Do They Vacation? A Business Buyer Must-Ask Question


Sure, there are the big and basic questions you should ask when looking at a business to buy – but there are also some more unusual (but very telling) questions that will help you figure out if this really is the right business for you.


What do we mean by “the right business for you”? Entrepreneurship is tough, and along with a decent amount of personal drive a successful entrepreneur has to love what they do. Nothing other than passion is going to help you when the hours get long and the money gets tight. For this reason, it is critically important that you decide what your ultimate goals are for business ownership before you start shopping around.


You should ask yourself what you want your life as a business owner to look like. Are you willing to work crazy hours for a big financial return, or are you leaning more towards something a bit more managerial but not completely life-encompassing? Do you thrive on being in control, or do you like to delegate?


The answers to these questions will be important for determining what kind of business and even what individual business would be best for you.


Once you have the answers to your soul-searching in hand, you may be wondering where on a tax return or P&L you can figure out if a business fits with your entrepreneurial desires. The answer is, you probably won’t be able to discern something like the level of owner involvement from just the numbers.


Perhaps, then, you should just ask sellers how many hours they work a week, or how many employees they have? These answers will help, but the three questions that will truly get at the life you will have as owner of the business are these:


When was the last time the seller went on vacation?

How long was the vacation?

Who was in charge and were there any issues while they were away?


These questions might not seem profound, but the answers can tell you as a buyer a whole lot about what the seller’s day-to-day life is like.


If the answer is “never” to the last time the seller took a vacation, then as owner of this business – it will clearly live and die with you. This type of business would be good for someone very driven and passionate who is looking for a good financial return.


If the sellers do take vacation, but they only go for a day or two at a time, then this is likely a business that needs a fair degree of owner oversight and may even be a business that can’t function without you at the helm. This is great for those of you who love control, but probably not a good choice for those who want to be fairly hands-off.


If the sellers regularly go on vacation for a week or two without complaints about major issues while they are gone, then this business likely has a trustworthy and capable management structure that allows the owners this type of freedom. The downside to a great management staff? You get what you pay for, so in many cases this type of business sends the ownership home with less, but the trade off for time off may interest you.


When trying to decide on the right business, first decide what you want your life to look like, then ask the three vacation questions. They will tell you volumes about your life as the future owner of the business.


Are you a buyer who wants to know more about how to decide what business would be right for you? Have you ever asked the vacation questions? Please leave us a comment or question here, we would love to hear from you.   




Michael Monnot



What’s Makes A Great Business Broker? Hiring The Right Help


If you are buying or selling a business, you will want a great broker by your side, as it will be instrumental in giving you the best chance for success.


How do you know if a broker is good? What should a great broker do? Here are a few of the things we do for our clients that mediocre or bad brokers just don’t do:


A great broker should answer the phone and return emails.

We know, this sounds crazy, but we get lots of clients simply because we were the first business brokers who actually answered the phone, returned their call or answered an email.


A great broker should talk to their clients.

Again, this might sound ludicrous, but we come across folks all the time (especially buyers) who have never had an actual conversation with their broker. Their communication has been limited to a few emails and non-disclosure agreements sent back and forth. We think it is critically important to talk to our clients. If we can talk to you and find out what you really have in mind, then we can save you time and target a search of businesses that fit with your goals. If you are selling, your broker should make themselves available to answer any questions that you have and should also know what your goals are. The only way a broker can really know this very pertinent information is to have a conversation with their clients.


A great broker should not be pushy.

Everyone has had the pushy-salesman experience, and it is never positive. Your broker is there to help you buy or sell your business, but all of the decisions in that process are yours alone. Your broker should never try to force you to make decisions that you are uncomfortable with. Many brokers behave like the quintessential bad used car salesman. They don’t get paid if the deal doesn’t close, so they force the deal at the expense of their clients. We think that’s just bad business. We get many of our new clients from referrals from past clients, and that wouldn’t happen if we didn’t keep our client’s best interest at the forefront of every transaction.


A great broker should follow through.

If a client needs information, needs documentation, wants to schedule a meeting or call – then a broker should follow through and make sure that those things are happening in a timely fashion. Business deals don’t close themselves, so a great broker needs to stay on top of what needs to be done, and needs to keep the deal moving.


If you are considering buying a business or if you are ready to sell the business you currently own, look for these qualities in the broker you work with. The difference between a great broker and a bad broker can mean success or failure for your transaction.


Would you like to know more about what we do for our clients that sets us apart from other brokers in the industry? Ask us! Please leave us a comment or question here, and we would be happy to assist you in any way we can.




Michael Monnot



Yearly, Not Monthly: Understanding The Fluctuations Of A Seasonal Business

Southwest Florida (and all of Florida for that matter) is a very seasonal place. Starting in October our population swells with retirees and vacationers from northern climates where the weather has just turned cold. This is great news for our local economy as businesses are packed, wait times at restaurants climb exponentially – so profits rise. It stays this way until the spring when the weather improves for the northern latitudes. Then local businesses feel the pinch of the approach of the off-season summer. The tourists and retirees are gone, so the year-round locals are all that’s left.



This seasonal rise and fall in business happens in many places, so if you are trying to buy or sell a business, you will need to understand what this seasonality means in terms of a business deal.



You will have to realize that the numbers during a peak month are not the numbers for every month, and likewise the months on the low end of the profit spectrum shouldn’t necessarily scare you away. Buyers who are coming to a seasonal area from an area without such fluctuation need to look at the numbers on a yearly basis instead of on a month-to-month basis. If every year the business is slow in July and August, but then rebounds and does well for the remainder of the year, then the business is probably in good shape.



Most sellers want to sell their business in the slow months, just after the busy season has ended – thereby taking the lion’s share of the yearly profits when they go. Although this is a smart move financially, most buyers won’t agree to take the wheel with a handful of bad months directly in their path. As a seller, you will need to be realistic about a closing date and be willing to negotiate with a buyer so that both parties end up happy. This is especially true if you will be offering seller financing, as you won’t get paid if the business folds in the first few months after the ownership transition. You will likely need to give up a few lucrative months so the new owner will have enough cash flow to keep the doors open.


The message here is you will need to consider the cycles of businesses in a seasonal area before misinterpreting numbers or trying to set closing dates that will benefit you alone. By allowing some room for negotiation both sides can end up with a fair deal.


Do you have a seasonal business that seems to scare away buyers when they look at the slow months? Are you looking at businesses in a seasonal area and want to know what is acceptable in terms of fluctuation? Please feel free to leave us a comment or question, and we would be happy to help.




Michael Monnot




Michael Monnot


5111-E Ocean Blvd
Siesta Key, FL 34242

Michael Monnot


9040 Town Center Parkway
Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202


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