Buying A Business? Don’t Sign A Million NDAs (Do This Instead)

If you’re excited about buying a business it might be tempting to spend your days scouring the internet for business listings and then requesting information on everything that even slightly matches what you’re looking for.

 

 

Don’t do that. Here’s why:

 

Businesses are bought and sold under a veil of confidentiality. That confidentiality exists to protect the business while it is being sold (you can read more about why here). What this means for you as a buyer is you can’t just look up a listing and immediately get all of the information on a business for sale. There’s a layer of legal protection that you need to get past before you can gain access to the information you need. That layer involves signing a non-disclosure agreement (NDA).

 

Signing the NDA means you can’t disclose the name of a business, the location of a business, any proprietary information you will now have access to – even the for-sale status of a business. You will have to sign a NDA for each business listing individually. If the business brokers involved are doing their job, you shouldn’t be able to sign the NDA until you’ve had a conversation about why this business fits with your goals for business ownership and if you actually have the funds necessary to make a sale happen. The importance of keeping the for-sale status of a business under wraps means a broker should only be allowing NDAs to be signed by potential buyers who could actually be buyers – not hundreds of random tire-kickers.

 

The necessity of confidentiality might initially seem frustrating as a buyer, but it’s not just the business itself this process helps. As a buyer, you don’t need to be wasting your time signing dozens and dozens of NDAs for businesses that would never have suited you in the first place. It’s a colossal waste of your own time and energy.

 

Here’s what you should do instead. Call a few business brokers. Have conversations with them about what you hope to get out of business ownership. Talk to them honestly about the amount of funds you have available for your new venture. See if you think you and a broker would work well together.

 

This initial conversation will help a good broker find listings that will actually check all of your boxes. Then you can efficiently sign NDAs for businesses that may work for you.

 

A very important note here. Once you have a broker you like – don’t go and sign NDAs on any listings without them. Once you’ve signed another broker’s NDA your broker can’t help you anymore. NDAs are tied to specific businesses, and are therefore tied to the listing and the listing broker. Your broker can request the NDA on your behalf for a listing that isn’t theirs and still maintain the buyer-broker relationship with you. If you go around your broker and sign a NDA they didn’t request they legally and ethically can’t even give you advice. The relationship has now shifted to whatever broker has the listing – a broker you don’t know and who doesn’t know you. 

 

The message here is although the process of searching for businesses has a few more steps than other big purchases like a house or car – those steps exist to make the process more efficient for everyone – including you. Find yourself a good broker, maintain that relationship by only having your broker request NDAs and be patient with the process.

 

Are you shopping for businesses and weren’t aware that signing NDAs tied you to listing brokers? Do you have questions about what businesses currently for sale you meet your goals for business ownership? Ask us! Leave any questions or comments and we would be happy to help you on your business search.

 

 

 

Michael Monnot

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

www.InfinityBusinessBrokers.com

 

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Why All The Secrecy? Understanding The Confidential Nature Of Business Transactions

 

If it’s your first time navigating the business-for-sale marketplace you may have noticed something that sets it apart from almost every other situation where something is for sale. Everything is a carefully guarded secret.

 

Business listings are vague and don’t disclose the name or location of the business.

 

Listings are very basic and don’t give you much in the way of details about a specific business. 

 

When you call on a business, the broker will continue with the vague information unless you are willing to give up some information about yourself (like your name and permanent address) and sign a nondisclosure agreement (NDA).

 

What gives? How am I supposed to find a business if no one will tell me which businesses are actually for sale?

 

An existing business can’t be sold like most other things because an existing business exists in a world of powerful misconceptions. Those misconceptions are that a business for sale is a business on the brink of failure. When the average person sees a for-sale sign on a business door, they automatically assume that the business is in dire straits. Why would anyone sell a successful business, right? 

 

Well, there are a lot of reasons. Maybe the current owner is ready to retire or has their heart set on a new life adventure that will mean they can no longer run the business. Perhaps the current owner started or bought this business with a specific set of goals, and now that those goals have been achieved it’s time to move on to another project. Sometimes owners have something occur in their personal lives that will make it difficult to maintain the responsibilities of ownership and so they’d like to leave the business in good shape and go attend to what they need to. 

 

It’s actually relatively rare for a faltering, disaster of a business to be sold. In situations that dire most choose to lock the doors, cut their losses and walk away.

 

What does that mean for business buyers? Most businesses for sale are great business opportunities. 

 

To remain great opportunities, those businesses need to be protected. Those powerful misconceptions about a business for sale can cause massive problems for an existing business if they simply stick a for-sale sign on the door. The entire staff can panic and quit. Vendors can cancel contracts. Current and prospective customers can choose to do their business elsewhere.  

 

A business is protected throughout the sale process by keeping the for-sale status confidential. The only people who can know the business is for sale are the seller, the brokers involved, prospective buyers and their experts (think attorneys and CPAs) who have signed the appropriate nondisclosure agreement.

 

What does this means for you as a buyer? You will have to use vague business listings to do a cursory search. When a listing seems to fit with what you’re looking for you will have to give out a tiny bit of information about yourself (that helps to identify you as an individual) before you can be given potentially damaging information about a business on the market – namely it’s status as a business for sale. 

