Keeping Your Cool: Advice For Business Sellers



We get it. Your business is your baby. Your blood, sweat and tears. When you are preparing to separate yourself from your business after a sale, it can be fairly difficult to remain objective. After all, this business has been your life for a long time. The level of emotions you encounter might surprise you. Add to that the need to work through a deal with a buyer who, in most cases, is a complete stranger.

 

Anyone who is selling their business hopes to find a buyer they like. Negotiating with someone whose personality meshes well with yours is far easier than with someone you generally dislike. 

 

 

The reality is you might not like the person buying your business. The good news is you don’t have to like them – you just have to get through the deal. The key is to remain calm, cool and collected.

 

It can take anywhere from 9 to 12 months (sometimes longer for niche businesses) to get your business from listing to closing. Even if you have a buyer it can take many months to get a deal all the way through. That time span can feel like an eternity if you’re working with someone you dislike.

 

Do your best to maintain your composure and maintain a level of professionalism in interactions with your buyer (whether you like them or not). This will make the transaction process far easier than if you let a clash of personalities devolve into a miserable time for everyone. Deals fall apart every day that didn’t have to because people let their feelings get hurt. Business transactions are just business – so reminding yourself of that regularly will help.

 

What if I totally hate the buyer?

 

You don’t have to sell someone your business, but their money is as good as anyone else’s. There’s also no way to know how long it will take you to find another buyer. Instead of walking away, do what you need to do to keep your distance from your buyer if it turns out that you’re not going to get along. Use your business broker for any and all communication between you.

 

Another thing to consider? In most business transactions there will be a  2-week training after closing. This training will be part of the purchase contract and ensures that the new buyer has the chance to learn everything they need to now in order to operate the business going forward. If you’re not a big fan of your buyer this 2 weeks can seem torturous – but you have to remember that at the end of the day the goal was to sell your business and get a financial return. If all that it’s going to take to reach your goal is 2 weeks – you can do it. 

 

Are you thinking about selling your business and are worried about finding a buyer you can work with? Do you have an experience with a buyer you’d like to share? Would you like to know more about the training period after closing? Leave any questions or comments, we would be happy to help.

 

 

 

 

Michael Monnot

941.518.7138
Mike@InfinityBusinessBrokers.com


Why “Any Business That Makes Money” Is A Bad Idea



Don’t set yourself up to hate your new business.

 

 

This one happens more than it should. A prospective buyer calls a business broker and asks for “any business that makes money” – a colossal mistake.

 

Here’s why:

 

Business ownership is tough. It usually requires long hours, a fair amount of grit, resilience and enough passion for what you’re doing to sustain you long term. Sure, entrepreneurs own businesses so they can make money, but the making money part can’t be the only thing keeping you in the game. You have to have a business you won’t hate that allows you to maintain a life you don’t hate or there’s no way this path will be sustainable. 

 

If you call a good broker and ask for any business that makes money they should immediately tell you you’re approaching the process from the wrong direction.

 

Here’s a better approach:

 

Why do you want to own your own business? Is it because you have a deep passion for something? Is it because you’re tired of working for someone else and want to be your own boss? Do you want your own business so you can be more in control of your schedule? Are you looking to incorporate members of your family into the business so you can work together? These broad, sweeping questions about your motivation for business ownership are very important. If you are buying a business because you want to have more control over your schedule (so you can spend more time with your kids) a large restaurant that requires you to work 7 days a week isn’t going to give you the flexibility to be the soccer coach for your kid’s team. A different type of business could. This initial soul-searching of sorts is critical for deciding what your most important goals for business ownership are and then focusing only on businesses that will fit those goals. 

 

Once you have some goals and priorities in place – what are you good at? What kinds of practical experience do you have that could help you with your new business? Going back to the restaurant example above – if you’ve never worked so much as a minute in the restaurant industry you are going to have an almost impossibly hard time owning and running a large restaurant. The learning curve for an entrepreneur is a steep one, and if you add learning a whole new industry to the mix you are setting yourself up to to fail in spectacular fashion. Tell your broker about your education and experience. When combined with your goals information about your experience can be used to find great businesses that will set you up for success. 

 

Have you always wanted to own your own business but aren’t sure what type would meet your goals and fit with your experience? Do you have questions about businesses currently on the market? Ask us! Leave any questions or comments here and we would be happy to help.

 

 

 

Michael Monnot

941.518.7138
Mike@InfinityBusinessBrokers.com


Should I Buy A Franchise Location Or Build One?



Why a franchise? If you’re considering franchise ownership you already know the answer. A franchise is an established brand. The concept is already proven, there’s an established customer base, operating procedures are laid out and functional, etc. There are costs and drawbacks to franchise ownership that you wouldn’t incur if you have your own unique small business, but for some business owners those costs and drawbacks are outweighed by the benefits of becoming a franchisee.

