The Efficient Business Buyer – Less Meetings, More Questions


Buying a business might seem like a monumental task – there’s paperwork, red tape, negotiations, money – but there are better ways to go about successfully completing a transaction than others.


One of the best ways you can be a more efficient business buyer? Ask questions.


Of course I’m going to ask questions! What do you mean?


The process to buy a business starts with looking at general listings and pairing down the list of possible businesses provided by your broker to just a few. For those few businesses, you will be asked to sign a nondisclosure agreement for confidentiality purposes – and then you will be forwarded a marketing package that typically includes information about the business, the physical location, a financial overview, pictures, etc.


At this point many new buyers ask for a meeting with the seller or for a tour of the location, but if all you’ve done is glance at the marketing package – then a meeting or tour will probably end up a total waste of your time. When you are buying a business, you are buying cash flow – so the seller’s personality or the location decor really aren’t that important.




The only way to figure out if a business is really right for you is to dig deeper than just a cursory glance, and you need to do that deep digging right from the start so you can eliminate businesses that aren’t right for your goals – sooner rather than later. The more efficient path? Take a really close look at the information you’ve been provided and come up with a list of questions you’d like answered.


What kinds of questions should I be asking?


Every business is different, so your questions from one business may or may not be the ones you have for another. Here are some general questions to get you started:


What are the seller’s daily duties? What would a typical work day look like for me as the new owner?

How is the income derived? Is it owner-to-prove? What do the tax returns and P&L statements show as far as how much the business makes?

What types of licenses are required for this business? Would I qualify for those licenses?


The moral of the story is any question is a good question, for a couple of reasons. First and foremost it will help you weed out businesses that won’t fit with your goals and expectations. Second, your questions will help your business broker understand what is important to you so they can better refine the search for potential businesses.


Save yourself a ton of time and energy by carefully reviewing information and asking lots of great questions – before you sit down with sellers and go for a back-of-the-house tour.


Are you a new buyer who has additional questions about the process to find the right business? Would you like more pointers on the best types of questions to ask? Ask us! Leave comments or questions here and we will be happy to help.




Michael Monnot

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


Burned Out? Ready To Buy A Business? Avoid The Steep Learning Curve

You are completely burned out. You hate going to work everyday, and all you want to do is do something completely different. You are considering making the leap and buying your own business with the intention of buying a business that is the exact opposite of what you currently do. This could be a monumentally bad idea.



When you daydream about owning your own business, it oftentimes involves a business or industry that is completely different than the business for which you currently work. This “grass is always greener” thought process can be disastrous if you use those daydreams to inform your decision on what type of business to buy.


Business ownership is tough, especially if it will be your first time as a small business owner.


Your transition into entrepreneurship will come with a huge learning curve, so it is almost always a mistake to add learning a whole new industry to the already enormous task of learning how to run a business.


Staying within your industry or within an industry where you already have some practical experience will likely be pivotal to your success. You will be able to handle the day to day operations of your business because it is similar to something you have already done in a professional capacity.


Notice that we said “similar”. You don’t have to buy a business exactly like the job you left in order to reap the rewards of staying within your industry. Many industry skills from one specific type of business will easily translate to another. You can also go to industries where you previously, but not currently, have experience. The point here is a car salesman who has never spent a single minute working in the restaurant industry shouldn’t buy a huge bar.


The other reason to stay within your industry? Landlords. Many new to the small business world don’t realize that the vast majority of businesses exist in a space that is rented from someone else. Commercial landlords want tenants who will succeed, and have seen plenty of inexperienced business owners tank their businesses and stop paying their rent. Any landlord is going to want your resume to see if you know what you are doing before they lease you the space. Someone with zero experience in the business they are trying to buy will be hard pressed to find a willing commercial property owner.


If the thought of spending one more moment in your current industry makes you nauseous, have a conversation with an experienced and qualified business broker. You might be surprised to find multiple businesses that are different enough from what you currently do to make you happy – that will also allow you to use the skills and experience you already have. Don’t let burn out destroy your chances for successful business ownership.


Have you thought about buying your own business, but don’t know what type would work for you? Would you like to see what businesses in the current market meet with your business ownership goals? Ask us! Please feel free to leave questions or comments and we would be happy to help.




