Buying A Business? 3 Ways To Find A Great Broker

If you are considering buying a business, then you’ve probably started looking for a business broker to help you. If you haven’t, you should, as the business transaction process can be dauntingly complex and rarely makes it to a successful closing without some qualified help.


If you are broker shopping, you will quickly discover that there are a lot of options.


How do you choose the right professional to help you?


First, avoid any “part time” brokers. Many, many business professionals like real estate agents, attorneys, accountants – we’ve even come across doctors – “moonlight” as business brokers. Their attempts in our industry are on a part time “dabbling” basis, and as such they rarely know what they are doing. You wouldn’t come to a business broker if someone was threatening you with a lawsuit, so why would you use an attorney to navigate a business deal? Look for business brokers who are only that – full time brokers.


Secondly, you want to avoid business brokers who have “proprietary methods”. Some brokers use their so-called proprietary methods as a selling point, but from an industry standpoint there really isn’t anything about what a broker does that could ever really be proprietary. Any broker who gives you the “I am the only one with the special sauce” routine is trying too hard to impress you instead of focusing on what’s important – finding you the right business.


Third, you want to avoid business brokers who spend a small fortune on advertising. Brokers who are spending money on multiple television ads, massive full-color mailers and dozens of radio spots are again spending too much of their time focusing on the wrong aspect of their business.


What should you use to find a great broker? Referrals. If you find a business broker who gets the vast majority of their business from referrals, then you’ll be in good hands. Referrals come from past buyers, sellers, other industry professionals like attorneys and accountants – and these referrals amount to a great review of that broker’s previous work. Those past clients and professionals trust this broker enough to send the people they know their way. If you are talking to a broker, ask them how much of their business is referral based. A broker with a ton of referrals will be someone who can get the job done and find you a great business.


Would you like to know more about how to decide on a business broker? Would you like to know about our referral rate here at IBB? Ask us! Please feel free to leave any questions or comments here and we would be happy to help.




Michael Monnot

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




BEFORE You Get On The Plane – A Successful Business Buyer Trip


The rapid approach of another holiday season and the end of the year can cause a budding entrepreneur to rethink their current life and consider other options. New buyers come to the market curious about what life might be like as the owner of a business, and many who are visiting from northern climates experience the beautiful winter weather of Florida and seriously consider a move south.


There are amazing business ownership opportunities in the Sunshine State, and we would love to help you find the one that is right for you – but there is one very important element of the business buying process that buyers should know long before they set foot on a plane.


You absolutely, positively can’t call about a business one day and see it the next.


This one is frustrating for both business brokers and buyers alike. If you call us today and tell us you are only in town for another 24 hours and you want to see one of our businesses – the answer is no.


We would love to accommodate you, but it just isn’t possible, especially during this time of year.


In order to see a business, we would have to know that the business is right for you and that it is a business you could successfully afford. There is no sense in wasting your time looking at businesses you couldn’t or wouldn’t want to buy. Then you would have to sign the appropriate non-disclosure agreements. Then a showing would need to be coordinated between your schedule, the schedule of your broker, the schedule of the seller’s broker, the schedules of the sellers themselves and at a time when the business isn’t operating or when the employees will not be around (for confidentiality reasons).


This complicated mix of conversations, paperwork and meshing of schedules is going to be extremely tough during the holiday months in particular because many of the necessary parties are traveling or hosting family and won’t be available.  


It is possible, however, for all of the necessary background, non-disclosure agreements and schedule juggling to be done – with enough notice. Just realize that 24 hours or even a few days aren’t going to be enough.


If you are considering taking a trip south and looking at businesses, make contact with a broker and work on setting up these visits before you even buy your plane tickets.


We say this because we want your business search to be successful and we want you to find and see businesses that are right for you. The right business for you is going to depend on things we can’t know about you until we’ve had a chance to talk to you about your goals for business ownership and the amount of money you actually have available to buy a business. The right business for you will also be found by looking at many listings, reviewing financial statements and having conference calls with multiple sellers – all long before you set foot in an actual, physical business.


