Buying A Business? Step 1: What’s Right For You?

If you think you might be ready to take the entrepreneurial leap, but don’t have a genius start-up idea you can work on in your garage – you don’t need one! Existing businesses get bought and sold everyday, some 500,000+ a year (a number that is on the rise as baby boomer owners enter retirement and list their businesses for sale). These existing businesses can instantly turn you into an entrepreneur, no start-up required. 


If you’ve always wanted to be your own boss and think buying an existing business might be for you – the process is fairly straightforward. 


Here’s step one: Figure out what type of business would be right for you. 


This one might seem obvious, but lots of buyers come to the market without a clear idea of what they want out of owning a business – and then what type of business is going to meet that set of goals. They either have their heart set on a business that will probably meet none of their goals or they don’t really know yet what they’re looking for. Both of these scenarios are going to be counterproductive. In the first, you end up with a nightmare business you hate. In the second scenario you never buy a business at all. 



Don’t start the process like that. Instead, start by figuring out what your goals are.


This one is probably the most important. Sometimes people want to own their own business because they feel like becoming their own boss will solve the problems created by working for someone else. Here’s the thing – business ownership is just as tough as the job you want to leave, it’s just tough for different reasons. Being your own boss isn’t (and shouldn’t be) your only goal. Instead, think about why the idea of business ownership appeals to you. Do you hate your current job because you wish you had more schedule flexibility? Do you wish you could change career paths more frequently because you work hard but get bored easily? Are you hoping to have more time at home to spend with your kids? Would you like to work really hard and make as much money as possible in the shortest amount of time? Are you using the move to entrepreneurship as a way to move to a new area or country? These types of introspective questions will help you come up with well defined goals for business ownership. With goals in hand, you can then look at businesses that will meet those goals – saving yourself a ton of time and effort chasing a daydream business that would end up making you miserable. 


Next, pick something you already know


If the only thing you’ve done for the last 20 years is work on cars, but you’ve always dreamed about owning your own restaurant – buying a huge waterfront restaurant is probably going to be a colossal mistake. You really need to enter the world of business ownership in an industry where you have some practical experience. The leap to entrepreneurship carries with it a steep learning curve – you absolutely do not want to add learning a whole new industry to that mix. 


Third, be open minded about the types of businesses that might work for you when you begin your search.


This one can be tough for people because it can be hard to let go of a daydream – even when in reality that daydream would more than likely end up a nightmare. We regularly talk people out of buying certain types of businesses because the goal is successful business ownership – not stressful failure. Talk to an experienced and qualified business broker about what your goals are for business ownership and about your education and experience. You might be surprised by the types of businesses and industries where your goals and experience would help you thrive.


Ready to take the first step towards business ownership? Do you have questions about what types of businesses would fit your goals and experience? Ask us! Please leave us questions and comments, we would be happy to help.  


Want to read step two? Click here for “Buying A Business? Step 2: Search For Businesses”

Want to read “Buying A Business? Step 3: Make Some Choices” (click here!)





Michael Monnot

5111 Ocean Boulevard, Suite E
Siesta Key, FL 34242


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Your Commercial Lease And Landlord: 3 Ways To Ensure Success

You’re all set to buy a business. You have the perfect business picked out. It meets all of your goals for business ownership, it’s within your budget for asking price and working capital, you’ve filed all of the appropriate licensing paperwork, finalized the negotiations over the purchase contract – you’re done, right?



Not quite. One major hurdle business buyers must overcome is one they don’t often consider. The lease and the landlord.


In almost every small business transaction, it is only the business itself that changes hands. Most small businesses exist within commercial rental property, and as such the business buying process includes the negotiation of a new lease.


Why can’t you just take over the current lease? If you rent an apartment, you sign a new lease whether or not the person who lived there before you stayed for the entire length of the lease they signed – with very rare exceptions the same goes for commercial leases. A landlord wants a new contract when they get a new tenant, so you need to be prepared for this sometimes difficult part of the business buying process.


