Why A Blue-Collar Business Might Be For You



 

Business ownership daydreams are often of the Steve Jobs variety – dreaming up some fantastic new business idea, starting in your garage in your spare time and then ending up vacationing for three months a year on your yacht.

 

As fun as these daydreams are, they are extremely far from reality for all but a lucky few – and they derail many a prospective business owner from taking the plunge because business ownership and success at that level seem impossible to attain.

 

 

If you really do want to be an entrepreneur, there is a much more realistic and possible path. Buy a small, service-based (sometimes referred to as blue-collar) business.

 

While owning a maid service or auto mechanic garage may not sound as sexy as becoming the next tech billionaire, this type of service-related business can absolutely give you the financial and life-goal rewards you are looking for – often without a massive amount of risk. Here’s why:

 

Service businesses always have recurring customers.

Houses don’t stop getting dirty and cars always break, so owning a business that meets these type of everyday, every person needs means you never have to go far to get a new customer and with great customer service you will be able to keep the customers you have. This type of business is also easily scale-able. With a simple marketing campaign and a bit more staff you can make your business as large as you want it to be.

 

Service businesses can allow you to have a life, too.

If you choose something like an auto mechanic shop or maid service, no one is going to expect you to be open 24-7. You can choose to be on call for emergency situations, or you can staff accordingly to take emergency calls – but you don’t have to because the situations where you would be called to an “emergency” certainly wouldn’t be life or death. You can schedule your clients around your kid’s activities, your date nights with your spouse and your vacations.

 

It’s easy to keep a customer if customer service is your goal.

If you own a service business, that’s what you should be providing – a service. Keep you customers happy and they will likely be a customer for life, as well as recommend you to their friends and family. Focus on a great customer service experience and your business will reap the benefits.

 

Need employees? They won’t be hard to find.

Most service-based businesses only require on the job training, so entry-level employees will be easy to find (and easy to replace if they don’t work out). The flexibility of your business model also means you will be able to offer your employees flexibility so they can have a life too – which means you can find and keep great employees to help you grow your reputation and brand within the community.

 

Business ownership doesn’t need to be grand, and it doesn’t need to be complex. You can make a great living with a service-based, blue-collar business while maintaining that all important work-life balance. You can be a great boss and an important part of your community as well. If you’ve ever considered business ownership but didn’t think you had what it takes to be the next Steve Jobs – you don’t have to. Small business ownership can be serving the needs of your community today.

 

Have you always wanted to own your own business, but were too intimidated to start the process? Would you like to know what service-based businesses are available in your community right now? 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


You Aren’t Buying The Building – 3 Tips For Navigating Landlords and Property Managers



You’re all set to buy a business. You have the perfect business picked out. It meets all of your goals for business ownership, it’s within your budget for asking price and working capital, you’ve filed all of the appropriate licensing paperwork, finalized the negotiations over the purchase contract – you’re done, right?

 

Not quite. One major hurdle business buyers must overcome is one they don’t often consider. The lease and the landlord.

 

In almost every small business transaction, it is only the business itself that changes hands. Most small businesses exist within commercial rental property, and as such the business buying process includes the negotiation of a new lease.

 

 

Why can’t you just take over the current lease? If you rent an apartment, you sign a new lease whether or not the person who lived there before you stayed for the entire length of the lease they signed – with very rare exceptions the same goes for commercial leases. A landlord wants a new contract when they get a new tenant, so you need to be prepared for this sometimes difficult part of the business buying process.

 

Here’s three tips to keep you from hitting a leasing snag:

 

You will need to prove your experience and finances.

No landlord in their right mind is going to sign a multi-year, large financial contract with someone who has no possible hope of keeping the business afloat. You will need to put together a resume of some sort that shows you have the practical experience to succeed in your new business venture. You will also have to provide the landlord with proof of financial capacity as well. Landlords won’t give a lease to someone who is using every last cent to their name on the purchase price alone. They want to know you’ve set aside enough working capital to be able to pay your rent even if the business is’t turning a profit for you right out of the gate.

