Want To Buy A Bar Or Restaurant? Maybe You Shouldn’t



“I’ve always wanted to own my own restaurant”

 

We hear this one a lot. You might have a passion for great food, you might love the bar scene – but these loves from the patron perspective rarely translate to success on the business ownership side unless some basic requirements are met.

 



What are these requirements?



Experience



There are very few people who have little to no restaurant industry experience that have succeeded as the owners of a food service establishment. More often than not, the restaurant industry rookies that manage to buy a bar or restaurant drive it right into the ground in a shockingly short amount of time (we say “manage to buy” here because many property managers will refuse to issue a commercial lease to restaurant newbies).



The food service industry is rough. It requires an enormous commitment of time and energy. It requires the personality to wrangle a staff of typically young and inexperienced servers and bartenders while simultaneously ensuring no one is giving away your food and booze or taking money out of the till.



Sounds like fun, right? Not so much. If the restaurant industry is your passion, and you’ve spent a good deal of your working life learning the ropes as an employee or manager in this industry – then restaurant ownership will probably bring you success. If you don’t have the passion or experience, you should seriously, seriously consider something else.



Enough Capital



If you have $100,000 to invest in a restaurant, then you shouldn’t be looking at restaurants in the $100,000 price range. Why? Writing a check for the full amount of money that you have just to take ownership of a restaurant or bar means you are setting yourself up for an almost immediate failure. Working capital is essential in any industry, and the restaurant industry is no exception.



You will need money available for the litany of licensing requirements necessary for establishments that serve any form of alcohol. You need capital available to cover payroll for the first few weeks after you take over. You need the money to pay your vendors for the inventory you need to keep your patrons fed and happy. You need enough money to keep the doors open long enough to start turning a profit with you at the helm.



Consider the need for working capital when deciding what you can and can’t afford in the restaurant-for-sale market long before you start writing any checks.



Willingness To Work 24/7



If you are someone who is very involved in the lives of your children and need to be home every evening to help coach their soccer team, then buying a bar is probably not for you. The restaurant industry requires long, weird hours (think about when most restaurants and bars are open – like nights and weekends), so if the life you want to have outside of business ownership does not jive with these hours you might need to consider another industry.  



It’s also not for you if you are the kind of person who likes to take a handful of long vacations every year. This industry deals with a lot of cash, and as such it is an industry where it is incredibly easy for employees to steal a little off the top. Successful restaurateurs are vigilant and omnipresent in their establishments to ward off these sticky finger issues.



If you have the drive to keep strange hours, the experience to get you through and enough capital to pay for the bar or restaurant you are interested in – then you have a great chance at success. If not, then there are plenty of other industries where you can meet your goals for business ownership without having to serve food or sling drinks. Talk to your business broker today about your goals and experience and they can help guide you to the right business.



Have you always dreamed of owning a restaurant, but don’t believe us when we say prior restaurant experience is a must? Have you had a disastrous restaurant or bar ownership experience that could help others that you’d like to share? Please feel free to leave comments or questions 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

 

 


Selling Your Business? How Eye Rolling And “Obvious Solutions” Can Kill Your Deal



 

It can be really, really annoying when you sit across from a business buyer who thinks they know everything.

 

They have the fresh-faced optimism of someone new to the world of entrepreneurship – an optimism you once had until the grinding reality of business ownership taught you what it’s really like. Owning a business is tough, and growing that business is even tougher. You’ve spent years trying and failing (and trying again) to get your business to where it is today – and now that business is under the scrutiny of someone who knows little to nothing about it.

 

Most buyers are going to look at your business and see things that they feel are obvious solutions – to growth, to staffing issues, to costs – but for you those “obvious solutions” are non-starters because you’ve already tried them or because the nuances of your business would make them impossible. 

 

Here’s the thing – buyers are probably going to ask you why you haven’t implemented their “obvious solutions“. It’s going to be very, very annoying when they do. Your job in that moment is to resist the urge to roll your eyes or groan. Don’t be short or snarky either. Blowing off a buyer’s thoughts on your business will almost certainly turn them off. It can also discourage a buyer from considering your business because your terrible reaction just told them there isn’t any room for growth. 

