Maybe it was the lockdowns of the pandemic. Maybe it’s just that you’re burned out. Whatever the reason, you’ve been daydreaming about moving somewhere else and buying a business. Guess what? There’s no better time than now to make the leap.
Want some tips on how to start? Here’s 3:
Do lots of research:
This one might sound obvious, but most people would be shocked at how little research most buyers do before taking a huge leap like this. Take a deep dive into the locations that interest you. If it’s somewhere you’ve only ever visited on vacation, research what it’s like to live there year-round. Is it a seasonal economy that you’ll need to account for when choosing the type of business to buy? Can you afford to buy or rent a home close enough to your business to make your commute make sense? If you have kids – what are the schools like and where do you need to live in order to get your kids into a school where they’ll be successful? What are the property taxes like? Are crazy weather events like hurricanes something you need to think about? The point here is you need to have a good handle on where you both want to and realistically can be long before you start a serious search for businesses to buy.
Find the right help:
If you’re serious about buying a business in a new area, a local business broker is going to be an immense help. They know the area, the local small business economy, the local licensing/permitting requirements, the major players in terms of commercial property managers – the list goes on and on. Having someone with local experience as your guide will make both finding the right business and navigating the buying process much easier than going it alone or using someone who doesn’t know the area.
Have the site visits planned way before you leave for your trip:
Seeing a business you are considering is an important step, but what many buyers don’t understand is this step never comes first. Businesses are bought and sold under the protection of confidentiality (see why here), so you can’t just fly into town and waltz into whatever business you please. The steps that are required before you set foot in a physical location go like this:
You talk to a local business broker about your goals for business ownership, the industries you’re interested in and the amount of capital you have to invest. They find you business listings that would match your goals and means. If any of those listings look promising you can request more information by signing a non-disclosure agreement for each business you’re still considering. After looking over the information a conference call with the sellers is next, so you can ask questions about the business and see if it’s still a good fit. If after your calls you’d like to see the physical location this can be arranged. It usually requires seeing the business before or after hours when no staff or customers are around and will need to be coordinated between the schedules of the seller, the buyer and the brokers involved. It should be obvious that this process can’t be completed once you’ve landed on your scouting trip and have called a local broker for the very first time. You need to plan your site visits when you are doing your initial trip planning – like before you’ve even bought your plane tickets. It is a colossal waste of your own time to fly in and see businesses you haven’t already vetted, so plan your trip with that in mind.
If you’re considering a big move – now is the time. Contact a local business broker and get the process moving!
Have you always wanted to move somewhere else and own your own business? Do you have more questions about the steps of the business buying process? Ask us! Leave any questions or comments and we would be happy to help!
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