What Can You Realistically Afford? Thoughts For Business Buyers

We all have big dreams. A bigger house. A nicer car. Lavish vacations. Your own private island. What keeps these wonderful flights of fancy in the realm of dreams is the fact that we just can’t (currently) make them happen.

 

 

Big dreams can become a big problem in the small business market. Why?

 

New buyers will often consider businesses that are completely out of their price range – like drastically so.

 

Why do many new business buyers have unrealistic expectations? It may be, in part, because of the way people buy homes.

 

When you go into a bank to get a mortgage, you might walk out with a pre-approval for $750,000. Does that mean you have $750,000 in the bank in cash? Nope. It just means the bank is willing to loan you that amount because they can take back your new house as collateral if you don’t pay them back.

 

Small business transactions don’t work that way. There are financing options if you don’t have a huge amount of cash available – but that financing is very different than what you see in the housing market. You might be able to get a loan from the Small Business Administration (SBA) or from the seller of the business via seller financing – but no matter where you get your loan you are going to have to put up a large down payment and prove that you have the capital to both get through the transaction process and sustain yourself as the new owner of the business.

 

What do we mean by that? The business buying process can be expensive. If you get a loan from the SBA, they are going to require an appraisal of the business – one you as the buyer have to pay for. There are application fees for SBA, as well as application and licensing costs associated with the licensing requirements for your new business. If your future business is in a commercial space, your new landlord is going to want first-last-security and to see your financials to assure them you can not only pay those initial costs, but be able to pay your rent going forward. You might need capital for payroll in the first few weeks or months. The list can be long and pricey.

 

This doesn’t mean you can’t fulfill your dream of buying your own business. It just means you need to be realistic with what you can afford. If you only have $50,000 to spend, you shouldn’t even look at a business that is $750,000. It can’t happen. What you can do is find an affordable business that you can grow. Smaller, more affordable businesses can be very successful – and have lots of room for that all-important growth.  

 

If you want to know what you can realistically afford, ask an experienced and qualified business broker. They can look at your current financial situation, your goals for business ownership and your previous experience – then assist you with finding the right business to buy. The right business will both meet your goals and keep you from extending yourself beyond what is currently financially possible.

 

Have you always wanted to buy a business but aren’t sure what you could afford? Would you like to know what types of businesses are currently on the market in your price range? Ask us! Leave any questions or comments and we would be happy to help.

 

 

 

Michael Monnot

941.518.7138
Mike@InfinityBusinessBrokers.com
5111 Ocean Boulevard, Suite E
Siesta Key, FL 34242

www.InfinityBusinessBrokers.com

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Get Ready For The Google: Why Buyers Need To Think About Their Online Reputation

You have the capital ready, you’ve found a business you like and you are ready to write the check. The seller finds out who you are and then suddenly the deal is dead. What happened?

 

They Googled you.

 

When you buy a small business, you are buying something that the former owner spent their blood, sweat and tears for. You are getting the employees they care about, the business reputation they built. Who you are as a person, what you bring to the table in terms of stability and the ability to cement the future of the business they care about matters. It matters more than you may have considered.

 

While you and a business seller don’t have to be best friends or even agree on most things that occur outside the realm of running the business, what your online reputation says about you absolutely has the potential to sink a deal.

 

Try this. Look yourself up. What’s out there with your name attached?

 

Most people don’t have the celebrity-esque issue of having negative news articles all over the internet. That isn’t the problem. What most people have is their social media life. Your Facebook page. Your YouTube channel. Your Twitter account. Your blog. While this realm of your social life was probably intended to be for personal use only, it will absolutely impact the way a business seller thinks about you. It might even make them decide they don’t want you to buy their business.

 

But my LinkedIn page is very professional. Isn’t that the one that matters?

 

Not really. While most people aren’t posting long political rants or inappropriate memes on their “professional” online profiles – many people do on “personal” sites. The problem? Those personal thoughts, jokes and comments can be just as easy to find as your carefully curated professional page.

 

What can you do about it? Google yourself long before a prospective business seller does. See what’s public and make it private. Find what, in retrospect, wouldn’t be considered appropriate for a professional reputation and delete it. Clean up your online presence – immediately.