Here’s three tips to keep you from hitting a leasing snag:


You will need to prove your experience and finances.

No landlord in their right mind is going to sign a multi-year, large financial contract with someone who has no possible hope of keeping the business afloat. You will need to put together a resume of some sort that shows you have the practical experience to succeed in your new business venture. You will also have to provide the landlord with proof of financial capacity as well. Landlords won’t give a lease to someone who is using every last cent to their name on the purchase price alone. They want to know you’ve set aside enough working capital to be able to pay your rent even if the business isn’t turning a profit for you right out of the gate.


You aren’t going to get an amazing deal on rent.

If the current business owner is paying $5000 a month in rent, there is no way the landlord is going to lease the same space for the same business for $500 a month. You will likely pay the exact same rent, or even a bit more. The landlord has no financial incentive to cut you a huge break, because they can just refuse to lease to you and continue to get the current lease rate from the seller. Be prepared to pay what you need to pay. You will also need to come up with security deposits, perhaps first and last month’s rent, lease fees, etc.


Expect the landlord (and their property manager) to be exceedingly difficult.

It’s not fair, but it’s a fact of life in small business transactions. Many landlords and the property managers who sometimes represent them are almost impossible to work with. Looking at a business transaction from their side can be helpful. They have no financial incentive to gamble on a new person to take over a space in their property and pay them rent when they already have a perfectly capable tenant in place. Their perspective aside, the fact of the matter is most landlords and property mangers don’t understand the business transaction process, and often cause major issues in the final days before closing. If you are mentally prepared for this road block you will be able to stay calm. You should also keep your business broker in the middle. No good can come of an angry phone call to a landlord from a business buyer. Your broker has probably dealt with this landlord in particular, or someone just like them, dozens and dozens of times. Leave the lease negotiations in their capable hands and any issues will likely be resolved.


Dealing with landlords can be excruciating, and this is often compounded by the fact that the lease can only be negotiated after many of the other parts of the business buying process are complete. Stay calm, come prepared with a realistic mindset and proof that you will be a great tenant – then let your business broker do the rest. 


Are you considering buying a business and never considered the commercial lease? Are you thinking about buying a business in an industry where you don’t have any practical experience? Ask us! We will be happy to help.




Michael Monnot

5111 Ocean Boulevard, Suite E
Siesta Key, FL 34242

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Have A Favorite Real Estate Agent? Why You Shouldn’t Use Them For Your Business Deal


This one happens all the time. We get a call from a real estate agent who is inquiring about one of the businesses we have listed on behalf of a buyer, or is looking for potential buyers for a business one of their clients wants to sell. Perhaps they are a trusted agent for a client, and the client asked that they inquire on their behalf. We even have potential buyers and sellers call and request that we use their real estate agent for their part of the transaction. 


We tell them how business transactions work. A real estate agent who refers a client to us will get a referral fee when the deal closes, all they have to do is get us the client’s contact info.


Sometimes an agent refuses to divulge their client’s information, demanding instead that we work with them on the deal. We refuse, so the agent moves on to a different broker to see if they can talk someone into working with them. Their clients don’t get access to business information or potential buyers, and are likely unaware that any of this is going on.


Why won’t business brokers work with real estate agents? Why do they require a referral of the clients instead?


It’s very simple. Real estate agents are very good at what they do – they sell property and homes. What they are not good at and likely know little to nothing about is selling businesses. You can liken the difference between a business broker and a real estate agent to the difference between a plastic surgeon and your general family physician. You would probably be very uncomfortable having your family doctor do reconstructive facial surgery – along the same lines a business broker specializes in the buying and selling of businesses. We would never try to help someone buy a house, it’s just not what we do.


What can happen if a real estate agent tries to help you buy or sell a business? Since they don’t know the ins and outs of the business transaction process, there is a good chance you will never see a closing table.