 

You aren’t going to get an amazing deal on rent.

If the current business owner is paying $5000 a month in rent, there is no way the landlord is going to lease the same space for the same business for $500 a month. You will likely pay the exact same rent, or even a bit more. The landlord has no financial incentive to cut you a huge break, because they can just refuse to lease to you and continue to get the current lease rate from the seller. Be prepared to pay what you need to pay. You will also need to come up with security deposits, perhaps first and last month’s rent, lease fees, etc.

 

Expect the landlord (and their property manager) to be exceedingly difficult.

It’s not fair, but it’s a fact of life in small business transactions. Many landlords and the property managers who sometimes represent them are almost impossible to work with. Looking at a business transaction from their side can be helpful. They have no financial incentive to gamble on a new person to take over a space in their property and pay them rent when they already have a perfectly capable tenant in place. Their perspective aside, the fact of the matter is most landlords and property mangers don’t understand the business transaction process, and often cause major issues in the final days before closing. If you are mentally prepared for this road block you will be able to stay calm. You should also keep your business broker in the middle. No good can come of an angry phone call to a landlord from a business buyer. Your broker has probably dealt with this landlord in particular, or someone just like them, dozens and dozens of times. Leave the lease negotiations in their capable hands and any issues will likely be resolved.

 

Dealing with landlords can be excruciating, and this is often compounded by the fact that the lease can only be negotiated after many of the other parts of the business buying process are complete. Stay calm, come prepared with a realistic mindset and proof that you will be a great tenant – then let your business broker do the rest. 

 

Are you considering buying a business and never considered the commercial lease? Are you thinking about buying a business in an industry where you don’t have any practical experience? Please leave any questions or comments on commercial leases here, and we will 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

 


Brick & Mortar To Digital Marketplace – 2 Ways To Make Your Business More Appealing To Buyers



Let’s face it. The traditional brick and mortar retail space is evolving into a digital marketplace – and if you own a brick and mortar retail store you might be feeling panicked about what the future means for your business and your chances of selling down the road.

 

Don’t freak out.

 

There are two very simple steps you can take to ensure that your business has a future in the digital age – and as a bonus these steps will also be a major selling point when buyers come looking.

 

 

#1 Create an online store

Any business website should incorporate some kind of digital shopping experience, no matter the industry. Even if you don’t want to go the order and ship route, you can at the very least have your goods and services (with prices) listed on your website so a customer can shop your store to see what’s available. In the age of Amazon and Etsy, no one wants to wander around town, visiting multiple stores in order to find something specific. They want to know if you have it and they want to know what it costs. A menu, images of products, a virtual tour of the sections of your store with the products they contain – any way for customers to peruse your offerings online will help bring them to your brick and mortar location. An online shopping platform will also be a major selling point to potential business buyers, as it shows your tenacity and drive to stay ahead of market trends – keeping your business growing and evolving as the market changes.

 

#2 Offer cashless options

When was the last time you saw cash? With the vast majority of the larger retail and service companies embracing digital payment options like ApplePay and tap & pay credit cards, those small businesses who hold the line and require very specific credit cards or only cash are going to have a serious problem down the road getting customers in their doors. A merchant services plan today will absolutely pay off down the road as it will capture those customers who might have passed your business by because you didn’t honor their cashless payment. You also want to make it clear on your store front, at your registers and online that you offer multiple cashless options. Merchant services are a major selling point to buyers for many of the same reasons as an online store – it shows you know that the market is changing and have changed your business practices accordingly.

 

Retail business may be changing, but it doesn’t mean that your retail business is dead or can’t sell. It just means that you need to embrace the future and update your business practices as the market moves.

 

Do you own a retail business and want to know more about how an online storefront and cashless options can draw potential buyers? Have you already implemented changes like these and have an experience to share with other business sellers? Please feel free to leave any questions or comments here.