 

You would do a similar purge of your online presence before applying for a new job, as it is common knowledge that employers absolutely look people up – and there are many, many stories of poorly thought out posts sinking employment opportunities. The same protocol should be in place when you buy a business because you are essentially buying yourself a job. Do the work ahead of time and curate your entire public online presence before it’s too late.

 

Have you considered your online reputation s a business buyer? Would you like to know more about what business sellers are looking for in a prospective buyer? Ask us! Leave any questions or comments and we would be happy to help.

 

 

 

Michael Monnot

941.518.7138
Mike@InfinityBusinessBrokers.com
5111 Ocean Boulevard, Suite E
Siesta Key, FL 34242

www.InfinityBusinessBrokers.com

 

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What Does The 10% Look Like? Thoughts For Business Buyers

As a business buyer, it is critically important that you stand out from the crowd. Why?

 

Up to 90% of prospective buyers who enter the business market never buy anything.

 

If you consider this statistic from the perspective of a seller or business broker it looks like this – 90% of the buyers who initially contact you will wind up a complete waste of your time.

 

If you are serious about buying a business, you need to make yourself stand out as a part of that all-important 10% of buyers. How do you do that? Think about who someone in that 10% is.

 

 

What does the 10% look like? Well, like everyone. A business buyer ins’t best described by demographic data – a business buyer is simply someone who buys a business.

 

While this statement might initially sound obvious, preconceived notions about what a business owner looks like can perhaps unconsciously hinder those who could truly be successful entrepreneurs from entering the marketplace. If you’ve always been unhappy with your professional life and have always felt like you could do better if you were the one in chargeyou probably could. Running your own business isn’t any harder than going to a job you absolutely hate. The difference is at your own business the buck stops with you. If you have the drive, grit and creativity to push your business into tomorrow you can be just as successful as the person who climbs the corporate ladder for someone else. The difference is when you get to the level of success you were looking to attain – as a business owner that success is yours.

 

Ok, so I hate my job and I want to be my own boss. How do I get myself into that 10%? It’s incredibly simple. Act like a serious buyer.

 

Serious buyers are willing to sign non-disclosure agreements without a fuss. They understand that they are receiving privileged and confidential information about someone’s business and they respect that confidentiality. Serious buyers take the information they receive and put together a fair offer that has justifiable terms. They don’t waste everyone’s time by throwing in a ridiculous low-ball. Serious buyers also know that the best way to find out what they need to know to make an informed decision is by asking great questions.

 

The message here? The world of small business ownership is diverse. Your actions are what make you an entrepreneur, so use those actions to make yourself stand out.

 

Are you a business buyer who would like to know more about the process of buying a business and standing out from the crowd? Please leave any questions or comments here and we would be happy to help.

 

 

 

Michael Monnot

941.518.7138
Mike@InfinityBusinessBrokers.com
5111 Ocean Boulevard, Suite E
Siesta Key, FL 34242

www.InfinityBusinessBrokers.com

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Buying A Business In The Post-Quarantine Economy

Can you still buy a business in the post-quarantine economy? Absolutely. The keys to success are adaptability and creativity.

 

Everyone can agree that the past few months have been difficult, unprecedented and just plain strange. If you were thinking about changing career paths before the quarantine hit, or if the time trapped in your house made you rethink your life choices – you might be wondering if now is the time to make the switch to entrepreneurship.

 

 

It certainly can be. While some segments of the economy are currently struggling, there are a few key industries that are booming. Think about what people are using/needing and you can come up with a whole host of ideas. Here’s a few:

 

grocery stores

liquor stores

health care and health care supply businesses

waste disposal

cleaning services

laundry

auto repair

delivery services

 

The list of newly named “essential businesses” is a long one. If you were thinking about making the switch to business ownership then a business in the “essential” sector is a good buy.

 

If you had your heart set on a different industry, you might still be able to make it work by adapting your business model and the business you purchase to fit with the times. For instance, if you’ve always wanted to own a restaurant you could perhaps find an existing restaurant to buy and change the model to a take out counter that also offers retail food options like fresh baked bread and other staples – making your business a one-stop shop.

 

The key to success in 2020 is adaptability and creativity. If you have that and are willing to put in the hard work – business ownership can be a very successful path.

