3 Misconceptions About Business Ownership & Why 2018 Is Your Year To Make The Entrepreneurial Leap



2018 is your year.

 

It’s New Year’s resolution time again, and although you might be thinking that 2018 is the year when you will finally lose that weight, get organized or spend less time staring at your phone – we all know that our resolutions have a way of dissolving before February rolls around.

 

If you really want to change your life, here’s a different approach. Buy your own business.

 

Business ownership can be tough, but so is dragging yourself out of bed everyday to go to a job you hate. Entrepreneurship, despite all of the challenges, is very rewarding. All of your effort benefits you directly. You get to do something you actually want to do for a living. You can, more or less, make your own schedule. Your destiny is in your own hands.

 

If it’s so great, why doesn’t everyone own their own business? Many people are deterred from the entrepreneurial path by some pretty powerful and pretty false misconceptions.

 

Misconception #1: You need to be a multi-millionaire to own a business.

Small businesses come in all shapes and sizes, so while there are businesses that only a multi-millionaire could afford, there are also lots of small businesses on the other end of the spectrum that won’t cost you more than you have while having real potential for growth with the right leadership.

 

Misconception #2: Business owners never get a day off.

Ok, so this one isn’t completely untrue, but while as a business owner you are always technically on the clock – it’s your clock. Need to go take care of a relative for three weeks? Need a day off to chaperone your kid’s field trip? You can. Smart small business owners put the right people in place so their presence isn’t necessary 100% of the time. They also utilize the digital world so they can work remotely whenever necessary.

 

Misconception #3: You need to be a business ownership expert.

We hear this one a lot. “I don’t know anything about owning a business.” Sure you do. How many times have you muttered under your breath because your boss was making a terrible decision? How often do you look at the way a company is run and say to yourself “if I was in charge…”. The only difference between someone who works in a particular industry and a person who owns a business in that industry is one took the entrepreneurial leap. You can too.

 

There was a time when small businesses were the only kind of businesses. Every major corporation started small. The entrepreneurial plunge shouldn’t be feared – it should be embraced. Make 2018 the year you changed your life. Buy a business!

 

Have you always wanted to buy a business but you don’t know where to start? Would you like to know how the business buying process works? Ask us! Please leave any comments or questions 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


The Current Immigration News Round-Up



Immigration.

 

Immigration has become a buzz word in our new cycle lately, and as such it might feel like for every five seconds that passes the immigration policy of our nation changes six times. While this is obviously an exaggeration, immigration news has become an every-evolving story, and recently there have been some very big news events in the immigration world.

 

Chief among them? The third iteration of Trumps travel ban is now out, and this newest version has kept the six countries on the second version plus three more, Chad, Venezuela and North Korea. The inclusion of North Korea is not surprising considering our current tensions with that country, and Venezuela’s inclusion isn’t surprising when you note that this only includes Venezuelan government officials. Chad’s inclusion on the list, however, is leaving some scratching their heads. The United States has a good relationship with the country of Chad and their military has recently worked to fight terrorist groups hand in hand with United States. The administration has been rather quiet on their reasoning for the inclusion of Chad, only saying that the countries listed are those who do not meet the requirements for information sharing and vetting of citizens before they are granted Visas to enter the United States.

 

This travel ban, like the two before it, has been partially blocked by two courts in the United States – one in Hawaii and another in Maryland. How these newest legal challenges play out and whether or not this issue will again have a chance of coming before the Supreme Court remains to be seen, but the legal challenges are again based on the notion that the travel ban is a Muslim ban – something the administration denies.

 

In other immigration news, USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) has resumed premium processing for those H-1B Visa petitioners who got their 2018 applications in before the cap of 65,000 was met in April. Premium processing of physician’s applications under the Conrad 30 program were also resumed. Premium processing was abruptly halted in April as the administration sought to begin an overhaul of the H-1B Visa program, which like the travel bans brought about protest from industry leaders who need the H-1B Visa in order to thrive.

 

What does all of this immigration news mean to current business owners within the United States? The pool of potential buyers for your business may shrink as investor Visas and the H-1B continue to remain under attack. If you are a foreign national looking to come to the United States, you should keep an eye on immigration changes, but you should not let the constantly negative news feed discourage you from keeping the U.S. as an option for your business investment.  Every attempted change to immigration policy has been met with both legal challenges and swift, vocal disagreement from industry leaders.