 

 

 

Michael Monnot

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

www.InfinityBusinessBrokers.com


Franchisee, Serial Entrepreneur or Family Business Owner – What Type Of Business Buyer Will You Be?



 

Someone who wants to buy a business needs to consider many things, like what industry they want to be in and what they can realistically afford. What many prospective business buyers miss, however, is a more basic question.

 

What type of business owner do you want to be?

 

Why does this question matter? The answer fundamentally changes your approach to the business buying process, as well as narrows the focus of your search to just those businesses that meet with your ultimate goal. Let’s look at some of the basic categories of business owners:

 

Franchisee

If you are looking for a turn-key business where everything from operating procedures to marketing plans is already spelled out, a franchise is for you. Franchises do require that you follow the instruction of the franchise at large, so you will have less control over things like decor and products/services offered, but they do come with the added benefits of brand recognition, established business practices and an existing franchise will already be built out with a fully trained staff. Franchise businesses are good for someone who wants to be a business owner, but is willing to give up some of the decision making in return for having much of the planning work done by someone else.

 

Serial Entrepreneur

The serial entrepreneur is very similar to someone who likes to flip houses. You look for businesses that may not be in the best financial shape, but have potential for growth – and then build the business to a pre-determined level before selling and moving on to the next business opportunity. This type of entrepreneur is someone who gets bored or burned out quickly, but likes to work very hard and doesn’t mind a big challenge.

 

The Long-Term Family Business Owner

If you are looking to get into business ownership because you want to buy your dream business and potentially pass it on to your children, you would be a long-term business owner. You are looking for a business you will own until you retire or pass on the reins, so an established business that is already a fixture of the community might be right for you. This type of business buyer might also look for a business with potential for growth, but typically is looking for a less-risky investment.

 

Do any of these types of business owners resonate with you? Do you see how different the “right” business would be for each of these types of buyers? Have a conversation with a business broker about your goals for business ownership, and then the two of you can really narrow the field of potential businesses to those that would help you achieve those goals.

 

There are an infinite number of types of business buyers because everyone comes to entrepreneurship in order to fulfill their own unique goals. Establishing what type of business buyer you are will help immensely with narrowing your search focus to get your path to business ownership off to a great start.

 

Have you always wanted to buy a business but don’t know what type of business would be right for you? Does one of the types of business owners above sound like you and you want to know what businesses are currently available that would work for you? Ask us! Leave any questions or comments 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


Don’t Get Hung Up On The Comps – Why Your Business And It’s Listing Price Are Unique



It can be really tough to figure out what a business is worth.

 

Some sellers expect to get back every nickel they ever put into the business. Some want to base their listing price on industry multiples. Some business brokers will even tell you they have a “proprietary metric” that will tell you the best listing price. There are a litany of ways you can arrive at a number, but one of the most common is by using comps.

 

 

What is a comp? If you’ve ever bought or sold real estate then you’ve probably heard the term. It’s short for comparable, meaning you create a price based on what something similar recently sold for. Seems simple, right?

 

In the housing market, pricing based on comps makes a lot of sense. Houses that are similar and in similar neighborhoods are going to be worth roughly the same amount.

 

The same can not be said for businesses, however. Comps can be very useful when trying to determine a ball-park figure, but they break down once you get down to the details simply because businesses are inherently very complex.

 

Here’s an example to illustrate what we mean:

The seller of a large cafe wants to list his place for the same price a similar-sized high-end seafood restaurant down the street sold for. The problem comes when you look deeper. The cafe seller is making roughly what the seafood restaurant was, but he’s got a big chunk of unpaid tax debt to deal with, all of his kitchen equipment needs to be replaced and he’s the head chef so any buyer will have to factor in the salary of a replacement chef. Basing a listing price on the comps for square footage and gross sales wouldn’t work in this situation because the businesses are very different beyond those two very narrow metrics. 

 

Does this mean you should ignore comps when determining your listing price? No, absolutely not. They are a very useful tool when used realistically and in conjunction with the metrics that make the most sense for your business.