 

What about all of the news about struggling small businesses? Yes, there are businesses out there who will not make it back. Many were faltering anyway, or didn’t have a business plan or model that could survive the shut down. The silver lining? Those struggling businesses might be a good buy for future entrepreneurs. Some businesses that have decided to remain closed permanently will likely be offered as asset sales, while those who don’t show the best numbers over the last few months might be purchased for a discounted price. Talk to your business broker about the pros and cons of snapping up a currently struggling business to see if the effort it would take to pull the business back from the brink aligns with your goals for business ownership.

 

Are you considering the jump to business ownership? Do you have more questions about what industries would be a great buy right now? Ask us! Leave any questions or comments and we would be happy to help.

 

 

 

Michael Monnot

941.518.7138
Mike@InfinityBusinessBrokers.com
5111 Ocean Boulevard, Suite E
Siesta Key, FL 34242

www.InfinityBusinessBrokers.com

 

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Is Now The Time To Buy? Making The Jump To Business Ownership In 2020

 

This year has been a strange one. The news changes minute by minute, and the pandemic still overshadows daily life. You’ve had a chance to reflect for the first time in a long time – and now you know entrepreneurship is your path.

 

Is this a good time to make the jump to business ownership? Absolutely, yes.

 

It may have seemed like the world ground to a screeching halt, but business has been happening all along. Essential businesses like manufacturing and delivery services have been booming. Small businesses with the creativity to pivot to fit the times have done well.

 

Many small businesses have had to scale back, but they are ready and able to scale up as soon as the situation allows.

 

What does this mean for you as a future entrepreneur? Now is a great time to consider buying a business.

 

Why buy? Starting from scratch, from the ground up – is tough when times are great. Right now a start-up would probably be even more difficult to get off the ground. People aren’t looking for new. They’re looking for a return to what they know and miss. An existing business gives them that.

 

Buying an existing business also gives you as a buyer some stability as well. You know the business model works because the business is currently running and generating cash flow. You know it’s a business that is well-run with an eye on growth and creativity because it survived the rise and fall of the economy. These proven features of an existing business just don’t exist with a start-up.

 

I want to be an entrepreneur, but I have my own concept that I think would work. Why would I buy something else? 

 

Your concept might be great, but you can’t know for sure if it works. If you’ve considered entrepreneurship, you should consider purchasing a business instead. You get handed the keys to something you know can and does work, you get training from the seller so you know what to do and you get an existing brand that people will be excited to come back to. If you really have your heart set on your own idea, perhaps the smarter move in these unprecedented times is to buy an existing business in an industry where you could make your concept a reality. Take some time to figure out how to implement your idea within a business model that is tested and successful, then roll it out carefully to see if it really works.

 

This year might be a strange one, but it can also be a year of positive change. If you’ve always dreamed of business ownership, now is a great time to get started. Talk to an experienced and qualified business broker about your goals for business ownership and they can help you search for the perfect business for you.

 

Have you always wanted to own your own business but don’t know where to start? Has 2020 made you rethink your life choices? Would you like to know more about the process to buy a business? Please leave any questions or comments here and we would be happy to help.

 

 

 

Michael Monnot

941.518.7138
Mike@InfinityBusinessBrokers.com
5111 Ocean Boulevard, Suite E
Siesta Key, FL 34242

www.InfinityBusinessBrokers.com

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Looking To Buy? An Essential Business Might Be For You

 

It’s something that we’ve discussed in these articles many times – the need to base the decision of what business would be right for you not on aesthetics, but on whether or not the business meets your goals for business ownership. Many of us have a picture in our head of what our ideal business would look like, but that doesn’t mean that type of business is going to be a good choice.  

 

Now that we are all living in the pandemic-led business climate – that picture in your head may need to shift.

 

Shift to what? An essential business.  

 

Our current reality has thrown a bright spotlight on those businesses that are essential for everyone – to eat, maintain basic hygiene, get adequate medical care, protect themselves, etc. What does this mean to you if you’re a business buyer? That perhaps a wise choice for business ownership is a business that everyone needs. Delivery services, food and beverage based retail, online shopping and the manufacturing of supplies are all good avenues right now.