If you are a seller, a real estate agent will likely treat your business listing like a listing for a house. They will take pictures, gather some cursory financial information and then post this information on the MLS listing system. This is a complete disaster in the making. The most important part of selling an existing business is maintaining confidentiality. Without confidentiality, you stand to lose customers, employees, vendors and money. The only people who should know that your business is for sale are those who have signed the appropriate non-disclosure documents – not anyone with an internet connection who can search the MLS. A business broker knows how to confidentiality market your business, and they are also well-versed in negotiating leases, licensing and permitting concerns and will have relationships with other brokers and buyers who are currently in the market looking for a business like yours.


If you are a buyer, a real estate agent isn’t going to have access to any business listing information without talking a broker into letting them have it (which isn’t likely to happen). Many real estate agents also try to fill out the non-disclosure forms themselves, pretending to be the buyer, but all this does is garner mistrust with any sellers who will then feel like they’ve been duped when the truth is later revealed.


We understand your loyalty to your real estate agent – we have many friends in the real estate industry and we have used their expertise for not only our home purchases but also the sales and purchases for our family members. You shouldn’t feel like your real estate agent gets the short end of the deal if they refer you to a business broker – they get paid for handing over information and doing nothing more. They are doing you and your future business transaction a great service by putting you in more capable hands.


If you are looking to buy or sell a business, feel free to ask your real estate agent if they have a business broker they would recommend. Just be wary if your agent tries to talk you into letting them take the reins.


Have you tried to buy or sell a business using a real estate agent and have a story to share? Do you have more questions about the referral process? Ask us! Please feel free to leave any comments or questions.




Michael Monnot

5111 Ocean Boulevard, Suite E
Siesta Key, FL 34242

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Picking A Broker? Red Flags: What To Watch Out For

Whether you’re in the market to buy a business or have a business that you’re ready to sell – your best bet for success and reaching a closing table is hiring the right help. In the business transaction world that help is a business broker


What do business brokers do? They help sellers list their business for sale. They put together marketing packages and business listings and then add those businesses on listing platforms. They keep the confidentiality of the for-sale status of a business in place by vetting buyers and having qualified buyers sign the appropriate non-disclosure agreements. They coordinate conference calls and meetings between buyers and sellers and act as an incredibly important buffer in the negotiation process. They help put together offers and help solidify purchase contracts. They give advice throughout the process, as their experience with business transactions can be invaluable for avoiding common pitfalls that can cause deals to fall apart. They help sort out commercial leases with landlords and property managers. They assist with permitting and licensing requirements. They assist with obtaining financing options. They coordinate with immigration attorneys to obtain Visas for international clients. 


It’s a long list. A list you probably don’t want to tackle with someone who is terrible at their job. 


How can you tell if a broker is a good broker? You can watch out for red flags.



Does this business broker have no online presence at all, or a website where the last post was 7 years ago? 


The business transaction process, like most things, has gone digital in recent years – from electronic signatures to virtual walkthroughs and the like. If a broker can’t even maintain a basic digital presence, then they probably aren’t up to speed on other aspects of their job either. 


Do the listings for a particular broker have a ton of spelling errors or always seem to be incomplete/incorrect? 


The business transaction process requires a great deal of attention to detail. If a broker is willing to leave mistakes all over their listings, how careful are they with everything else? A listing and a marketing package are an important first impression of a business for buyers. If all you’re getting is some over-copied tax returns and 15 spelling errors, it might be time to find someone else. 


When you contact a broker, does it take them an enormous amount of time to respond?


You can’t expect a broker to always pick up your call or immediately respond (they should have other clients and a life outside of work) but you should be able to get in touch with them in a reasonable amount of time. If you have to wait a week for a response, you might need to find another broker. 


Does a broker claim to have proprietary formulas or methods that no one else in the business has? 


Well, there’s probably a reason for that. Occasionally brokers will claim to have some magic metric (for example – for pricing businesses) that no one else in the industry uses. Every business is unique, so a big part of becoming a successful business broker is understanding that every transaction will be different and each business will require a different approach. There isn’t a better mousetrap – there’s only those who can adapt the process to get a transaction done and those who can’t. 