 

So I’m just supposed to sit there and listen, even if their idea is awful?

 

Yes. When buyers ask about why you haven’t done one thing or another, you need to respond in a positive way – like this:

 

Sure, we tried something similar to that, but we didn’t have much success because (fill in the blank). Maybe the timing wasn’t right or perhaps we could have implemented the idea differently. If you try a different approach maybe it will work for you?

 

See how much better that sounds? Your answers to questions about “obvious solutions” should contain the details of what you tried and why you felt it didn’t work at that time. You should also give buyers who ask this question examples of ideas you’ve had that you were unable to implement because of financial or time constraints that may not be an issue for a new owner. By handling their questions this way, you are showing them that as the owner of the business you were open to new ideas and had an eye on growth – even if those new ideas didn’t pan out the way you’d hoped they would.

 

The message here is you don’t want your grumpy, negative response to a buyer’s idea to tank your deal. Every business has room for growth, and sometimes it’s the craziest ideas that get the biggest bang for the buck. Keep your answers to questions positive – and don’t roll those eyes.

 

Are you getting ready to sell your business and are wondering what else buyers might ask you? Would you like to know more about how buyer meetings typically go? 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

 

 

 

 

 


Do You Really Want To Buy A Business? Prove It.



Why is everyone blowing me off?

 

If you’ve spent any time as a potential business buyer, you likely know what we’re talking about. No one will return your calls. Brokers seem apathetic at best. Sellers act like you are wasting their time. It’s like pulling teeth to get anyone to give you any information.

 

What gives?

 

It’s a numbers issue. The business-for-sale marketplace is full of buyers, but very few of them are serious. The stats show that a mere 10% of potential business buyers actually end up buying a business, so 9 times out of 10 a buyer really is wasting everyone’s time.

 

Ok, but I’m a serious buyer. How do I get everyone to take me seriously?

 

 

Be ready.

 

You need to be serious about buying a business before you start making phone calls. If you’re in the very preliminary stages – think several years before you plan on taking the entrepreneurial plunge, you need to make that clear when you talk to a broker. Explain that you are considering business ownership down the road, but would like their input on what types of businesses would fit your goals. If you are further along in the process and actually ready to buy – make that clear as well.

 

Know what you want.

 

You need to have clear goals for business ownership. What do you want out of owning a business? Do you want a more flexible schedule? Do you need more time with your kids? Are you looking to make as much money as possible and then sell the business in a few years? Your goals will guide what type of business is right for you, so you need to have those goals in place before you start asking for conference calls with sellers.

 

Be honest about your money.

 

Nothing is worse than getting close to a closing table, only to find out the buyer doesn’t have the money they said they did. You need to be 100% honest and upfront with your broker about the actual funds you actually have right now. You also need to listen to your broker when they tell you it’s a terrible idea to look at $100,000 businesses when you only have $100,000 to spend. You need to leave some working capital in your pocket so you don’t bankrupt your business immediately after buying it.

 

Make offers.

 

Once you know what you can afford and what your goals are, actively look for businesses. Once you’ve found one that fits – make an offer. The transaction process can’t begin until you do, and you can walk away from any business up until the moment the closing documents are signed – so making an offer doesn’t mean an absolute commitment to that particular business.

 

The message here is it can be tough to get the industry to take you seriously, and although it isn’t your fault that the numbers aren’t in your favor – there are things you can do to stand out from the crowd.

 

Have you always wanted to buy a business, but you aren’t sure where to start? Are you serious about buying but no one will give you the time of day? Please leave any questions or comments here, and we would be happy to help you on your journey to business ownership.  

 

 

 

Michael Monnot

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

www.InfinityBusinessBrokers.com

 


Buying A Business With A Partner? Why You Need A Break-Up Contract



 

Buying a business is a huge and sometimes overwhelming project, one that can oftentimes be better handled with a business partner to share the load. A good partnership means sharing the responsibilities, costs and schedule that buying and owning a business demands. Good business partners both bring their own unique and complementary skills to the table – allowing the partnership to help the business grow.

