The Garage Start Up? Why Buying A Business Is Better

 

When you think about famous entrepreneurs, it often brings thoughts of a person who came up with an inspired idea and built a successful and thriving business from the ground up – with the romantic twist of doing so out of a garage with little to no seed money. While this may be the path for a few very driven and lucky individuals, the path for most entrepreneurs begins quite differently, with the purchase of an existing business.

 

Wait, what? Buy an already existing business? Why would I do that instead of starting my own business?

 

Typically, buying a business is a safer bet than building one from scratch. You get to take over as owner of an already built-out and proven location with trained employees and a ready-to-go set of operating procedures. This can be a great way to get into business ownership because it skips all of the disadvantages a start-up will encounter – like establishing a customer base, building cash flow, paying for build-outs, establishing marketing practices, training a brand-new staff, obtaining initial permits and licenses – to name just a few.

 

It is not, however, a fool-proof way to enter the world of business ownership. You need to choose a business that is profitable, or one that has easily-remedied issues that will make it profitable quickly. You need to choose a business that will fit with your goals for business ownership and one where you have some practical knowledge or experience. You also need to choose a business that has room for growth.

 

I have a lot of questions, who should I ask?

 

The smartest step any budding entrepreneur can make is to hire an experienced and qualified business broker. A broker will be a great asset, as they can help you find businesses that are right for you.

 

In your initial conversation with your broker you should talk about your previous work experience. You don’t want to have to learn a whole new industry at the same time you are learning how to operate a business.  You should also talk about your goals for business ownership. Your goals will determine what industries would be best for you. For instance, buying a bar with the goal of having evenings off isn’t going to work. Be a bit opened minded about the businesses that are available – you might be surprised to find a business that perfectly fits your goals in an industry you would never have thought of on your own.

 

The message here is entrepreneurship isn’t an impossible goal, and you don’t have to come up with a genius idea in your garage to get there. There are a myriad of businesses available everyday, and with help from a good business broker you can find the right one for you.

 

Have you always wanted to own your own business, but were unsure of where to start? Do you have questions about what a business broker does? Ask us! Leave any questions or comments here, 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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If It Ain’t Broke – Important Advice For Business Buyers

 

The old adage you have to spend money to make money is absolutely true. Business owners have to invest in things like marketing and improvements in order to keep a business thriving and growing.

 

There is a far more important adage, however, that a new business owner needs to abide by.

 

That adage? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

 

What do we mean by that?

 

When you envisioned your life as a business owner, you likely saw your business as something uniquely your own. Your own designs, ideas, concepts.

 

If you’ve decided to take the entrepreneurial plunge by buying an existing business, you have made a very smart choice because you don’t have to start from the ground up – you get a fully operational business with a proven location on day one. This removes the issues a start-up business would bring – like finding a location, build-outs, buying equipment and furnishings, getting permits, hiring a staff, creating operating procedures, painting, designing a sign – the list is enormous.

 

Getting your hands on an existing business means that while all of that initial work is finished, all of those initial decisions have been made by someone else – the previous owner. This can cause a business buyer to have issues with the aesthetic and/or operational aspects of their new business because it doesn’t exactly match the business they envisioned.

 

As a new business owner, you need to consider this part of buying a business. There will be some things that you don’t like about your new business and some things that you personally would have done differently.

 

Maybe you hate the paint colors. Maybe you think the ordering system is wildly archaic. Maybe you think the layout needs to be completely changed.

 

If you are having these thoughts about your new business – STOP. You bought an existing, operating business that generates cash flow. Every business is inherently complicated, so it would be very difficult – if not impossible – to ascertain what parts of the business work and what parts you can change on day one.

 

You might hate the paint colors, but maybe the rustic charm of the decor is what keeps the regulars coming back. You might not like the ordering system, but it is based on the vendors your business needs to survive. You might hate the layout, but it is the layout that creates the efficiency that keeps the business alive.

 

New business owners who are hung up on their own vision of what their business should be walk in on day one and immediately embark on a very expensive major renovation, rewrite the operating procedures and change all of the vendors and staff without taking the time to figure out why the business is successful. This always, always ends in complete disaster.