The message here is you want qualified and experienced help – and you aren’t going to get that from someone who is careless with the most important parts of their job. Keep an eye out for red flags as you begin the business transaction process. 


Another good metric? Ask any potential broker how much of their business comes from referrals. Someone who does a good job is going to get a great deal of their future clients from the referrals of past happy ones. 


Are you looking for businesses to buy and want to know more about how a business broker can help you? Have you considered selling your business and want to know what our marketing packages look like in comparison to others in the industry? Ask us! Leave any questions or comments and we would be happy to help.




Michael Monnot

5111 Ocean Boulevard, Suite E
Siesta Key, FL 34242

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Do I Have Enough Money To Buy A Business? The Answer Might Surprise You


Do you have enough? When you’re considering buying your first business, this is probably the first question you will ask yourself. Why? There’s an unhelpful preconceived notion that you need millions and millions to buy a successful business. Guess what? You don’t.


Business prices can vary greatly, even within the same industry. If you are interested in buying a restaurant, for instance, you could get a small neighborhood sandwich shop for $50,000 – or you could shoot for a large waterfront steakhouse that could run you $500,000.


How are businesses priced?

Businesses are priced based on a few factors – namely how much money they earn (cash flow), the value of things like vehicles/equipment/furnishings and the value of the current inventory. There are other factors that also play into pricing, like how much comparable businesses have recently sold for, how many years the business has been open – the list goes on. When you first enter the business market it is a great idea to use the advice of an experienced and qualified business broker because they will be able to both explain how a particular business has been priced and also advise you on whether the business is potentially worth what the sellers are asking.


How do I actually buy a business?

In the business world cash is king. Most first-time buyers, however, are not coming to the market with large amounts of cash to spend. If you don’t have a ton of cash available then a very large manufacturing business that lists in the millions is probably not for you. There are, however, smaller businesses that can run under $30,000. What you end up spending will depend on what type and size of business would fit with your goals and also what you can afford.


What if I have almost no cash available, can’t I just get financing? Yes and no. Buying a business is nothing like buying a car. You can’t walk in with no money down and walk out with the keys. There are a few financing options available to business buyers, but it is important to understand from the start that you will need a fair down payment for any business with any financing option. No one is going to finance 100% of a business purchase.


There are a few traditional lending options – like bank loans – but for the most part you will have an incredibly hard time getting any bank to finance a small business purchase. 


The Small Business Administration (SBA) has some funding available, but much like traditional lending these loans are often hard to get. A business must meet a rather stringent set of criteria and then the buyer themselves will also have to meet SBA’s buyer criteria.


The last and most common financing option is something called seller financing. In this scenario the seller finances a portion of the purchase price to be paid back by the buyer over time. If you are looking to this option then you as a buyer will have to bring some capital to the table in the form of a down payment. For a seller a large down payment shows good faith that a buyer is serious about getting to a closing table. For buyers, a seller who is willing to hold a note like this is a good sign. It means the seller has confidence in the future of the business.


No matter how you end up buying a business – be it cash or financing – the most important point is to have realistic expectations and seek some sound advice.


When you first talk to your business broker, be honest about the amount of capital you will actually be able to bring to the table. Dishonesty here will eventually come out as you will be asked to prove how much capital you have as a deal progresses. Also be honest with your broker about what you are looking to get out of buying a business – if you just want to be your own boss, if you want a flexible schedule or if you want to follow a passion you’ve always had. With the amount of money you have and the goals you have in mind an experienced broker should be able to find you businesses that will meet with both what you have and what you need.


Are you a first-time buyer who has more questions about how businesses are priced? Would you like to know how much of a down payment you would need? Please ask us! Leave a question here, and we would be happy to help.




Michael Monnot

5111 Ocean Boulevard, Suite E
Siesta Key, FL 34242

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Business Buyer? Why You Need A Business Broker


If you are considering the entrepreneurial leap, you will likely find many people in your life who are ready to give you lots of helpful (and probably more frequently unhelpful) advice. Friends, colleagues, attorneys, real estate agents and the like will probably be full of unsolicited information. 