 

A good business partnership also has one all-important thing. A break-up contract.

 

What’s a break-up contract?

 

Similar in nature to a prenuptial agreement before a wedding, a “break-up” or partnership contract is an iron-clad and very detailed contract business partners sign that clearly states – in writing – the what and how if one of the partners decides to (or needs to) leave the business.

 

I’m buying a business with my best friend of 20 years, we don’t need a break-up contract.

 

Yes, you 100% do. Business partnerships fall apart every day, and sometimes it isn’t even because the relationship between the partners has soured. What if your best friend of 20 years gets divorced and his now ex-wife wants the business sold so she can have back the money they invested as a married couple when you first bought it? What if you have to leave to take care of a sick parent overseas and won’t be able to contribute to the business anymore? Having a predetermined plan in place makes the split easy at a time when life probably isn’t.

 

My business partner is going to think I don’t trust them if I ask to put together a contract like this.

 

First, if your business partner is making a judgement like this – they aren’t keeping their personal feelings out of what should be a purely business decision. Second, if you are worried that you might offend your partner – open the discussion by saying you both need to have a plan in place so the business can survive if something happens to one of you.

 

This seems like an unnecessary step.

 

Even if your business partnership ends amicably down the road, not having a contract in place can mean massive legal bills for both of you when it does happen. This is especially true if the split comes because of something like a divorce. You need to spend the small amount of effort and money now to protect both of you and the future of the business.

 

The message here is every business partnership will eventually end. That end can be a painful and expensive nightmare, or you can plan ahead and put together a business partnership contract that lays out what happens instead.

 

Are you thinking about buying a business with a partner, but hadn’t considered a “break-up” contract? Do you have questions about what a contract like this might look like? Please feel free to leave any 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 Your Business? Focus On How Buyers Buy



If you own a business, you know how to sell.

 

You’ve been getting your products and services to clients for years. You know how to focus on the customer experience to better understand what your customer base wants. When the time comes to sell, however, many business owners think they can get to a closing table by merely supplying a recent P&L and some old tax returns. Would you buy a business with nothing more than that? Probably not.

 

If you are selling your business, you need to do what you’ve done all along – focus on the customer experience, only now your customer is a buyer. You need to think about what motivates a buyer to choose one business over another.

 

 

Here’s how:

 

Get with the times.

 

Buyers are typically younger and more tech-savvy than their business seller counterparts, so your business needs to speak to buyers who are looking for technology as an answer to operational needs. Make sure your business has a well-designed and properly attended website and social media presence. Upgrade your POS systems. Use digital marketing avenues to generate new clientele. Using technology to upgrade your business tells buyers you’re focused on the future. 

 

Be organized.

 

You have to have your books in order. Buyers want to see proof of the numbers you’re claiming and they want that proof now. Legible financials will always beat out a box of crumpled receipts, so streamline and keep up with your paperwork. Streamlined books speak volumes about how you handle the business as whole – an organized business owner is much more appealing than a disorganized mess. 

 

Fix what needs it.

 

You know that freezer with the broken handle you’ve been putting up with for years? Fix it. Leaving even minor, but obvious, aesthetic issues shows a lack of attention to detail – and you’d better believe that there are other businesses like yours that run a tighter ship. A buyer will obviously choose a business in better physical shape than one that isn’t – so get fixing.

 

Don’t procrastinate.

 

We know it can be overwhelming when your business is on the market, but you can’t let requests from buyers languish – otherwise those buyers will move on. You need to stay on top of buyer requests, even if you feel like they don’t need what they’ve asked for. Procrastination tells them you aren’t that serious about selling, so they’ll move on.

 

Buyers have a litany of choices in today’s market, so the competition for business sellers is tough. You need to put a plan in place that will help your business stand out from the crowd. By focusing on the buyer experience your business will be more appealing to buyers in the market, so start making these changes today.

 

Have you thought about selling your business but hadn’t considered the buyer experince? Do you have more questions about how buyers choose between businesses? Ask us! 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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