 

We aren’t saying you can’t change things. What we are saying is patience is the name of the game. Give yourself a few months to decide what works and what doesn’t, why the previous owner did things the way they did. Once you really understand the business as a whole, you can make small changes to slowly guide the business toward your vision.

 

Don’t fix what isn’t broken!

 

Are you thinking about buying a business, but haven’t seen anything that matches the vision you have for business ownership? Would you like to know more about how buying a business can be a better choice than starting from scratch? Please leave us any comments or questions 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 Reality Of A Dream – What Business Would Be Right For You?

Can your dream business actually make you happy?

 

Daydreams are fun, but daydreams about business ownership can turn into a nightmare when first-time business buyers try to force an unrealistic dream into reality.

 

What’s the most common daydream turned nightmare? Food service. Sure, you may have always thought it would be fun to run your own cafe or sit at the end of your own bar – but if you’ve ever watched the plethora of reality TV shows about restaurants or bars on the brink of failure – you may have noticed a common theme. The food service businesses in the most trouble were bought by people who had no idea what they were doing because they had never worked a day in the industry.

 

 

This is where it is important to confront your daydream with reality. Would you know what you were doing if you took over a bar tomorrow? What are you hoping to get from owning a cafe?

 

More financial freedom? A break from the 9 to 5 work schedule? The ability to love what you do for work? Probably, but here’s what you may not have considered.

 

Financial freedom is only going to come from a good deal of success in any industry, and that good deal of success is going to more than likely mean (at least initially) long hours for you as the owner. You will probably have to be at your bar or restaurant every day, and the hours will be long and likely run late into the night. These long hours and inconsistent (if any) days off can make even the most dedicated new owner burn out, meaning you will once again hate what you do for work.

 

How can you avoid having your dream turn into a nightmare? Be realistic and focus on your goals instead.

 

If you’ve never worked a single day in the industry you’re considering, then it’s probably a bad idea to buy into that industry. Business ownership has a sharp learning curve on it’s own, you don’t want to turn that learning curve into a cliff by trying an industry where you have no practical experience to fall back on.

 

You should choose a business based on the goals you have for owning a business. Do you need nights and weekends off because spending time with your kids is important? What would your ideal work schedule be? How much money will you need to make in order to sustain your lifestyle? What is a realistic amount of money you could invest in a business right now? Are you looking at owning a business for the long-haul or are you thinking more along the lines of serial entrepreneurship? These types of questions are going to very quickly narrow your focus to just those businesses that will fit with the life you’d like to have.

 

We aren’t saying no one should by a food service business. Perhaps the life you’d like to have totally matches with the life of a bar owner – what we are saying it’s incredibly important to figure that out long before you write a big check and someone hands you the keys.

 

Need help figuring out what businesses would fit with your entrepreneurial goals? Ask an experienced and qualified business broker. A discussion about what you’d like to get out of owning your own business is an all-important first step.

 

Have you always wanted to buy your own bar or restaurant, but now aren’t sure if that’s the right business for you? Would you like to know what types of businesses would fit your goals? Please ask us! Leave any questions or comments, 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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Why A “Used” Franchise Is Better Than Brand New

In our society, the word “used” typically carries with it a less than ideal connotation – it means that someone else got the best and the “used” buyer is left with what’s left.

 

In the business world, however, “used” gets a boost because a “used” business is an existing business. Existing businesses are good.

 

If you are thinking about getting into the franchise ownership game, you will have to initially decide if you want to start a new franchise location or try to find an existing franchise location to purchase.

 

 

If this is your first business or your first franchise – then buying existing is probably the best option.

 

Why?

 

An existing location is proven.

A franchise location that already exists and is currently running is far less of a gamble than putting a brand new franchise in an unproven location. An existing location also has an existing staff and it’s own established daily operations. There won’t be as much guess work for you as the franchise owner because there will be a seller there to train you as to what works and what doesn’t at that particular location and with that particular staff. An existing location is turn-key instead of starting from scratch.

 

An existing location has records.

Another major benefit only an existing location will have? Records. Deciding how much a business is worth to you as a buyer is far easier if there are records of the cash flow and finances of an already existing location. Buying new means a great deal of guesswork as to the future projections on your investment.

 

An existing location already has customers.

You might be considering a franchise because it comes with the added benefit of an already loyal customer base. The brand will definitely get people in the door, but and already established location will come ready-made with regular clientele.