 

Here’s what you can’t do. You can’t change the industry standard NDA to suit your liking. You can’t disclose what businesses you’re looking at to your neighbor or the guy in line with you at the coffee shop. You have to play by the rules that everyone does so businesses can stay in good shape while they are being sold. 

 

Are you considering buying a business and want to know more about the confidentiality of the process? Do you have questions about what signing the NDA means for you? 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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Buying? Why Flexibility And Patience Are Your Best Bet

Most business owners and people considering business ownership have a particular type of personality. You could call it type-A, but it’s a bit more nuanced than that. Entrepreneurs are a tough bunch, used to taking risks and working hard to turn those risks into rewards. They’re comfortable with the idea that the buck stops with them and if they fail they only have themselves to blame. 

 

This grit-based type of personality serves a business owner well. It gets you out of bed in the morning, it drives you to succeed. It’s a good thing – most of the time.

 

Here’s where having this type of personality can hang you up. The process required to buy a business. 

 

 

The business transaction process can be a bit arduous. While an entrepreneur will probably have no trouble with the list of things that need to be accomplished – it can be extremely tough to navigate the difficulties that arise during the purchase of a business because no ONE person can be in control. That’s right. You can’t control the process. 

 

This can cause entrepreneurs to balk at basically any part of the business transaction. From refusing to sign an industry-standard NDA because you didn’t write it, refusing to share your address in order to access proprietary information about a business you are considering, demanding an in-person walk through of a business location before you’ve ever asked a single question of the seller – the list goes on and on. 

 

Look, we get it. When you’re used to being the one in command it can be deeply difficult to relent to someone else’s rules. Here’s what you have to remember. The business transaction process exists and proceeds the way it does for a reason. It works to protect businesses for sale while they are being sold. If it was your business on the market – you would absolutely demand that everyone play by the rules so your business wouldn’t falter. 

 

If you are considering buying a business, you are going to have to let go of the notion that you will be in control. You have to sign NDAs. You have to provide your personal information in order to receive proprietary information about a business. You have to be patient with the seller when they are collecting the documentation you requested. You have to wait for people to call you or email you back. You can’t demand that everyone involved do what you want, when you want it – and then get upset when it doesn’t happen.

 

We aren’t saying that you should relent to everything. Buying a business is a huge decision and you should have timely access to all of the information you need to make an educated decision. What we are saying is you need to be flexible and patient in a way you may not be used to

 

Are you thinking about buying a business and want to know more about what the process looks like? Would you like to know more about the timeline of a business transaction? 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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Talking About Your Finances – Advice For Business Buyers

Talking personal finances with anyone, let alone someone you don’t know very well, can be an intensely uncomfortable experience.

 

Conversations about how much money you have, how much money you make, what you can and can’t afford – these are typically considered off limits in normal day to day interaction.

 

 

When you enter the business marketplace with the intent of buying a business, you will be confronted with these seemingly intrusive questions basically from the start, and that can make the process of finding a business somewhat uncomfortable if you aren’t ready to talk about your money.

 

Who’s asking about my money?

 

The first person who will be asking about your financial situation is your own business broker – but you will also likely have to disclose financial statements to sellers, their brokers and the property manager or landlord of the business location.

 

Why do I need to be ready to talk money? Why can’t I just look at businesses I know I can afford?

 

While you might feel that it isn’t anyone’s business how much money you have for the purchase of a business, it is critically important that your own broker in particular knows how much you are working with. One of the major mistakes that buyers make is misjudging how much capital they will actually need to buy, and then run, a business. For example, if you have $100,000 available to buy a business, you probably shouldn’t be looking at businesses that are listed in the $150,000’s with the hopes of negotiating down. You need to remember that in addition to the purchase price, you will need to have funds available for licensing and permitting, for purchasing additional inventory, for securing the commercial lease and for keeping yourself afloat long enough to get the business turning a profit with you at the helm. If you use every last cent of your available cash to write the check at closing, then you have set yourself up for immediate failure.

 

What should I do instead?

 

Be very open and honest with your business broker from the start, and then listen to their advice about what businesses you can and can’t afford. A good broker doesn’t want to see you fail because the success of the small business community is a broker’s bread and butter. Don’t be offended when your broker says “you can’t afford that” because they want you to succeed – not shoot yourself in the foot.

 

What about a deal with seller financing? Doesn’t that mean I can buy any business?

 

Definitely not. Many buyers come to the market expecting to put very little money down and have a seller finance the rest – but that isn’t how seller financing actually works. You typically need to put at least 50% down – if not more – for a seller to take your offer seriously. If seller financing is involved, a seller is also going to want to see that you have the right amount of cash to keep the business running and profitable long enough for you to pay them back, so you will need to reserve some of your capital for simply running the business.

 

Why does the landlord need to see financial information? The money the business makes is what will pay the rent, right?

 

Landlords and property managers want to see that you have the money to pay the rent, even if the business isn’t doing well. From the landlord’s perspective, they already have a lease with the current owners that guarantees them full payment of the remainder of the lease, so if you come to the table with anything less – they have no motivation whatsoever to approve you to rent the space.