Michael Monnot

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

Learning To Love The NDA – Thoughts For Business Buyers

If you are a business buyer, you should absolutely love the business transaction process – especially the tenant of confidentiality and the need to sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs). Why? Let’s first talk about why some business buyers hate NDAs.



When you enter the market to buy a business, many new buyers assume the process will be very much like the process to buy a house. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Buying a business does NOT involve looking up businesses for sale and then driving around to look at them before you pick one to buy.


Why? When you buy a business you are buying an existing, operating business.


In order for that business to stay existing and operating the fact it is for sale needs to stay a closely guarded secret. Confidentiality is key.


A breach in confidentiality and the disclosure that a business is for sale can mean very bad things. People naturally assume a business that is for sale is a business that is on the brink of failure, although this is rarely true. When a business sale is disclosed the staff can quit en masse, vendors can cancel contracts, clients can go elsewhere – the list goes on.


These potentially catastrophic consequences mean anyone who is interested in buying a business must sign the NDA before the name and location of that particular business is disclosed. Some buyers hate this and refuse to sign the NDA or fight with brokers about providing their own information to receive the NDA.


The information you provide in order to sign the NDA for a particular business is both simple and straightforward. You must provide your full name, your home address, your phone number and your email. Why do we need this information? Why can’t you use your P.O. box or a business address instead of your home address? The NDA you are signing needs to be tied to one individual – you – so the same address you use on your driver’s licence must be used.


If you really feel uncomfortable providing this information, you should consider that your simple identifying information is paltry in comparison to what a business discloses to you once the NDA is signed. Not only will you now know the name and location of the business that is for sale, you will likely gain access to financial information as well.


You should also consider that the information you provide to get the NDA is the same information you would provide when signing up for a discount card at a grocery store. It’s really not a huge disclosure of personal information when you think about it.   


So why should you love the NDA? The business transaction process, including the NDA, ensures that the business you end up buying hasn’t had a catastrophic disclosure of confidentiality by you or any other prospective buyer before you get handed the keys. It means your new business will transfer to you intact and still operational.


Still need convincing that the NDA is a great thing for you as a buyer? Do you have additional questions about the business buying process? Ask us! Please feel free to leave questions or comments here and we would be happy to help.




Michael Monnot

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



Keep It Together – How A Business Buyer Can Help


Business transactions are complicated beasts, and as such they fall apart more readily than they stay together.


If you are looking at buying a business, you will need to do your part to keep your deal together if you ever hope to make the jump to business ownership.


How? By making sure you know what you want and what’s ahead of you.


Are you really, really sure that you want to buy a business? Small businesses are very rewarding ventures, but they are intense in terms of the time and effort that you will need to invest. Are you sure you want to make the move from a 9 to 5 job with two weeks of paid vacation to a life where the buck stops with you? Yes, small business owners decide what hours they work – but the hours necessary can be very long. 


Do you have realistic expectations? Buying a business is absolutely nothing like buying a house, and it takes a lot of time and patience. It also requires many, many moving parts and a good deal of negotiation. Talk to your business broker about what the process will be like so you know what to expect.


Have you done your homework? Do you have the background and experience to own the type of business you are considering? It is far easier to buy a business in an industry where you have some practical experience because you will already know something about how the business is run. If you are trying to enter a completely new industry, you might give yourself an incredibly steep learning curve the moment you take over as owner.


Are you being honest about the funds you have available? Some new buyers assume that they will be able to finance most of the price of a business, or they think they will be able to negotiate for a rock bottom price. Neither of these notions are true. You have to be realistic about what the money you have available will get you, and you need to be upfront when asked to prove your financial capacity. Trying to pretend you have more that you do will absolutely blow up in your face and cause your deal to fall apart.


Are you prepared to be very, very patient? Like we’ve said before, the process to buy a business requires a lot of patience. There are contracts to put together and negotiate, licenses and permits that need to be obtained, meetings, conference calls – the list can be seemingly endless. There are also a lot of people involved – busy people like the brokers, the seller, attorneys, CPAs. Requests for documentation or finalizing of agreements can take a lot of time, so you need to remain patient with everyone involved if you want the deal done.


Do you have questions about the business buying process? Would you like to know what industries would be right for you? Ask us! Leave 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


Recent Posts