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.
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