When you buy a business, you need real help. By far the best person you can have by your side during the business buying process is an experienced and qualified business broker.


Business brokers help people buy and sell businesses, and as a buyer one of your first steps to business ownership should be finding a broker to help you. Your initial conversation with a broker should include a discussion of your goals for business ownership, the amount of capital you have to invest, the areas and industries where you have practical experience, your timeline for buying a business and the like. Having your own broker – someone who knows what you’re looking for and what you want out of the deal – will be instrumental in helping you find the right business. 


When I called about a business, there was already a broker involved – so why do I need my own?


Business brokers don’t represent the buyer or the seller in a transaction, they represent the transaction itself. That being said, the broker who you speak to when inquiring about a listing is someone who knows and has a relationship with the seller – and it is their job to get the business sold. Would you be willing to take the advice of an adviser who only knows about the seller and the business and nothing about you? Probably not. Your own broker is going to go through the discovery process with you – and then use that information to help you narrow down the choices of businesses currently for sale. The point here is you should have a broker who knows something about you too.


What if my broker matches me with one of their own listings? Is it a bad idea to have them represent both sides of the deal?


If your broker knows you and your goals, and has the perfect business to meet those goals, then no – it wouldn’t be a bad idea for your broker to represent both sides. Again, brokers represent the transaction, so as long as you and the seller are both comfortable working with the broker it shouldn’t be a problem. In many cases having only one broker in the mix can actually make the transaction simpler.


What did you mean by “experienced and qualified business broker”?


Our industry is a tough one, and while many budding business brokers come onto the market – most never make it to a closing table. We also have lots of moonlighters – people with professional expertise in a completely different field, but they sell businesses “on the side”. For the most part these moonlighters are real estate agents and attorneys, but we’ve even seen neurologists and dentists give business sales a go. If you are trying to buy a business, you want someone who knows what they are doing by your side. If you needed a cavity filled, you wouldn’t call a realtor – so make sure any broker you work with is actually a business broker. Then ask them about their experience. Are they brand-new to the industry? If they are, they will likely have an impossibly hard time getting seasoned brokers to cooperate with them, they will be unaware of the common pitfalls that can derail a business sale and they won’t be able to guide you properly through the process.


When you are ready to buy a business, do yourself and your goals a favor by employing the services of the best adviser possible – a qualified and experienced business broker. 


Have you shopped around for a business but haven’t found what you were looking for? Is the “broker” helping you really a moonlighter? Do you want to know what kind of business could help you meet your goals? Ask us! Leave us a comment or question and we would be happy to help you on your journey to business ownership.




Michael Monnot

5111 Ocean Boulevard, Suite E
Siesta Key, FL 34242


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Why You Need A Transaction Broker: Protect The Deal Itself

Business sales are inherently complex. There are many aspects of the process of buying or selling a business that can be very different from the buying and selling of anything else.


If you have bought or sold a home, for instance, the business sale process will seem very foreign. There is usually more money changing hands, more complex financial issues, commercial leases needing to be negotiated, licensing and permitting concerns – the list goes on. How does one navigate this complex process? You employ the services of a professional business broker.



What is a business broker?


They are sometimes also known as transaction brokers, meaning they represent the transaction itself. 


Typically each side of the deal will have their own broker, and both essentially represent their party’s part of the transaction instead of representing the people themselves. This is why it is possible to have one broker for both the buyer and seller side of a deal. If both parties can trust the broker involved, having only one person as a go-between can make negotiations less difficult. 


Why is the business broker representing the transaction itself a good thing?


When a lot of money is changing hands things can get out of control very quickly. Business deals are messy. If the deal starts to go south, as most do at some point in the process, the broker is there to protect the deal. This is different from what an attorney might do in the same situation – an attorney’s job is to protect their client from any and all risk. If business brokers were employed to do the same thing, prevent any and all risk, it would be impossible to get a deal to closing because all business dealings – business sales included – come with a fair amount of risk.