We also want you to be able to make the most out of your time here – so by researching and vetting the businesses that meet with your goals, by already talking to sellers via conference call – you can efficiently see the two or three businesses you are already serious about buying when you come for a visit.


Set yourself up for business buying success by starting your search before you buy your tickets to Florida!


Are you a buyer who has tried to see a business last-minute and would like to know more about why this isn’t possible? Are you curious about the business ownership opportunities available in Florida? Ask us! Leave any questions or comments here, and we would be happy to help you on your journey to business ownership.




Michael Monnot

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

Business Debt? Why You Should Consider Paying It Off

Debt happens, especially in the day to day operation of a small business.


You might owe money to your vendors, you might owe your landlord – small business debt comes in many forms. Here’s the thing:


While most of the time debt is a perfectly acceptable thing to have on the books – the perception of that debt by buyers might hurt your chances of selling.


Why? New business buyers will probably be freaked out by debt. They just will. They don’t yet understand how debt is used to run a business, and they will also be looking at businesses other than yours who have no debt at all.


While it may not be possible to completely eliminate your business debt, if you are considering selling sometime soon you might want to consider paying down as much of it as possible. It will add money back into your books – money you can leverage for a higher sale price.


Another reason to pay off the debt before you try to sell? A buyer might insist you pay off the debt with the proceeds of your sale, so leaving it on the books will only decrease the amount you walk away with.


The message here is while it may leave you a bit strapped on the cash front, paying off any business debt before you list on the market will make your business more appealing to buyers and will help you negotiate for more money at the closing table.


Having to live a bit cash-strapped may also help you tighten up your budget by streamlining your spending. It can motivate you to implement your ideas for growth that bring more cash in the door – all things that will make your business stand out from others on the market.


Are you considering selling your business but have more debt on your books than you’d like? Would you like to know how a deal that involves debt might be structured? Please feel free to leave any questions or comments here and we would be happy to help.   




Michael Monnot

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

Buying A Business? Focus On Cash Flow, Not Assets

What should you care about, assets or cash flow?


When you begin the search for a business to buy, your initial tendency might be to think about buying a business in the same way you would buy a house. Buying a home or buying property means you are exchanging money for something physical – a structure or a piece of land.


Many new business buyers apply this same logic to the purchase of a business, focusing on the assets or inventory of the businesses they find interesting.


If you are buying a house, the finishes and included appliances absolutely factor into the price, but using the perceived value of the comparable physical assets found in a business (like a kitchen hood or vehicles) to judge a listing price won’t work.



Why? When you buy a business, you are buying cash flow. You are buying an income stream that is generated through the use of the assets – but the truth is most small businesses don’t have many assets to speak of. Most of the time, the physical location of a business isn’t owned by the business owner – a commercial lease is in place. In some cases, the equipment that has been installed (like the hood system in a restaurant) belongs to the landlord as well.


We will use the restaurant example to further illustrate this point. When you buy a restaurant, the expectation is that all of the equipment is in working condition, like the grill in the kitchen. You are buying the cash flow that is generated by the use of the working grill. The grill is critical to generating that cash flow, but outside the confines of the business the grill has no value on its own to a business buyer.


There are a few instances where the physical assets, like a grill, will play into price. As we just mentioned, the expectation is that everything is in working condition. Excessive equipment, not enough equipment or equipment that isn’t in decent working order can decrease the amount you as a buyer offer on a business – as in each of these scenarios you will have to make changes in order to get the business in proper working order when you take over.


It is important to note, however, that not liking the aesthetics of the equipment doesn’t mean you can discount it. If you are looking at a house with granite counter tops and you only like quartz counter tops – this aesthetic difference doesn’t mean you can take $10,000 off of your offer. The same holds true in business transactions. If the business has the necessary working equipment, then it has the necessary equipment- ugly or not. Your offer and consideration of each business should be based on cash flow, not assets.


Do you have more questions about how to evaluate the listing price of a business? Would you like to know more about how to use cash flow and multiples? Ask us! Leave any comments or questions here and we would be happy to help!




Michael Monnot

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

Michael Monnot


5111-E Ocean Blvd
Siesta Key, FL 34242

Michael Monnot


9040 Town Center Parkway
Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202


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