 

An existing location offers flexibility during negotiations.

When you start a new franchise location, there are often strict rules and fee structures you must abide by – and very little (if any) room for negotiation. When you buy an existing franchise, there will likely be fees associated with an ownership transfer, but the price you pay and the terms of your deal will be largely in the hands of you and the seller. This may allow you some wiggle room in terms of price and contract terms, but this will depend on the franchise itself.

 

If a franchise is the business path for you, don’t get hung up on the “used” nature of an existing location – for most buyers it can be a far better bet. Ask your business broker about what franchises are currently available on the market and about the terms required to take over an existing franchise location.

 

Do you have more questions about how the process to buy a franchise differs from buying an independent small business? Do you want to know what the purchase of a franchise might cost? Please feel free to 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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How To Turn The Disadvantages Of A Startup Into Entrepreneurial Success

We all want to start the next Apple, right? Anyone with entrepreneurial dreams envisions the startup in the garage that grows to epic success – but where these daydreams fail is where they break with reality.

 

Startups are really, really tough. You are fighting against highly stacked odds, jumping into a market with an unproven concept that will take far more money to get to the black than you think. You won’t have a customer base, you will be starting from ground zero with an unproven marketing plan, you will have to vet and train a brand new staff and you will be doing all of this without any cash flow.

 

You can, however, approach business ownership in a slightly different way, while still meeting your goals for entrepreneurship. How? Buy an existing business.

 

 

Why? Existing businesses can take some of the disadvantages of a startup off the table. Here’s how:

 

Existing businesses come with a customer base.

When you buy a functioning business you get the clientele as well. Contracts with customers, the regulars at the bar – they typically come with the deal. The best way to keep those customers is to avoid making any changes until you understand why those customers are there. Rate hikes on contracts and getting rid of karaoke night might seem like good ideas on paper – but they will push out the all-important customer base you inherited.

 

Existing businesses typically come with a marketing plan and name recognition.

One of the major challenges of starting a new business is getting the word out about who you are and what you do. An already existing business has jumped that hurdle – your job now is to push for more growth by constantly developing and improving your marketing plan.

 

Existing businesses have a staff in place.

A brand new business can be extraordinarily tough because there isn’t a veteran staff to show everyone the ropes. With an existing business a fully-trained staff is already in place. A caveat here – just like the advice for your customer base, major staffing changes right out of the gate will likely hurt more than they help. Take some time to understand what everyone does and how their presence helps the business before cleaning house.

 

Existing businesses have cash flow.

It can take months before a startup gets to a point where the cash flow is enough to cover expenses. An existing business exists because this need for cash flow has already been met. Be careful, however, not to overextend your expenses with too many changes or improvements before you fully understand where that cash flow is coming from.

 

The message here is while your garage-business daydream might be fun, an existing business can get you there without having to contend with the pitfalls of startup-hood.

 

Have you always wanted to own your own business but didn’t know you could buy one? Do you have questions about the differences in risk between startups and existing businesses? 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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3 Reasons Why Buying A Business Is Better Than Starting One

What’s the best path to entrepreneurship?

 

Most think of the startup in some suburban garage – but is that really the smart way to go? The short answer? Probably not. Buying an existing business, however, is typically the better route to business ownership. Here’s why:

 

1. Starting a business is a risky and expensive venture.

 

Startup businesses are tricky. You are testing new waters – with your concept, with your location, with your operating procedures, with a brand-new staff. In the unlikely event that all goes as planned and everything works in your favor, you will still need an enormous amount of capital to lease a new location, renovate that location to suit your needs, equip your location, buy inventory, pay for permitting and licensing – the list goes on. Then you will also need to have enough capital to sustain your business, your staff and yourself for the time frame it takes to start turning a profit, which can be several months or more.

 

If you buy an existing business, many of the risks and financial challenges of a startup have been removed. With an existing business, you are buying a proven concept, location, operating procedures, a trained staff – and in most cases a training period with the existing owner to get you on your feet. The amount of capital you need might seem substantial, but remember that it would be far more expensive in the long run to find, furnish, equip, stock and run a business with no history of success than to just buy one with that laundry list already complete.