 

 

If you think franchise ownership is the right path for you – your first major question will be should you buy or should you build?

 

Here are some things to consider: 

 

If you build out a new franchise location?

 

The first cost you will incur will likely be the franchise fee. Franchise companies charge this upfront fee as a way of recouping the costs of branding, training and the support they will provide. The average franchise fee is somewhere in the neighborhood of $30,000, but they can range from less than $10,000 to over $100,000. The franchise fee will depend on the size of the franchise you are buying into, and each individual franchise will have specific requirements to become part of the brand.

 

There will also be costs related to setting up a location. You will likely have to build out, furnish and equip a space while fulfilling franchise requirements. There will be costs associated with licensing and permitting. You may have to purchase a commercial property – or if you are going into a commercial space as a tenant, there will be costs associated with taking over the space, like rent and deposits. 

 

Any new business will also need to bring in initial inventory and purchase supplies. There may also be operational costs like advertising and payroll, so you will need to be certain that after all the initial expenses of your build out are covered, there is still enough capital left to cover you until you are able to turn a profit.

 

If you buy an existing franchise location?

 

Buying an existing franchise location can be a great option for those who are looking to own their own business but don’t want to risk the massive amount of capital it takes to start a new location (without knowing if that location will be successful).

 

You will still need to meet the qualifications required of the particular franchise you are looking to buy, and there will be fees associated with becoming a franchisee. These fees and requirements will vary, so ask you business broker for the range of fees associated with a specific franchise. The benefit of buying an existing location is you will remove the additional costs of a build-out, initial inventory and permitting fees. You will also remove a good deal of the risk associated with starting a new franchise in an unproven location, as an existing location has the numbers to prove it has been successful.

 

Which path is right for you? It depends on the amount of capital you have available and the level of risk you are willing to incur. Talk to your business broker about your options and they will be able to help guide you on the best path for you.

 

Does buying a franchise seem like the right path for you, but you have additional questions? Do you have more questions about franchisee requirements? Ask us! Leave a question or comment here and we will be happy to help.

 

 

 

Michael Monnot

941.518.7138
Mike@InfinityBusinessBrokers.com


Don’t Download – Why You Need To Make Up Your Own Questions



You’ve found a business or two that you really like. You’ve filled out the NDAs and have the marketing packages in front of you. You’ve scheduled a conference call or a meeting with the sellers and the brokers, and your broker has asked you to come up with a list of questions.

 

So, what do you want to know?

 

 

It can be tempting in this situation to just Google “lists of questions for business buyers” and then bring that list of questions with you. Don’t do that. If you need to look up a list of questions to ask it’s likely that you haven’t done any research on your side.

 

Here’s what we mean:

 

Have you thoroughly read the marketing package you received once you signed the NDA? This one becomes blatantly obvious once you start asking boiler-plate questions that were clearly answered in the material you were already given. This tells the seller that you don’t really care about details and are willing to waste everyone’s time. If you were selling a business that was your blood, sweat and tears would you be willing to give the keys to someone who can’t be bothered? Probably not.

 

Have you researched the local market, the industry in general, the area where the business is located, etc.? If you are serious about buying a business you should want to know everything about not only the business but the industry and local area as well. Again it will show your lack of dedication to the process if you go into that first meeting and ask something a simple internet search could have told you or that you probably should already know if this is the business you’re hoping to buy.

 

Have you read the list of questions you’re going to ask? This one might sound crazy but it happens with frankly alarming regularity. People will either ask or send a list of questions to be answered that are from a completely different arena. Like a person looking at a small café who asks about the stock options available to investors. Once again this shows everyone involved that you probably don’t care.

 

See the recurring theme? Your meetings and calls with a seller are critically important opportunities to gather the information you need to make an informed decision about whether this business will be right for you. These interactions are also pivotal in terms of showing a seller that you’re a serious buyer and someone capable of taking over the business that they care about. Don’t waste your own time by not taking the opportunities to ask great questions.

 

Are you looking at businesses to buy and aren’t sure what types of questions you should ask? Do you want to know what kinds of information you would need for a particular industry? Ask an experienced and qualified business broker for help! You may also leave any questions or comments here and we would be happy to help.

 

 

 

Michael Monnot

941.518.7138
Mike@InfinityBusinessBrokers.com



Michael Monnot

941.518.7138
Mike@InfinityBusinessBrokers.com

5111-E Ocean Blvd
Siesta Key, FL 34242

Michael Monnot

941.518.7138
Mike@InfinityBusinessBrokers.com

9040 Town Center Parkway
Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202




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