Adversity And Buying A Business – Why You Need To Be Tough



 

Buying a business can be tough.

 

You have to sign non-disclosure agreements, go through pages and pages of documentation, have seemingly endless meetings and conference calls, deal with bureaucratic red tape for licensing and permitting, negotiate with sellers and landlords – all while making the massive decision of whether or not this business is for you.

 

The process might seem difficult, but it’s not impossible. Businesses are inherently complex, and business transactions involve a lot of moving parts and people.

 

What happens far more often than it should is a buyer gets fully immersed in the process, decides it’s too aggravating and throws in the towel – leaving a perfectly good business ownership opportunity behind.

 

If you are considering business ownership, you should consider this – if you can’t handle the stress and rigors of buying a business, you probably can’t handle the stress and rigors of owning one either.

 

Entrepreneurship is just as tough as the business buying process, and it’s not for everyone. If you are considering the leap into business ownership you need to take a moment and decide if it’s the right move for you. Owning your own business is incredibly rewarding, but those rewards come with a lot of work. If you are ready, willing and able to do that work then you can easily survive the business buying process by having on major thing – patience.

 

Here’s why. It will take some time for you and your broker to decide what types of businesses and what industry sectors will best suit your goals for business ownership and your practical experience. Once you know what you’re looking for you and your broker will have to search for businesses that will fit your budget too. Once you’ve found a few promising candidates, you will need to sign non-disclosure agreements and then wait for the seller and seller’s broker to get you some cursory information on the business. If you like what you see, you can make an offer on a business – but then you will have to wait for the seller to either counter your offer or accept it. If the offer is countered, it will probably take some time to arrive a price both sides can agree on. An accepted offer means due diligence can start, but only when the seller has provided all of the requested documentation. Getting all of the requested documentation also takes time, as a seller is not only trying to round up all of the paperwork you’ve requested, they’re also trying to run their business too. After due diligence, the final purchase contract will take some time to put together and a new commercial lease will need to be worked out with the landlord. You will also need to deal with obtaining or transferring all of the licenses and permits the business needs.

 

See a trend? Everything takes time, and as such everything takes patience. If you can stay patient and focus on the goal of buying a business, then the process will work like it should.

 

Are you looking for businesses to buy but feel like the process might be too overwhelming? Would you like to know more about what it takes to buy a business? Please feel free to 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


Veteran? Why Small Business Ownership Is For You



Veterans make great business owners.

 

Your military career trained you for leadership, taught you discipline and gave you the mental endurance to put in the hours it takes to get something done. Guess what? Those are the skills and qualities great entrepreneurs need.

 

 

I’ve never owned a business before. I wouldn’t know where to begin.

 

We’ve got good news – you don’t have to start from scratch. There are a myriad of small businesses for sale, and there’s a good chance that you will be able to find one that fits your goals and one in an industry where you have some practical experience. Buying a business means you don’t have to start from the ground up. You get a fully operating business, complete with employees, equipment, inventory, operating procedures, vendor contracts – you get the idea. You can walk in on day one and be the owner of a business instead of starting with nothing more than an empty space.

 

Am I qualified to own a business?

 

Yes, absolutely! Many of the training programs and careers within the military transfer very well as the experience and practical knowledge needed for many industry sectors in the small business community. The type of business and industry sector that will be right for you will depend a lot on what jobs you did both before and during your time in the service as well as what you hope to get out of business ownership. Love working on cars in your spare time and spent your military career as an aircraft mechanic? Maybe an auto shop is for you. Looking to spend as much time as possible with your family? A bar or restaurant that will need your attention 7 days a week probably isn’t the best choice. Talk to a business broker about your goals and your experience – you might be surprised by the businesses that would meet both.

 

 

I don’t have a lot of money, how much money does it take to buy a business?

 

It depends. There are very small businesses that won’t cost much and larger businesses that run in the millions. The good news is that as a veteran you have special access to programs from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) that can help you get the funding you need to buy a business (click here to learn more!). Talk to your business broker about what SBA programs you might qualify for and what businesses might qualify for SBA lending. If SBA financing is out of the question, many sellers will offer seller financing to the right buyer with a decent down payment.

 

Although it might seem like a daunting idea, small business ownership is very possible for veterans. Talk to a business broker today to explore your options and get you started on the path to entrepreneurship!