 

2. There’s no such thing as a “startup business broker”.

 

One of the best parts of buying an existing business, especially if this is your first foray into business ownership, is you can have expert help along the way. By having an experienced and qualified business broker by your side you have expert advice to guide you through your business search and help you find a business that fits with both your goals and available capital.

 

Don’t see any businesses on the market that appeal to your entrepreneurial dream? Sometimes buyers have a specific type of business in mind, but the goals they have for business ownership would require that they end up in an entirely different industry. A conversation with a good broker will help you decide if the business you think you want to have is really the business you should have to get the kind of life you are looking for. If you are starting a business, you can seek advice from anywhere and everywhere, but there won’t be anyone to guide you in the same way a broker can if you buy.

 

3. A business you buy comes with everything you need.

 

Like we discussed before, starting a business means having to hire and train a brand-new staff, finding then leasing a new location, buying all the equipment and furniture, finding and purchasing inventory, and setting up licenses and permits – if you can even get them. An existing business comes with everything, including in most cases the former owner for a while (for a training period to help you learn the ropes). This will take an enormous amount of pressure off of you as a new business owner, allowing you to focus on learning your new business without all of the additional headaches that a brand new business would require.

 

If your goals for the future include business ownership, seriously consider buying an existing business instead of starting from scratch.

 

Have more questions about the differences between buying an existing business and starting one from scratch? Are you curious about what types of businesses could be right for you? Ask us! Please feel free to leave us a comment or question 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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Why You Don’t Need A Degree In Small Business Ownership

 

How much education do you need to own your own business?

 

 

Ask a college recruiter that question and you’ll likely end up with a MBA degree. Ask a successful business owner and they’ll tell you that nothing trumps practical experience and hard work. So who’s right?

 

The entrepreneur. Some of the most successful business owners out there, like Richard Branson of the Virgin Group, don’t have a formal education. They had a vision that they fought for and built into a success.

 

Our society places a high value on higher education – as it probably should – but this has another, perhaps unintended consequence of convincing everyone that without a degree you can’t be successful. That’s just not true, especially in the small business world. You definitely don’t need a degree to own a business.

 

Small business ownership does require a few things. Grit and determination. Passion. The ability to hustle and never give up. The insight to see failures as lessons that can be learned from.

 

None of these things require a college degree because entrepreneurship is a mindset – not a major.

 

Should business schools even exist? Sure, but attending and graduation from a business program is not a prerequisite for business ownership.

 

You know what else isn’t required to be an entrepreneur? Starting from scratch. You don’t need a garage and a brilliant idea, you just need a little capital and the desire to own your own business. There are always existing businesses on the market, from a litany of industries. Industries where you have practical experience that you can translate into business ownership success. Buying an existing business also removes a lot of the guesswork. You know that the idea, the location, the operating procedures, the products and services – they all work because the business is open and turning good numbers.

 

If you are apprehensive about buying or starting a business because you feel like you are unqualified – don’t. Talk to a business broker today about your goals for business ownership, about what industries might fit those goals and what businesses are currently on the market. You might be pleasantly surprised that your years of practical experience can turn you into a business owner today.

 

Have you always wanted to own your own business but don’t think you’re qualified? Would you like to know what industries would fit with your career goals? Please 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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Veteran? Why Small Business Ownership Is For You

Veterans make great business owners.

 

Your military career trained you for leadership, taught you discipline and gave you the mental endurance to put in the hours it takes to get something done. Guess what? Those are the skills and qualities great entrepreneurs need.

 

 

I’ve never owned a business before. I wouldn’t know where to begin.

 

We’ve got good news – you don’t have to start from scratch. There are a myriad of small businesses for sale, and there’s a good chance that you will be able to find one that fits your goals and one in an industry where you have some practical experience. Buying a business means you don’t have to start from the ground up. You get a fully operating business, complete with employees, equipment, inventory, operating procedures, vendor contracts – you get the idea. You can walk in on day one and be the owner of a business instead of starting with nothing more than an empty space.

 

Am I qualified to own a business?

 

Yes, absolutely! Many of the training programs and careers within the military transfer very well as the experience and practical knowledge needed for many industry sectors in the small business community. The type of business and industry sector that will be right for you will depend a lot on what jobs you did both before and during your time in the service as well as what you hope to get out of business ownership. Love working on cars in your spare time and spent your military career as an aircraft mechanic? Maybe an auto shop is for you. Looking to spend as much time as possible with your family? A bar or restaurant that will need your attention 7 days a week probably isn’t the best choice. Talk to a business broker about your goals and your experience – you might be surprised by the businesses that would meet both.