 

It is important to remember amidst all of the immigration fury that our nation is a nation of immigrants. Our innovation and our success have been driven by immigrant ingenuity and the ingenuity of the children of those immigrants. Our strength comes from our heritage as a place friendly to those seeking the American dream. If we ignore that heritage we simply cannot continue to retain our national strength. Positive immigration reform is the only viable path forward.

 

Are you a foreign national who is considering a move to the United States, but have questions about what the current political climate means for you? Are you a business owner who would like more information on the pool of foreign national business buyers? Ask us! Please contact us today 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


Looking Good: A Record Breaking 2017 – BizBuySell’s Third Quarter 2017 Insight Report



The small business market is booming, record setting booming, with this year on pace to see the highest number of small businesses bought and sold in the last decade.

 

 

Closed transactions are up 24% from the same time last year and small businesses are performing well, which may be a contributing factor to the increased numbers of sales and the higher sales prices. Median revenue of sold businesses is up 11.2 percent from the third quarter of last year, and the number of active listings is up 6.7% over last year. This increase of options means better choices for buyers looking to enter the world of business ownership.

 

 

Not only are businesses selling for higher prices, they’re selling faster too. The median time to closing fell 14.6% from last year – an average of only 146 days. This might mean that the confidence of buyers in the small business market and the motivation of sellers to sell while the market is good are coming together over the negotiating table.

 

 

The hottest industry sector? Service. Restaurants, in particular, saw a 22.2% increase in median revenue for those businesses that sold in the third quarter. The number of service industry transactions was also up – 26% when compared to last year.

 

What could be driving these impressive market gains? The economy is doing well in general, so small businesses are seeing good numbers. This coupled with the possibility of fewer regulations and a decrease in taxes could be giving the market a push.

 

What does this mean for you? Sell while the selling is good. The factors contributing to this booming small business market – like the possibility of tax reforms and the raging economy – may falter and affect what you can get for your business if you wait to list. A boom is always followed by a bust, so get the biggest return on your business investment by riding the wave at the top – not the bottom.

 

Want to know what businesses like yours are currently selling for? Contact us today.

 

 

 

Michael Monnot

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

www.InfinityBusinessBrokers.com


Don’t Hate Investor Visas: How Misinformation Hurts The Small Business Community



Investor Visas have been in the news, and it isn’t pretty.

 

They’ve been described in numerous ways, the least flattering of which is as a way for the corrupt and evil to write a check and waltz across our borders. Nothing could be further from the truth. This aspect of our immigration system might soon be facing a major rewrite – one that could effectively end the path for foreign entrepreneurs looking to come to the United States.

 

I own a small business and none of my employees are immigrants. Why should I care?

 

If you are a small business owner who doesn’t feel like they have a dog in the immigration race, it might be tempting to just tune all of the noise out. It might also be tempting to believe all of the media hype concerning our Visa system and the apparent ease with which a foreign national with terrible intentions can just buy their way into the country. Sticking your head in the sand or taking at face value everything that streams across a news feed are both enormous mistakes when it comes to the future of your business and the future of the U.S. small business economy.

 

 

 

The truth about investor Visas? They are a continuation of our proud national heritage. With very few exceptions, everyone who is a United States citizen can look back into their own lineage and find an immigrant who came to this country and worked hard to build a better life for their family. They created the main street businesses that kept communities strong, drove the industrial revolution and brought the prosperity that made us into a world power. In more recent generations immigrant entrepreneurs have been innovators, creating the tech-based businesses we all know and use. Cutting off the ability for the next generation of foreign born entrepreneurs to come to the United States will kill the vital legacy that made us great in the first place. Eliminating foreign born entrepreneurs also removes from the pool a large number of future business buyers – buyers today’s business owners will need when the time comes to sell.  

 

What about immigrants who just buy their way into the country? How do we know they aren’t “bad actors”?

 

Investor Visas used by foreign entrepreneurs come with an enormous amount of vetting and red tape. There are applications that require an immigration attorney’s help, one-on-one interviews at American consulates, seemingly limitless disqualifiers that can end the process for a foreign investor before it even begins. In most cases you have to have a large amount of capital to invest and your status within the United States could remain in perpetual limbo as you must reapply for some investor Visas every few years. In some cases you also have to prove that you are creating specific numbers of jobs for U.S. citizens. This wouldn’t be an easy or sensible road for any “bad actors” to take, especially considering that a tourist/business visitor Visa (of which this country issued 1,106,723 in 2016) is so much easier to obtain.

