding the business isn’t up to par – ask why the current owner keeps things the way they are. To you the outdated décor in a café isn’t appealing, but perhaps it’s the old school charm that keeps the loyal clientele coming back. The vehicles might look worn out, but upon further inquiry you discover that the vehicles always look like that because this construction business is rough on their equipment and the internal parts of the vehicles are very well maintained. You can’t let aesthetics alone sway your decision about a business.

 

You find out there’s a ton of employee drama.

 

If the business you’re considering requires employees then you’re likely going to encounter some sort of staffing issues (particularly when you first take over). If it seems like there’s an issue among the staff, ask the current owner why they haven’t dealt with it. Maybe what seems like drama is simply a culture that works as this staff has been working together successfully for a very long time. Maybe the employees who have issues with each other are able to keep it professional in front of customers and are really great at their jobs. In this case the issues don’t actually impact the business itself. Perhaps the current owner is a bit burned out and has become apathetic to employee issues that could be easily handled by you as a new owner laying some new ground rules.

 

You have to understand going in that a small businesses is going to be messy. Parts of it will likely be ugly. The mess and ugliness probably don’t tell you the full picture. Make sure you are delving a bit deeper to understand why things are the way they are – before deciding to walk away from what could be the perfect business for you. 

 

Are you starting the search process for businesses and want to know what you should look for during site visits? Do you have questions about the kinds of small business issues that are relatively easy to fix as a new owner? Ask us! Leave any questions or comments and we would be happy to help.

 

 

 

 

Michael Monnot

941.518.7138
Mike@InfinityBusinessBrokers.com

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Why “Any Business That Makes Money” Is A Bad Idea

Don’t set yourself up to hate your new business.

 

 

This one happens more than it should. A prospective buyer calls a business broker and asks for “any business that makes money” – a colossal mistake.

 

Here’s why:

 

Business ownership is tough. It usually requires long hours, a fair amount of grit, resilience and enough passion for what you’re doing to sustain you long term. Sure, entrepreneurs own businesses so they can make money, but the making money part can’t be the only thing keeping you in the game. You have to have a business you won’t hate that allows you to maintain a life you don’t hate or there’s no way this path will be sustainable. 

 

If you call a good broker and ask for any business that makes money they should immediately tell you you’re approaching the process from the wrong direction.

 

Here’s a better approach:

 

Why do you want to own your own business? Is it because you have a deep passion for something? Is it because you’re tired of working for someone else and want to be your own boss? Do you want your own business so you can be more in control of your schedule? Are you looking to incorporate members of your family into the business so you can work together? These broad, sweeping questions about your motivation for business ownership are very important. If you are buying a business because you want to have more control over your schedule (so you can spend more time with your kids) a large restaurant that requires you to work 7 days a week isn’t going to give you the flexibility to be the soccer coach for your kid’s team. A different type of business could. This initial soul-searching of sorts is critical for deciding what your most important goals for business ownership are and then focusing only on businesses that will fit those goals. 

 

Once you have some goals and priorities in place – what are you good at? What kinds of practical experience do you have that could help you with your new business? Going back to the restaurant example above – if you’ve never worked so much as a minute in the restaurant industry you are going to have an almost impossibly hard time owning and running a large restaurant. The learning curve for an entrepreneur is a steep one, and if you add learning a whole new industry to the mix you are setting yourself up to to fail in spectacular fashion. Tell your broker about your education and experience. When combined with your goals information about your experience can be used to find great businesses that will set you up for success. 

 

Have you always wanted to own your own business but aren’t sure what type would meet your goals and fit with your experience? Do you have questions about businesses currently on the market? Ask us! Leave any questions or comments here and we would be happy to help.

 

 

 

Michael Monnot

941.518.7138
Mike@InfinityBusinessBrokers.com

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Should I Buy A Franchise Location Or Build One?

Why a franchise? If you’re considering franchise ownership you already know the answer. A franchise is an established brand. The concept is already proven, there’s an established customer base, operating procedures are laid out and functional, etc. There are costs and drawbacks to franchise ownership that you wouldn’t incur if you have your own unique small business, but for some business owners those costs and drawbacks are outweighed by the benefits of becoming a franchisee.

 

 

If you think franchise ownership is the right path for you – your first major question will be should you buy or should you build?