 

If you are curious about what businesses comparable to yours have recently sold for, talk to a business broker. They can tell you what the market looks like for businesses in your industry and can help you look at your business as a whole to determine the best listing price.

 

Are you considering selling your business and want more information about businesses like yours that have recently sold? Would you like to know more about the listing process? 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


Taming Your Type A: 3 Ways Business Sellers Can Help Their Deal



We get it. We’re business owners too.

 

As a business owner you need to be decisive. You need to be able to react quickly. You need to be driven, strong-willed and persistent. You need to be very Type A. 

 

 

While this strong personality has served you well in your role as a business owner, it can be a major hindrance when you switch gears and become a business seller.

 

Why? Here’s what a business seller needs to be: Patient. Thick-skinned. Willing to overlook personal offenses. Again, patient.

 

See the issue? Here’s another one: most business buyers are Type A too. We bet you can guess how well it goes sometimes when you get two very strong-willed entrepreneurs in a room and try to discuss very large sums of money. It can get ugly.

 

There are definitely times where a clash of personalities can kill a deal – but if you are serious about selling your business you can keep your deal on track by mentally preparing yourself for what’s ahead. Here’s some pointers:

 

Pretend to wear the buyer’s shoes

It can be difficult to see things from the other side of the table, but it is extremely important to the future of your deal that you do so. A buyer is about to write you a very big check, and they are naturally going to be very apprehensive and very suspicious. You are going to get low-ball offers because if you were in their shoes you would want the best deal possible too. They are going to pick your business apart and ask a million questions because anyone making this big of a financial decision should. Keeping their perspective in mind will help you understand why they do what they do.

 

Have unbelievably thick skin

Your business is your baby – your blood, sweat and tears. You’ve not only made a financial investment, you’ve invested your life and yourself to make it what it is today. To a buyer your business is nothing but cash flow, and this vastly different perspective means that you are going to get your feelings hurt when a buyer reduces your baby to nothing but numbers. Remember that the purpose of selling is to get a financial return on your monetary and personal investment so you can move on to another chapter in life. If you can keep your eye on what your goals are after the closing table (and have thick skin when it comes to offers and buyer questions) – you will be fine.

 

Remember that it’s not going to be your business anymore

The person who buys your business is absolutely going to change things. Probably a lot of things. Type A people are control freaks by nature, so dealing with potential changes once you hand over the keys can be excruciating for some sellers. Don’t let your control freak issues derail your deal by refusing to work with buyers who want to make changes. Again, the key is to keep your eye on the prize – the next chapter in life. 

 

We know it can be tough to let other people into the business you’ve worked so hard to build, let them poke around and pick it apart and then tell you right to your face that they’re going to change everything. Selling your business is tough, but so was owning it and building it into the success it is today. Your next venture in life is waiting for your undivided attention, so keep a cool head and you’ll get there.

 

Are you thinking about selling your business and are apprehensive about dealing with buyers? Would you like to know what businesses like yours have recently sold for? 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


A Business Is Not A Shirt – A Lesson In Business Buyer Preparedness



 

Yes, we know. Obviously, a business is not a shirt. Here’s the point we’re trying to make:

 

Some prospective business buyers approach the business buying process as if they were buying a shirt, a house or a car. This is an enormous mistake

 

They typically call us when they’re already in town, a trip that’s been planned for weeks or months. Did they have the foresight while planning this trip to think of talking to someone about looking at businesses? Nope. They just call to say they’re here. They want us to drop all of the clients we already have meetings and calls with that day to drive them around so they can look at the physical locations of all of the businesses that are currently on the market. They then expect that we can waltz into any business that seems to interest them, introduce ourselves to the staff and management – and ask why the business is for sale.

 

This is NOT how you go about buying a business.

 

You can’t treat a business like a shirt (or a house or a car) for a lot of reasons. An operating business is just that – operating. It has a staff, vendors and competition. It has customers on site.