The broker or brokers representing the transaction is what gets deals done.


Having someone to keep the deal moving is truly helpful, but you should also be able to trust the broker or brokers involved. Your broker is there to help you navigate this incredibly complex process and to help you either successfully sell or successfully purchase the right business for you. A good broker will go the extra mile for their clients because your eventual success as a business owner or seller leads to your broker’s success within a healthy small business market. 


Are you thinking of buying or selling a business and want to know more about the role of a business broker in the process? Please leave us a question or comment here, and we will be happy to help.




Michael Monnot

5111 Ocean Boulevard, Suite E
Siesta Key, FL 34242

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Buying A Business? Commercial Lease 101

You’ve found a great business and are excited to start negotiations with the sellers – but here’s a thought you may not have considered. That’s not the only negotiating you’re going to have to do.


When you buy an existing business, you typically are not buying the physical space that the business occupies.


Most businesses come with a lease, and that lease comes with a landlord and/or property manager.



Most landlords accommodate transfers easily, but not all do. Deals can get hung up on the lease when the landlord refuses to grant the transfer or has decided to change the lease terms dramatically. They can also get hung up if you don’t start working on the transfer until the last minute. 


The most important thing you can do as a buyer is get your hands on a copy of the current lease as soon as possible, and then deal with any lease issues long before the day you are supposed to close your deal.


Once you have the lease, the language you would typically want to see is in the section of the lease that has to do with transfers or assignments of the lease. Does it say something along the lines of “any assignment will not be unreasonably withheld”? If it does, you are probably in good shape. This type of language means the landlord would have to come up with a very good reason to keep from transferring the lease to you.


Landlords, for the most part, are concerned with keeping a rental space filled and generating rental income. Some, however, are unwilling to reassign leases (at least initially).


This is a part of the business sale process where your business broker will be an invaluable asset. They can act as a buffer between you and a difficult landlord, and can help to negotiate your new lease or the reassignment of the old lease to keep the lease rates reasonable.


Another way to keep the lease from holding up your closing is to be forthcoming with your financial information when the landlord asks for it. Most landlords are going to want to see some kind of financial statement that proves you have the capital to keep the business open. It would be foolish for them to rent to a tenant who will be forced to close the business doors only a third of the way through the lease. Some landlords also want to see some kind of resume or work history to show you have the experience necessary to keep the business running and profitable.


You should also be aware that in some cases the rental rate will slightly increase from what the seller is currently paying when you get a new lease. You can negotiate a lease extension at the same rate, but eventually your new lease may come with a new rental rate. You will also be responsible for coming up with the deposits necessary for the lease.


The message here is your business won’t be much of a business if you can’t get a lease assigned to you for the space. Deal with lease issues early on and the won’t become a big headache in the end.


Are you a business buyer who has questions about business leases? Have you had a deal fall apart because of a difficult landlord? Please feel free to leave us a comment or question here, and we will be happy to assist you with any lease questions.




Michael Monnot

5111 Ocean Boulevard, Suite E
Siesta Key, FL 34242

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Could Vs. Should – Buying A Business Without The Right Help

If you’ve ever bought a house or have even just rented an apartment, you know the importance of agents in those transactions. Your real estate agent or your rental agent helped you with locating potential properties, let you in to take a look around, assisted with your purchase or lease contract and was there throughout negotiations. While it is possible to buy a house on your own or rent your own apartment, it’s definitely easier with someone who knows what they’re doing by your side. When it comes to the small business market, the same will be true. It’s going to be much easier with help.


Business transactions are inherently very, very complex.


If you’ve never been through a business transaction before you are probably going to have an impossibly difficult time navigating everything that needs to happen. That’s where business brokers come in



A business broker is a transaction agent. Their job is to get a business sale from start to finish. They help buyers by guiding you through from you initial contact all the way past the closing table.