 

Are you a veteran and have questions about what SBA programs you would qualify for? Would you like to know what types of businesses would suit your goals and experience? Ask us! Please leave questions or comments here and we would be happy to help. Thank you for your service!

 

 

 

Michael Monnot

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

www.InfinityBusinessBrokers.com


Is It Worth It To Wait? Deciding The Best Time To Sell



Should I wait?

 

If you own your own business and have thought about selling in the near future, you are probably watching the markets fluctuate with apprehension – especially if you are a business owner who survived the downturn of 2008. Business is booming right now, and your business is probably doing better than it has in years – but business was booming in 2007 too.

 

It can be excruciatingly difficult to pull the trigger and sell your business when there’s no real way to know if you’re leaving a bunch of money on the table because you’ve sold too soon. The healthy state of the economy is driving up the sale prices of businesses every quarter, but we all know we’re closing in on the top of that upward trend.

 

What to do? Sell now while the selling is good. Business owners that didn’t go under after the 2008 slide had to take what they could get from the tiny pool of buyers who still had capital to buy a business. Many scrambled to find buyers in their industry when there were no buyers to be had. If you leave some money on the table because you sold six months or a year before the market reached it’s peak you can comfort yourself by knowing that you didn’t have to sell after the tide turned and prices slid.

 

Taxes and regulations for business and industry are likely going to change, but only the future knows how those changes will affect small businesses. The economy is booming, and has been for quite a while. Housing prices are at bubble-like levels again, and many investment groups have slowed their rate of investing. A downturn is in the tea leaves – so if your tentative plan is to sell in the next five years – sell now.

 

Are you a business owner who is on the fence about selling? Would you like to know what businesses like yours are currently selling for? 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


Buying A Business – How To Spot Less Obvious Signs Of Trouble



If you are looking at businesses to buy, then the first things you will encounter that will tell you about the business are the financial records – likely a P&L and/or tax returns.

 

While financial records can tell you a great deal about the stability and health of a business – there are some other less obvious ways to determine how a business is really doing.

 

Watch The Owner

 

Some owners mentally check out the moment they list their business, some mentally checked out long ago. Owners who are consistently late to meetings, consistently sluggish on answering questions or constantly procrastinating with requested information are probably that way in the day to day operations of their business. A business with an owner who habitually doesn’t stay on top of things probably isn’t in the best shape.

 

How does the owner treat you when you visit? If they are condescending or rude to a potential buyer – someone who may write them an enormous check in the near future, then they are probably even worse to their employees, vendors and customers.

 

Read Reviews

 

You might need to take these with a grain of salt, especially if it is a business with only a handful of reviews. The internet creates a veil of anonymity that some use to blast businesses for almost no slight at all. Some people just love to complain.

 

What reviews should you take seriously? If a business has 300 reviews and 80% are horrible, then there is definitely an issue. If there are only a few reviews that seem to be written by chronic complainers – but they all follow the same vein, like terrible customer service from wait staff, then that can give you a pretty good idea of what you’ll need to change the moment you get the keys.

 

Watch For A Mess

 

When you tour a business, you can find out very quickly if the current owner is someone who excels at attention to detail. A business that is filthy or has equipment in various stages of disrepair is probably lacking ownership attention in other non-physical areas of the business as well.

 

When you are in the market to buy a business, don’t just rely on the financial numbers when deciding whether to purchase or how much to offer. You can use other indicators, like owner behavior or the state of equipment, to determine if the business is right for the price and for the goals you are hoping to achieve.

 

If you are looking for a business that is more of a fixer-upper – then bad reviews, poor cleanliness and a disconnected owner might be good signs that you will be able to negotiate for a price that leaves you the capital you’ll need to turn it around. If you are looking for more of a turn-key business, then you’ll want to find the non-financial aspects of the business in good shape.

 

Do you have questions about other non-financial clues you should be watching for when considering businesses to buy? Do you have one that we didn’t mention that you’d like to share? Please leave your questions and comments here.

 

 

Michael Monnot

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

http://www.infinitybusinessbrokers.com


The 3 Big Things For Business Buyers



When you are considering buying a business and joining the entrepreneurial world, there will be many challenges along the way.

 

The process itself can be complicated and frustrating, but the key to success is patience. If you are ready to begin the buying process, here are a few things you will need to keep in mind:

 

 

#1: Don’t Freak Out

Buying a business is a daunting process, especially if it is something you have never been through before. When you are negotiating with business sellers and initially and getting ready to take the reins, what might start as a minor frustration can morph into a big problem. We see deals fall apart because a buyer was impatient with the process, and instead of working out each issue – they threw in the towel instead. In small business buying, patience is the key. So is working out small issues before they become big ones.