 

The ability to pivot in times like these is often the difference between success and failure. Although you may have had your heart set on a particular type of business, reality might mean you need to shift your business choice based on achieving your business ownership goals – instead of chasing the picture you had in your head.

 

This doesn’t mean you can’t buy your dream business. It does mean you need to reevaluate why that business was your dream business in the first place.

 

Were you considering that type of business because it seemed like a fun lifestyle? The perceived lifestyle of a business owner is often drastically different from reality – so ask yourself what about that perceived lifestyle is so appealing? Is it the ability to set your own hours? Is it the ability to work from home? Is it the amount of money you will be able to make? Again, what are you hoping to get out of business ownership? The answer to that question might point you in a direction you hadn’t considered – and the smart buy would be an essential business in that direction that meets your goals.

 

What if the business I’m considering isn’t currently functioning as an essential business, but could be? As the new owner you can absolutely implement your own ideas that can both help your local community and keep your business in good shape.

 

Are you looking at buying a cafe? Perhaps you could implement a drive-up system for take-out or hire a temporary delivery driver. Are you looking at a retail store? Stock the items that people currently need and offer curb-side pickup and/or delivery as well. Are you considering a manufacturing business? What does the local economy currently need? Could you divert some of your resources to fulfill that current need? You get the idea.

 

As a soon-to-be small business owner you need to be thinking about how to keep your new venture in the black in these unprecedented times. Creativity and the willingness to pivot when a sudden shift is needed will likely mean the difference between success and failure in the new normal. The same attributes will also mean a possible reevaluation of your prospective business choices.

 

Are you considering buying a business but aren’t sure now is the right time? Does the current situation have you thinking an essential business might be right for you? Please feel free to contact us today. We would be happy to help you make the best decision for you. Leave us any questions or comments!

 

 

 

Michael Monnot

941.518.7138
Mike@InfinityBusinessBrokers.com
12995 South Cleveland Avenue, Suite 249
Fort Myers, FL 33907

www.InfinityBusinessBrokers.com

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Pandemic Making You Question Your Life Choices? Why Now Is The Time To Buy A Business

It’s an uncertain time. A global pandemic, the closure of everything from businesses to parks and a constant stream of terrifying information. While we all hunker down for the foreseeable future, it might seem like current circumstances should put your future dreams on hold. 

 

Guess what? If your dream is business ownership – you don’t have to wait.

 

This time away from normal life might be giving you a chance to rethink well, everything. Are you really happy on your current path? Is there something you’ve always wanted to do but life got in the way? Have you always envisioned life as the owner of your own business, waking up each morning to do something you love instead of just punching a clock?

 

Maybe now is the time to have a conversation with a business broker about what types of businesses would meet the goals you have for business ownership. Then, instead of endlessly scrolling on Instagram you could be searching for the perfect business – the one that would set you on the path to the life you’ve been dreaming of

 

 

Think it’s impossible to buy a business right now because of Covid-19? Its not

 

Why? 

 

First, the buying and selling of businesses is the job of business brokers. Business brokers don’t have their own licensing category in terms of professional regulations – so they are licensed as real estate brokers. The good news is in most states real estate is considered an essential service, meaning business brokerages are currently operating albeit remotely

 

Next, the vast majority of the business buying process can be done without breaking social distancing guidelines. Business searches can be completed via your laptop from your couch. Conference calls and video meetings are always available, and quite frankly something we already do with regularity. Documents can be shared securely online. Business site visits can be done via virtual tour. Our brokers can even arrange in person contact or on site visits if absolutely necessary, as we have implemented protocols whereby appropriate social distances are kept in place, no one shakes hands and all common surfaces (like door handles) are cleaned both before and after. 

 

Make use of this time away from the day-to-day grind to decide if you really want your old life back once all of this is over. Spend your free time searching for businesses, talking to the owners of businesses you like and getting yourself on the path to business ownership. 

 

Have you always wanted to own your own business and this pandemic is making you question your life choices? Do you want to know what types of businesses are in your price range and would meet your goals for business ownership? Ask us! Leave any questions or comments here and we would be happy to help.

 

 

 

Michael Monnot

941.518.7138
Mike@InfinityBusinessBrokers.com
12995 South Cleveland Avenue, Suite 249
Fort Myers, FL 33907

www.InfinityBusinessBrokers.com

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Buying A Business? How Much Of A Project Do You Want?