 

 

I don’t have a lot of money, how much money does it take to buy a business?

 

It depends. There are very small businesses that won’t cost much and larger businesses that run in the millions. The good news is that as a veteran you have special access to programs from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) that can help you get the funding you need to buy a business (click here to learn more!). Talk to your business broker about what SBA programs you might qualify for and what businesses might qualify for SBA lending. If SBA financing is out of the question, many sellers will offer seller financing to the right buyer with a decent down payment.

 

Although it might seem like a daunting idea, small business ownership is very possible for veterans. Talk to a business broker today to explore your options and get you started on the path to entrepreneurship!

 

Are you a veteran and have questions about what SBA programs you would qualify for? Would you like to know what types of businesses would suit your goals and experience? Ask us! Please leave questions or comments here and we would be happy to help. Thank you for your service!

 

 

 

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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To Buy Or To Build: The Future Franchisee Question

 

If a franchise is something you have considered, you may wonder if it makes more sense to buy an existing franchise location or just start a new franchise location yourself. Here are some things to consider: 

 

What are the major expenses involved in starting a franchise?

 

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 training, branding, 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 may also be costs related to setting up a location. You may have rent payments and may have to pay for things like landscaping. You may need to have signs made, install new equipment and fixtures, buy new furnishings, and build-out a space.

 

Any new business will also need to bring in an 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 are covered, there is still enough capital left to cover your additional expenses until you are able to turn a profit.

 

How can you be sure that you have enough to get your franchise up and running and keep it running until a profit starts coming in? Ask questions, lots of questions, during the buying process. You will need to have at least a general idea of how much time per week you will need to work, and how much income you can expect to bring in if all goes well.

 

What about buying 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 you 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? Leave a question or comment here and we will be happy to help.

 

 

 

 

Michael Monnot

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

http://www.InfinityBusinessBrokers.com

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Buying a Business: What Future Entrepreneurs Need to Know

 

When the title entrepreneur comes to mind, it often conjures thoughts of a person who came up with an inspired idea and built a successful and thriving business from the ground up. While this may be the path for a few very driven individuals, the path for most entrepreneurs begins quite differently – with the purchase of an existing business. This can be a fantastic entre into business ownership because it skips all the disadvantages a start-up will encounter, like establishing a customer base and building cash flow.

 

Why You Should Skip the Build-Out and Buy Existing

 

Typically, buying a business is a safer bet than building one from scratch. You get to take over as owner of an already built-out location with trained employees and a proven set of operating procedures.

 

It is not, however, a fool-proof way to enter the world of business ownership. You need to choose a business that is profitable, or one that has easily-remedied issues that will make it profitable quickly (like customer service issues that could be handled by replacing some of the staff). You need to choose a business that has room for growth, and if it is a retail business, one with inventory that customers still want.

 

A Few More Pointers For Business Buyers

 

When you have made the decision to buy a business your next step is choosing the type of business you will buy. Be very careful with this step because it is where many new entrepreneurs make a huge mistake.

 

This mistake is buying a business you know absolutely nothing about. If you are someone who has enjoyed the bar-scene for a long time, but you have never spent so much as a minute working in the bar/restaurant industry, then buying a bar is a terrible idea.

 

Look in industries where you have some knowledge or experience, as this familiarity will save you from complete disaster. Taking over a business for the first time is hard enough; you don’t want to add starting from scratch in a brand new industry to the equation.

 

The smartest step any budding entrepreneur can make, or anyone looking to buy a business for that matter, is to hire an experienced business broker. A broker will be a great asset, as they can help you find businesses that are right for you, be a buffer during the negotiations between you and the seller, and they will be invaluable with assisting you with everything from licenses to red tape.

 

Once you have a broker and an idea of what type of business you are looking for, you will be well on your way to finding a great existing business.

 

Do you have a business type in mind, and are looking for help with finding the right business for you? Please feel free to leave us a comment or question here, and we will be happy to help you on your journey to business ownership.

 

 

 

Michael Monnot

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

http://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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