 

#2: Realize Nothing Will Ever Be Perfect

One of the major challenges we deal with is breaking the false assumption that somewhere out there is the perfect business. The perfect business is a myth, and chasing that myth will get you nowhere fast. All businesses have underlying issues, skeletons in the closet and the like. If you are looking at businesses with the goal of actually buying one, you will have to decide which issues you are willing to deal with and which ones are too much to bear.

 

#3: Don’t Try To Do It All By Yourself

If you are buying a business for the first time, or if you have already been through the process, you will have far better chance of success with finding and buying the right business if you enlist some professional help. Business brokers can help you figure out which industry and size of business will fit best with your goals, find you businesses that fit the bill, assist with getting cooperation from other brokers (a very tough thing to do on your own) and assist with all facets of the transaction from negotiations to licensing. Don’t go it alone.

 

There are very few situations that cannot be overcome in a business deal with a good dose of patience and a bit of negotiation. Stay calm, be realistic and let your broker lead the way.

 

Are you thinking about buying a business and have questions about the process? Have you been in the business market before and have a suggestion for first time business buyers? Please feel free to leave a comment or question here.

 

 

 

 

Michael Monnot

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

http://www.infinitybusinessbrokers.com


Your Kids, Your Family Business And The Future



Owning a small business is often a family affair, where children grow up working in the family business and sometimes take over the reins when mom and dad decide to retire.

 

 

While this idyllic business model might seem smart and straightforward, some aspects of your children’s role in your business can be detrimental to the financial return you get on that business if you ever decide to sell.

 

Here are three things to consider when you think about your kids and the future of your business:

 

Making Your Kids Work For Free

Having your children as staff members who only earn tips might save you on your payroll today, but it can dramatically affect the value of your business. Any potential payroll for any underpaid or unpaid staff will need to be adjusted and will affect the amount a buyer is willing to offer. This also goes for family business situations where family members earn way more than fair market value for the job they do. The solution? Pay family members a fair market wage for the work that they do today so you can keep future buyers from taking that amount off the top.

 

Only Trusting Your Kids To Do The Job Right

It can be difficult to find good employees, so some small business owners make their children responsible for almost everything. Leaning so heavily on your children can make your life easier today, but if your children have no intention of taking over the business when you retire their massive role in the business can cause major issues with a new owner.  If you sell, your kids probably won’t continue on as employees because their loyalty is to you, not to the business itself. This will leave a massive void in the business that a potential buyer will see as a massive issue. How can you solve this problem? Keeping your entire staff, or at least some key players, cross-trained in everything that makes the business run will help with the transition to a new owner.

 

Using Your Children As Your Only Retirement Plan

More often than they should, family businesses that get handed down to children falter or fail completely. Why? The drive and passion you have for your business is yours alone. As we said before, in many cases children are loyal to their parents, not to the business itself. If your kids don’t want your business but do want to continue the entrepreneurial legacy of your family, a good path can be to sell your business and then use that money to invest in a business that your kids are actually passionate about.

 

Do you own a family business where one (or all three) of these considerations might become an issue down the road? Do you have questions about how payroll adjustments are calculated in negotiations? Protect the future return on your business investment and contact us today.

 

 

 

Michael Monnot

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

http://www.infinitybusinessbrokers.com


Don’t Lock The Door – The Value Of Your Business



We see this way more often than we should.

 

A business owner, for any one of a myriad of reasons, decides that the time has come to step away from their role as the owner of their business. Perhaps they’ve decided it’s time to retire, maybe they were hoping to pass the business on to children who have decided to follow another path or perhaps they are in the midst of a personal/family emergency that will require too much of their time and energy to keep the business afloat. The solution they come up with when it comes to their business? Sell some physical assets, lock the doors and walk away.

 

 

This is a massive and very costly mistake, and here’s why – existing businesses are worth far more than just the value of the tangible assets because an existing business has cash flow. Cash flow has it’s own value and is a highly sought-after commodity, especially if your business is in a healthy market and has the potential for growth.

 

Ok, so cash flow has value – but who would want to buy my business?

 

Lots of people would. Budding entrepreneurs who want a safer bet than starting from scratch, veteran business owners who want a change of pace and are looking for businesses with room to grow, foreign investors who are looking to move to the United States by buying a business – just to name a few.