If you are in the market to buy a business – you probably already have a bit of an idea what you want. A dream industry, a long-sought location or a passion project turned entrepreneurial goal. 

 

 

Ok, great – you know what you want. That’s step number one. Now, the questions get a bit harder.

 

Once you enter the business search process, you will likely find a number of businesses that might be a good match. How do you decide which one is the right one?

 

Here’s where a big factor comes in, one you may not have considered.

 

How big of a project do you want? 

 

What do we mean by that? Like anything in an open market, businesses can run the gambit from wildly successful and exquisitely organized to lightly congealed and barely successful. Circumstances from even the far ends of the spectrum could end up a great buy for a particular buyer you just need to decide where you want to fall on that spectrum. A wildly successful and exquisitely organized business is going to probably cost a lot up front – but you won’t have as much of a project to contend with. Similarly, the opposite end of the spectrum will get you a business for a great price – but you might need to do a lot to get that business to a good place.

 

To decide where you fall on that spectrum, think about what your goals are for business ownership. If you have a bit more capital to invest and are looking for something stable – look for businesses that have great numbers, great reviews and many years of existence. If your goal is to make the most of your money and you like a challenge, then something nearer the barely successful end of the spectrum might be right for you. A bit of effort – some re-branding, a few staffing and protocol changes, perhaps some remodeling, a marketing plan, retooling of customer service – these are the things you may have to do to get a red-line business back in the black. An entrepreneur who wants a serial-entrepreneur lifestyle (one where you buy a faltering business, grow it to a certain metric and then sell for a profit before finding your next venture) would be well-suited for this lower end of the spectrum.

 

How can you decide how much of a project you want? Think about what will make you happy day-to-day.

 

Do you want to just go to work and keep it simple, or are you someone who would be bored with that and needs a challenge? Once you decide, talk to an experienced and qualified business broker. Discuss the amount of capital you are willing and able to invest, as well as your optimal project-level. They will be able to take this information and find businesses that will be a good fit.

 

Are you considering buying a business but hadn’t considered how much of a project you are willing to take on? Do you need help finding a business that will fit with your goals for business ownership? Ask us! Leave any questions or comments and we would be happy to help.

 

 

 

Michael Monnot

941.518.7138
Mike@InfinityBusinessBrokers.com
12995 South Cleveland Avenue, Suite 249
Fort Myers, FL 33907

www.InfinityBusinessBrokers.com

 

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Are You Being Ignored? 3 Ways A Business Buyer Can Stand Out From The Crowd

 

There are a lot of potential business buyers out there. So many, in fact, that around 90% of people who talk to brokers and sellers about purchasing a business never do. What does this litany of tire-kickers mean to the 10% of buyers who actually want to and will buy a business? It can be really difficult to get anyone to take you seriously. 

 

How do you pull away from the pack and let the other side know you’re for real?

 

Be Upfront

Business brokers get calls every day from prospective buyers, but what you as a buyer need to realize is the 90% have muddied the waters. Most business brokers aren’t going to give you the time of day if it appears to them like you aren’t serious – it isn’t worth their effort or energy. Your initial conversations with a broker will be a vetting of sorts, where you will be asked about the amount of capital you have available to invest in a business, your work experience and your goals for business ownership. If you are evasive or vague with your answers, it will immediately send up red flags for the broker. Someone who is serious about buying a business will be forthcoming with the amount of capital they have because it would be foolish not to. They will also be willing to talk about their experience and goals because that’s the only way a broker can really help someone get the right business. Why would you waste your time as a buyer looking at businesses you could never afford or are completely ill-prepared to own?

 

Don’t Drag Your Feet

One of the most important qualities an entrepreneur must have to be successful is the ability to be decisive. Eternal back-and-forth “I want this business, I don’t want this business” conversations will never get you any closer to your goals of business ownership. It will also do nothing but frustrate the sellers and brokers involved. Once you have the necessary information, make a decision and stick to it.