 

Investor Visas are a good thing. They bring us the people we want and need – driven entrepreneurs and innovators. Small business owners who want the small business economy to continue to thrive should encourage, not resent, the investor Visa process.

 

Have questions about the process by which foreign-born entrepreneurs can buy a business in the United States? Want to know if your business would be open to this pool of buyers? Contact us today.

 

 

 

Michael Monnot

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

www.InfinityBusinessBrokers.com


Buying Or Selling A Business? Why Using Your Real Estate Agent Is A Huge Mistake



This one happens all the time. We get a call from a real estate agent who is inquiring about one of the businesses we have listed on behalf of a buyer, or is looking for potential buyers for a business one of their clients wants to list.

 

We tell them how we work. A real estate agent who refers a client to us will get a referral fee when the deal closes, all they have to do is get us the client’s contact info.

 

The agent refuses to divulge their client’s information, demanding instead that we work with them on the deal. We refuse, so the agent moves on to a different broker to see if they can talk someone into working with them. Their clients don’t get access to business information or potential buyers, and are likely unaware that any of this is going on.

 

Why won’t we work with real estate agents? Why do we require that they refer their clients instead?

 

It’s very simple. Real estate agents are very good at what they do – they sell property and homes. What they are not good at and likely know little to nothing about is selling businesses. You can liken the difference between a business broker and a real estate agent to the difference between a plastic surgeon and your general family physician. You would probably be very uncomfortable having your family doctor do reconstructive facial surgery – along the same lines a business broker specializes in the buying and selling of businesses. We would never try to help someone buy a house, it’s just not what we do.

 

What can happen if a real estate agent tries to help you buy or sell a business? Since they don’t know the ins and outs of the business transaction process, there is a good chance you will never see a closing table.

 

If you are a seller, a real estate agent will likely treat your business listing like a listing for a house. They will take pictures, gather some cursory financial information and then post this information on the MLS listing system. This is a complete disaster in the making. The most important part of selling an existing business is maintaining confidentiality. Without confidentiality, you stand to lose customers, employees, vendors and money. The only people who should know that your business is for sale are those who have signed the appropriate non-disclosure documents, not anyone with an internet connection who can search the MLS. A business broker knows how to confidentiality market your business, and they are also well-versed in negotiating leases, licensing and permitting concerns and will have relationships with other brokers and buyers who are currently in the market looking for a business like yours.

 

If you are a buyer, a real estate agent isn’t going to have access to any business listing information without talking a broker into letting them have it (which isn’t likely to happen). Many real estate agents also try to fill out the non-disclosure forms themselves, pretending to be the buyer, but all this does is garner mistrust with any sellers who feel they’ve been duped.

 

We understand your loyalty to your real estate agent – we have a great one who’s been responsible for not only our home purchases but also the sales and purchases for our family members. We wouldn’t use anyone else if we had to buy or sell a house. You shouldn’t feel like your real estate agent gets the short end of the deal if they refer you to a business broker – they get paid for handing over information and doing nothing more. They are doing you and your future business transaction a great service by putting you in more capable hands.

 

If you are looking to buy or sell a business, feel free to ask your real estate agent if they have a business broker they would recommend. Just be wary if your agent tries to talk you into letting them take the reins.

 

Have you tried to buy or sell a business using a real estate agent and have a story to share? Do you have more questions about the referral process? Please feel free to leave comments or questions here.

 

 

 

Michael Monnot

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

www.InfinityBusinessBrokers.com

 


Selling A Seasonal Business? How To Make Your Books Look Good



If you live in a seasonal area, then you understand the flow of money in your business community.

 

For instance, the many beach communities of southwest Florida are completely dead in the summer when the heat soars – but come October when the weather up north starts to turn cold – it feels like the population multiplies by a factor of five. Restaurants that had four tables total on a July Saturday night now have a two hour wait on a December Tuesday.

 

 

Businesses in seasonal communities understand the ebb and flow throughout the year – working incredibly hard during the peak months in order to survive the bleak off-season.

 

When the time comes to sell a business like this, it can be challenging to show a potential buyer who isn’t from a seasonal community how well your business is doing when it looks like you teeter on the brink of bankruptcy for half of the year. How do you communicate your seasonal books without scaring buyers away, especially buyers from an area very different from yours?