 

Think of it this way – someone who wants to own their own business has two options. They can make a very risky and very large monetary investment in an unproven location, with an unproven business model and unproven products and services – or they can buy a business who has already overcome those initial hurdles. A buyer knows your location, business model, products and services work because your doors are open and your books show growth. They get an operating business from day one instead of a risk-filled empty space, and you get a financial return on all you have invested in your business.

 

If you don’t really have a plan for your exit as the owner of your business, it might be a good idea to talk to a business broker about what options you may have, what kind of timetable you are considering and what businesses like yours have recently sold for. Asking questions now will give you the information you need to make the smart choice – the choice to sell your business when the time is right. Don’t walk away and leave so much on the table, contact us today.

 

 

 

Michael Monnot

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

http://www.infinitybusinessbrokers.com


Buying A Florida Business? Why Hurricanes Shouldn’t Freak You Out



 

If you’ve considered moving to Florida and buying a business, then the news cycle this hurricane season might have you considering somewhere more inland. And north. And away from the ocean.

 

Don’t let it.

 

Natural disasters happen everywhere – the up side to a hurricane (as opposed to a tornado or raging forest fire) is you get lots of time to prepare. Boarding up windows, sand bagging doors, moving expensive electronics and important papers out of harms way works to lessen the blow by these large, but infrequent, storms.

 

Let’s talk about that frequency for a minute. It might seem like hurricanes are a part of everyday Florida life, but the big and bad ones really don’t happen that often. Southwest Florida, where Irma caused havoc, hadn’t seen the impacts of a big storm since 2004 (Charley) – that’s 13 years without a major issue.

 

For a business, preparation is the key to success in a storm. Although some business owners will have a hard road ahead because of the damage they sustained, most businesses who planned ahead were able to open relatively quickly. Generators and full spare gas cans meant that some businesses were able to open their doors before the power came back on. New construction codes that were put in place in the last few decades as well as hurricane windows have also dramatically decreased the amount of damage a storm can do.

 

The point here is you shouldn’t let one gnarly hurricane season dissuade you from the chance to be a part of the booming Florida small business economy. In fact, if you’re considering a business in the construction, fencing, tree service or roofing industries – then our occasional bashing by a big storm means more job security for you.

 

Have you considered buying a business in Florida but are concerned about how hurricanes can affect 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

http://www.infinitybusinessbrokers.com


Stay On The Fence – Why Sellers Should Keep Politics Out Of Their Business



If you are considering selling your business, you need to do everything you can to make sure you are putting your business in the best light. Fix broken equipment, put your financial records in order, revamp your web presence, expand your marketing – it’s a long list. A first impression with potential buyers can make or break a deal, so here’s an addition to the list you may not have considered:

You need to keep your political opinions to yourself.

 

 

It can be very tempting in this highly charged and politically divisive climate to wear your political views on your sleeve, but if you own a business and are considering selling any time in the near future – you just can’t. 

 

Wait, don’t business leaders take a political stand all the time? Why can’t I?

 

Sure, some big companies take a political stance on issues they consider important (think Starbucks and hiring refugees, for example), but what these companies have that you don’t is an enormous customer base and media exposure enough to bring on new patrons who believe in their political ideology.

 

As a small business you can’t afford to potentially alienate half of your client base or to potentially offend half of the buyers who come in the door. Even if a buyer agrees with your political opinions, how does putting your opinions ahead of the best interest of the business look to someone who is about to write you a very big check? If you’ve been willing to drive off half of your revenue, what other risks have you taken that could potentially affect the next owner and their ability to remain profitable?

 

Keep personal political opinions to yourself and only share them with your non-business circle. If you share something political on social media, make sure it cannot be accessed by anyone who is a potential client or customer. Keep political statements off of your billboards, out of your ads and off your website. Lastly, don’t bring up your political affiliation or political beliefs in meetings with potential buyers. 

 

The welfare of your business should be your first priority, no matter how angry politics makes you. Put your neutral business-self in front and leave the politics at home.

 

Do you have questions about what buyers consider when they look at potential businesses to buy? 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

http://www.infinitybusinessbrokers.com



Michael Monnot

941.518.7138
Mike@InfinityBusinessBrokers.com

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

Michael Monnot

941.518.7138
Mike@InfinityBusinessBrokers.com

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




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