 

Here are some things to consider: 

 

If you build out a new franchise location?

 

The first cost you will incur will likely be the franchise fee. Franchise companies charge this upfront fee as a way of recouping the costs of branding, training and the support they will provide. The average franchise fee is somewhere in the neighborhood of $30,000, but they can range from less than $10,000 to over $100,000. The franchise fee will depend on the size of the franchise you are buying into, and each individual franchise will have specific requirements to become part of the brand.

 

There will also be costs related to setting up a location. You will likely have to build out, furnish and equip a space while fulfilling franchise requirements. There will be costs associated with licensing and permitting. You may have to purchase a commercial property – or if you are going into a commercial space as a tenant, there will be costs associated with taking over the space, like rent and deposits. 

 

Any new business will also need to bring in initial inventory and purchase supplies. There may also be operational costs like advertising and payroll, so you will need to be certain that after all the initial expenses of your build out are covered, there is still enough capital left to cover you until you are able to turn a profit.

 

If you buy an existing franchise location?

 

Buying an existing franchise location can be a great option for those who are looking to own their own business but don’t want to risk the massive amount of capital it takes to start a new location (without knowing if that location will be successful).

 

You will still need to meet the qualifications required of the particular franchise you are looking to buy, and there will be fees associated with becoming a franchisee. These fees and requirements will vary, so ask you business broker for the range of fees associated with a specific franchise. The benefit of buying an existing location is you will remove the additional costs of a build-out, initial inventory and permitting fees. You will also remove a good deal of the risk associated with starting a new franchise in an unproven location, as an existing location has the numbers to prove it has been successful.

 

Which path is right for you? It depends on the amount of capital you have available and the level of risk you are willing to incur. Talk to your business broker about your options and they will be able to help guide you on the best path for you.

 

Does buying a franchise seem like the right path for you, but you have additional questions? Do you have more questions about franchisee requirements? Ask us! Leave a question or comment here and we will be happy to help.

 

 

 

Michael Monnot

941.518.7138
Mike@InfinityBusinessBrokers.com

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Don’t Download – Why You Need To Make Up Your Own Questions

You’ve found a business or two that you really like. You’ve filled out the NDAs and have the marketing packages in front of you. You’ve scheduled a conference call or a meeting with the sellers and the brokers, and your broker has asked you to come up with a list of questions.

 

So, what do you want to know?

 

 

It can be tempting in this situation to just Google “lists of questions for business buyers” and then bring that list of questions with you. Don’t do that. If you need to look up a list of questions to ask it’s likely that you haven’t done any research on your side.

 

Here’s what we mean:

 

Have you thoroughly read the marketing package you received once you signed the NDA? This one becomes blatantly obvious once you start asking boiler-plate questions that were clearly answered in the material you were already given. This tells the seller that you don’t really care about details and are willing to waste everyone’s time. If you were selling a business that was your blood, sweat and tears would you be willing to give the keys to someone who can’t be bothered? Probably not.

 

Have you researched the local market, the industry in general, the area where the business is located, etc.? If you are serious about buying a business you should want to know everything about not only the business but the industry and local area as well. Again it will show your lack of dedication to the process if you go into that first meeting and ask something a simple internet search could have told you or that you probably should already know if this is the business you’re hoping to buy.

 

Have you read the list of questions you’re going to ask? This one might sound crazy but it happens with frankly alarming regularity. People will either ask or send a list of questions to be answered that are from a completely different arena. Like a person looking at a small café who asks about the stock options available to investors. Once again this shows everyone involved that you probably don’t care.

 

See the recurring theme? Your meetings and calls with a seller are critically important opportunities to gather the information you need to make an informed decision about whether this business will be right for you. These interactions are also pivotal in terms of showing a seller that you’re a serious buyer and someone capable of taking over the business that they care about. Don’t waste your own time by not taking the opportunities to ask great questions.

 

Are you looking at businesses to buy and aren’t sure what types of questions you should ask? Do you want to know what kinds of information you would need for a particular industry? Ask an experienced and qualified business broker for help! You may also leave any questions or comments here and we would be happy to help.

 

 

 

Michael Monnot

941.518.7138
Mike@InfinityBusinessBrokers.com

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Michael Monnot

941.518.7138
Mike@InfinityBusinessBrokers.com

9040 Town Center Parkway
Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202




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