Your broker will talk to you about your goals for business ownership, the amount of capital you are able to invest, the areas where you would like your business to be located and your education/experience. Your broker will then help you with your business search, narrowing down the choices based on your feedback. Once you have found a business or two that interests you, you will sign nondisclosure agreements to gain access to the business name and some cursory financials. If you like these businesses your broker can schedule conference calls with the sellers as well as site visits when there are no employees or clients around. Your business broker will then help you write your offer which, if accepted, will become the purchase contract. The business brokers will act as buffers during negotiations between you and the seller – a very important role. They will also negotiate with your future commercial landlord and property manager to ensure you get a fair lease. Your broker will also help you with the licenses and permits required for you to take over as owner.


This is a big list – and it would be quite an undertaking for someone who has never been through it before. Very few business transactions go through successfully without help. An experienced and qualified business broker has not only been down this road many times before, but they know where the pitfalls are going to be and can help you avoid them. 


The message here? Could you buy a business without a business broker? Maybe. Should you? Definitely not.


Are you considering buying a business but aren’t convinced you need a business broker? Do you have more questions about what a business broker can do to help you throughout the transaction process? Please feel free to leave any comments or questions. We would be happy to help!




Michael Monnot

5111 Ocean Boulevard, Suite E
Siesta Key, FL 34242

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The Justifiable Offer: Why A Low-Ball Is A Bad Idea

You’ve done the searches. You’ve analyzed your options. You’ve done a few conference calls with sellers and you think you’ve found the right business for you. Your next step is a big one, and your decisions here can absolutely make or break your chances of buying this business. It’s time to make an offer.


Your offer is important for a number of reasons. The offer you put together (if accepted) will become the purchase contract. This contract will include not just the final sale price but many other parts of the transaction that will need to be negotiated. Think the length of your training period, the terms of the deal and how existing contracts will be assigned – just to name a few.


This all-important document essentially contains all the parts of your deal that will need to be negotiated. The fluid nature of an initial offer/purchase contract means the first version – your version – is just a place to start those negotiations. It should go without saying that you need to start off on the right foot. 



The relationship you have with the seller, although not a permanent one, will be critical to the success or failure of your transaction. You have to talk to this person, meet with this person, iron out a deal with this person and then most likely work side by side with this person during your training period.


This is not a relationship you want to start with a perceived slap in the face.


What do we mean by that? You do not want to low-ball a seller just to see how desperate they are or how great of a deal you can get. People who intentionally low-ball business sellers aren’t business buyers. They’re tire-kickers. Your initial offer speaks volumes to a seller about how serious you are and what it’s like to work with you. You are making a financial offer for something that seller has invested countless hours in, has spent years building and has made sacrifices to maintain. Yes, business transactions shouldn’t be emotionally driven, but in the small business market it really can’t be helped. No one wants their blood, sweat and tears treated like a cheap car.


What should you do instead?


Make a JUSTIFIABLE offer.


A justifiable offer is a simple concept – it’s something based in reality and backed up by data. You’ve looked at the numbers, you’ve considered the current market and you’ve come up with a number that makes sense – not the lowest, rock-bottom price you’d love but something you feel (based on the data you have) is fair.


Making a fair offer tells a seller that although you may not want to give them their full asking price, you are a person interested in making a deal happen. You are someone who values their business and all they’ve invested. 


How do I make sure my initial offer is fair? Talk to your business broker about what you’d like to offer, and then listen to their advice. They know the market, and can give you insight into whether or not the number you’ve come up with will be a good point to start negotiations.


The message here is simple. If you are serious about buying a business the best way to start your transaction is by making a fair and justifiable offer. 


Have you looked at businesses and want to know more about how sellers come up with their listing price? Do you have questions about what an initial offer/purchase contract entails? Ask us! Leave any questions or comments and we would be happy to help.




Michael Monnot

5111 Ocean Boulevard, Suite E
Siesta Key, FL 34242

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Michael Monnot


5111-E Ocean Blvd
Siesta Key, FL 34242


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