 

There is a misleading perception that any business for sale is a business on the brink of failure. It is this perception that can cause catastrophic losses and serious ramifications if the for-sale status of a business is disclosed to the wrong people (think the staff, vendors, the general public and the competition). An entire staff can quit. Customers can cancel contracts. The list goes on. Confidentiality in business sales is key, so anyone who is serious about buying a business needs to play by the rules of confidentiality. Those rules take planning and they take time

 

How should you buy a business?

 

If you’re looking for businesses that aren’t in your current area, you should call and talk to a local business broker while you are buying your plane tickets or setting up your travel plans to visit your future relocation spot. Talk to the business broker about your goals for business ownership, the industries that you’re interested in and the areas where you have practical experience. You and the broker can spend a few weeks researching and searching – looking for the right business opportunities in your new area.

 

Once you have found a few businesses that interest you, you will be required to sign non-disclosure agreements before you are allowed to know the business name or location. The non-disclosures will also give you access to further information, things like P&L statements and past tax returns. You can use that information to narrow down your choices and then request a conference call with the sellers of the businesses that still interest you. By looking at the cursory financial information and talking to the other side you can decide if any of the businesses on your list will still fit with your goals. Those that do will be your final list, and these are the businesses worth seeing in person. 

 

Some buyers have a hard time with this concept – that they can’t tour physical locations in the first step. Here’s what you need to remember: an operating business has value because an operating business creates cash flow. You are buying this cash flow – not a physical space, so seeing it in person isn’t as important as it would be for something like a house.

 

The veil of confidentiality is also so crucially important, even for you as a buyer. You wouldn’t want a business that you are seriously considering to be destroyed by someone else’s careless disclosure of the for-sale status – so understand that the process is built to protect the business. You will need a bit of patience to see the process through to the end.

 

Don’t treat buying a business like buying a shirt. Remember that you are buying yourself a future life, and for such an enormous endeavor some pre-planning must take place – so call a business broker long before you get to town.

 

Are you thinking about buying a business and have more questions about the business buying process? Would you like to know what types of businesses are currently for sale in the areas you’re considering? Ask us! Please 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


Why You Don’t Need A Degree In Small Business Ownership



 

How much education do you need to own your own business?

 

 

Ask a college recruiter that question and you’ll likely end up with a MBA degree. Ask a successful business owner and they’ll tell you that nothing trumps practical experience and hard work. So who’s right?

 

The entrepreneur. Some of the most successful business owners out there, like Richard Branson of the Virgin Group, don’t have a formal education. They had a vision that they fought for and built into a success.

 

Our society places a high value on higher education – as it probably should – but this has another, perhaps unintended consequence of convincing everyone that without a degree you can’t be successful. That’s just not true, especially in the small business world. You definitely don’t need a degree to own a business.

 

Small business ownership does require a few things. Grit and determination. Passion. The ability to hustle and never give up. The insight to see failures as lessons that can be learned from.

 

None of these things require a college degree because entrepreneurship is a mindset – not a major.

 

Should business schools even exist? Sure, but attending and graduation from a business program is not a prerequisite for business ownership.

 

You know what else isn’t required to be an entrepreneur? Starting from scratch. You don’t need a garage and a brilliant idea, you just need a little capital and the desire to own your own business. There are always existing businesses on the market, from a litany of industries. Industries where you have practical experience that you can translate into business ownership success. Buying an existing business also removes a lot of the guesswork. You know that the idea, the location, the operating procedures, the products and services – they all work because the business is open and turning good numbers.

 

If you are apprehensive about buying or starting a business because you feel like you are unqualified – don’t. Talk to a business broker today about your goals for business ownership, about what industries might fit those goals and what businesses are currently on the market. You might be pleasantly surprised that your years of practical experience can turn you into a business owner today.

 

Have you always wanted to own your own business but don’t think you’re qualified? Would you like to know what industries would fit with your career goals? 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



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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