 

Be Realistic

There is no such thing as the perfect business, so constantly passing on businesses because they didn’t have perfectly organized records or because the decor didn’t suit your style means you aren’t really sure you want to buy a business. You are buying cash flow, not furnishings and paint colors, so you need to be looking at businesses from a big-picture perspective. You also need to make realistic offers. Coming in with an absurdly low offer tells the seller you have no interest in a real negotiation, and if the offer is bad enough you stand the chance that the seller will refuse to work with you at all.

 

The message here is if you are serious about buying a business, then you need to take the process seriously and show the brokers and sellers involved that you are ready and willing to put together a realistic deal. By showing your intentions through your actions, you will be able to differentiate yourself from the sea of buyers who will never make it to business ownership.

 

Are you looking at businesses to buy and it feels like no one is taking you seriously? Would you like to know how to put yourself in the 10% category? Please ask us! Leave any questions or comments and we would be happy to help. 

 

 

 

Michael Monnot

941.518.7138
Mike@InfinityBusinessBrokers.com
12995 South Cleveland Avenue, Suite 249
Fort Myers, FL 33907

www.InfinityBusinessBrokers.com

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The Paperwork Series: The Licensing For Business Buyers

Buying a business is no small task, and many first-time buyers are initially intimidated by the paperwork required to make a sale happen.

 

The good news is the paperwork, contracts and red tape required for buying a business are totally do-able.

 

You just need to stay on top of requirements, have patience and have the right help.

 

 

The last (and possibly the most aggravating) part of the paperwork you will come across in a business transaction has to do with the licensing involved when starting or running a business.

 

A very important note on licensing – you absolutely must have all your licensing in place before you take over as owner of the business. Any procrastination on your part will probably lead to major issues. Any procrastination on your business broker’s part could also be a problem. Any good business broker should be helping their buyers wade through the paperwork jungle. Some brokers leave their clients high and dry, postponing important licensing issues until the last minute. Your broker should be helping you get the information necessary to get the proper licenses and permits. If they aren’t, you might need to find better help.

 

Your licensing requirements will depend on where the business is located, what goods or services it provides and your role in the business itself. For example, a small pizza shop that does not serve alcohol will have to comply with licensing requirements from the Division of Hotels and Restaurants but not the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. If you are buying a contracting business, you may need to have the appropriate contractor license for your state. Each state, county and city will also require specific licensing requirements depending on what the business is and where it is located in relation to state, county and city boundaries.

 

Just like all of the other paperwork requirements we have discussed in previous articles – this is a great example of when a business broker is worth their weight in gold. As we already mentioned, any good broker should be helping you with licensing requirements or referring you to a licensing professional. They should also be advising you on when each part of the licensing process should be started and when it needs to be complete.

 

If you don’t want to pay the fees of a licensing professional, you should know that it is absolutely possible to do your own licensing – but it will take a good dose of patience and plenty of perseverance.

 

The best advice is to get all of the necessary licensing information from the seller (through your broker) and then go through each licensing requirement one at a time. You should print all applications regardless of whether or not you will be submitting them online as many government agencies have time-out procedures on their websites (so if you take too long to fill out your application online it will time-out and you will have to start over). Printing the applications allows you to fill everything out beforehand so you don’t have timing issues. You should also have everything in printed form and kept together because in many cases an application will require approval and signatures from multiple agencies – so it is best to take everything with you.

 

You should also understand that all government agencies are very large bureaucracies, and as such the red tape involved can be extensive and open to interpretation. What do we mean by “open to interpretation”? If you have a question on one part of a specific application, you might call one day to get an answer. The next day, when you speak to someone else in the same office, you might get a completely different answer. Although frustrating, this difference in opinion is totally normal. Just follow the instructions of the government agent you are currently dealing with, and try to deal with that one specific person every time (not always possible).

 

The best way to deal with licensing? Ask questions, lean on the experience of your business broker and stay on top of deadlines.

 

Do you have more questions about the licensing requirements in a business sale? Would you like to know more about what’s included? Ask us! Feel free to leave any questions or comments and we would be happy to help.

 

 

 

Michael Monnot

941.518.7138
Mike@InfinityBusinessBrokers.com
12995 South Cleveland Avenue, Suite 249
Fort Myers, FL 33907

www.InfinityBusinessBrokers.com

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Michael Monnot

941.518.7138
Mike@InfinityBusinessBrokers.com

5111-E Ocean Blvd
Siesta Key, FL 34242




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