 

For starters, you need to have legible books they can look at. A huge box of crumpled receipts shoved under your desk is not going to communicate your seasonal business success. Putting your books in order will help immensely in showing your business in the best light possible. Decent financial records will also help you demonstrate that while your business does terribly in the off-season, the other half of the year more than makes up for the slow times. The ability to show this seasonal fluctuation year-over-year, and the ability to show the business continued to grow year-over-year amid those seasonal fluctuations will put a buyer’s mind at ease.

 

Another valuable tool for properly communicating seasonal fluctuations is an experienced business broker who knows seasonal businesses. They will be instrumental in getting buyers from a non-seasonal area to understand your business and the numbers you generate throughout the year.

 

The important message here is you can absolutely show the strength of your seasonal business, you just need good books and some experienced help.

 

Are you the owner of a seasonal business who needs help making their books look good to an out-of-town buyer? Do you want to know how to impress upon buyers the actual health of your business when they’re looking at it in the slow season? Ask us! 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


Business Sellers: Why You Can’t Sell Potential



Potential. It’s a powerful word.

 

It’s a word that gets thrown around in the arena of business sales – but what does it really mean?

 

Any business can have potential. Potential for growth. Like a small restaurant only open for lunch with a devoted local following who would love dinner hours as well. Potential for a new customer base. Like a pressure washing business that has never approached any large neighborhood communities with the hope of securing big accounts.

 

 

Here’s what potential isn’t. Potential isn’t worth a whole lot. You may love your business, and you may see the potential your business could have if you implemented some changes – but if you haven’t made those changes yet you can’t ask a buyer to pay a premium for something that MIGHT be. A buyer is only going to pay for what ALREADY IS.

 

Maybe you’ve been dragging your feet where marketing is concerned and haven’t been pushing for any new customers. You know you could land some new accounts, you just haven’t made the time. The only way to reap the benefits of that potential growth is to implement those changes yourself. An increase in customer base and rapidly growing cash flow are absolutely going to have value to a buyer. The potential for that future cash flow if you leave the work to the next owner? No value at all. No one is going to pay you a premium so they can do more work.

 

The message here is you can sell your business today, as is – or you can take the time to build the future of your business before you sell. Increasing numbers, increasing accounts, ramped-up marketing and new customers will make your business far more valuable in the eyes of a buyer than just the promise of potential down the road. Turn potential into cash by implementing those changes today.

 

Are you considering selling and are looking for some ideas on how to grow your business to get a better return? Does your business have potential but you don’t know how to turn that into action? 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


Buying A Business? Think Like An Entrepreneur



 

If you are ready to jump into business ownership you may have a type of business in mind, you may have the capital raised for the purchase and you may even have a business broker searching for the perfect opportunity – but what you may not have is the right business mindset to truly succeed as an entrepreneur.

 

Here are a few of the ways you can change your mindset to set yourself up for success:

 

1.  Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Business plans are great, but only if things go exactly as planned. In most small businesses, the way you thought things were going to go and the way they actually went are two completely different things.

Great entrepreneurs are good at adapting to their continually changing environment – and they don’t spend all of their time writing plans. It’s just better to do what needs to be done.

 

2.  Don’t Blow All Of Your Money

You might have what feels like a lot of capital the day you get the keys to your business, but it is really important to remember that it might take a while – think months – to get the business turning the kind of profit you will need to be in the black.

Don’t make a rookie mistake and try to change or renovate too much right out of the gate. Many first-time buyers walk into a functioning business and gut the place, spending a small fortune on aesthetics so the business can look the way they want it to right away.

The most successful business owners wait to make changes until they are sure what really needs to be changed. Spend a few months learning why the business runs the way it does and why the previous owner did things the way they did. Use their experience to your advantage and save your capital for what really needs to be done.

 

3.  Your Customers Are Everything

The most important rule in entrepreneurship is the customer comes first – always. Unless you are driving your clients around to appointments, then it really doesn’t matter what kind of car you drive. If you bought a bar, then it doesn’t matter what the furniture in your office looks like.

Only spend money on things customers see and touch, thereby investing all of your energy back into your business. The more you invest in your business, the more likely you are to get a return for your money and time.

This customer-first approach covers your goods and services too. If you have grandma’s meatball recipe on the menu, but customer feedback says they’re gross – then it doesn’t matter how much you like them. They have to go.

 

Are you thinking about buying a business but have questions about what business ownership would be like? Would you like to know how much capital you would need to buy a business? Please leave us a comment or question 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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