 

The message here is if you really want to buy a business, you will have to get used to the idea that people are going to want to know how much money you are working with, and then they will want to see proof of that number. You will also need to get used to the idea that there will be some businesses that are simply out of your range, and that the person you have hired to help you through the business buying process (your broker) will need to be able to be honest with you about what those businesses are – without you getting offended.

 

Have you looked at businesses but can’t figure out how much capital you would need? Do you have more questions about what kinds of financial information you would need to disclose? Ask us! Please leave a comment or question 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? Step 3: Make Some Choices

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 three: It’s time to make some choices.

 

Don’t panic. You don’t have to sign your life away – and you don’t even have to make a final decision at this stage. Once you’ve seen the initial packages for the businesses you found in step two you’ll have some time to consider what they’ve sent you. Using the information you have you can decide if you’d like to proceed with exploring a business or two that you are still very interested in.

 

 

This is the point where conference calls between you and the business seller can be extremely helpful. Talking with the current owner can give you insights into the things that don’t necessarily end up on paper. A caveat here. You must prepare questions – good questions – ahead of time. Your business broker will (and should) help you with coming up with great questions to ask. You shouldn’t go into a conference call with a seller blind and ask basic questions that had already been answered by the package you were given. This colossal waste of time for everyone involved might turn a seller off and they could refuse to proceed any further with you. Remember that a business is someone’s baby, so they aren’t likely to hand over the keys to someone who they feel isn’t up to the job.

 

After your initial call with a seller you can ask for more information, but you aren’t likely to get much more than you already have unless there’s an offer on the table. Making an initial offer can seem daunting – but here’s an important point to remember. Absolutely no money changes hands until after you’ve been given ample time to research the business during a process called due diligence. Due diligence starts after an offer has been initially agreed upon by both parties, and a typical due diligence period is a couple of weeks – plenty of time to review things like contracts, tax returns, inventory lists and the like. Once due diligence is over you can buy the business for the price in your accepted offer, renegotiate the price based on things you found or walk away completely.

 

During the due diligence process the business is pulled from the market temporarily so you don’t have to worry about other buyers swooping in and buying the business from under you. There can be, however, better offers or backup offers on a business you are considering – so you’ll need to go into the process ready to make a move and decide in a timely fashion whether or not this business is for you.

 

Don’t forget that you can absolutely walk away at any time if you begin to feel like you wish you hadn’t made your initial offer – so don’t be afraid of this very important step.

 

Ready to take the third step towards business ownership? Do you have questions about what an initial offer looks like? Would you like to know more about the due diligence process? Ask us! Please leave us questions and comments, we would be happy to help.

 

Want to read “Buying A Business? Step 1: What’s Right For You?” (click here!)

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

 

 

 

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? Step 2: Search For Businesses

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 two: Find businesses that fit with the goals you established in step one.

 

Once you know what you’re looking for, the search itself becomes relatively easy. You can peruse business listings on your own (click here to do that now) and your business broker will also find you listings to consider that might fit with what you’re looking for.

 

 

Here’s a very important part of your search. You must, must, must give your broker feedback on the listings they’ve sent you. If you love a business, tell them. If you hate one, tell them that too. It’s not going to hurt your broker’s feelings if you don’t love every single listing they share with you. The only way a broker can curate a list of businesses that will get you to your end goal of business ownership is if they know what you want. You should not only give a simple thumbs up or down to a potential business – tell them why as well. Did you like the location but weren’t a fan of the current inventory? Does a business you really don’t like have a couple of features that you would love to see in your future business? The more specific and detailed you can be, the better. Nothing is more counterproductive during a business search than flipping through 10 listings and just saying “no thanks” with no feedback.

 

Once you’ve found a few listings that seem intriguing you can then sign the nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) for those business listings so you can find out exactly where and what they are. If you’re unfamiliar with this type of NDA – here’s the short version. They’re a major part of the business purchase process because an existing business needs its for-sale status to remain confidential. The only people who should know the name and location of a business for sale are the seller, the business brokers involved and any prospective buyers who have signed the NDA. That’s it. This need-to-know list will protect the business from catastrophes like an entire staff quitting en-masse when they find out the business is for sale.

 

A note here. You can’t change the NDA. It’s an industry standard document. If you refuse to sign it, no one is going to work with you. Period. What you provide for the NDA (your legal name, physical address) pales in comparison to the proprietary and confidential information you will be privy to once it’s signed – so it’s a more than fair arrangement.

 

Once the NDA is signed you will be sent some cursory information. Typically that information will include the name and physical location of the business, some cursory financial information and details about things like staff/vehicles/equipment. We need to put a caveat on listing packages here. Like any industry there are great business brokers, terrible business brokers and everything in between. When you first start receiving listing packages it will become blatantly obvious who is doing their job. Some brokers put together comprehensive packages that give you a great understanding of the business you are considering. Some brokers send you two over-copied and blurry images of tax returns. Unfortunately there isn’t much you can do when you are given terrible cursory information other than ask for more. Your broker will be able to help you decipher cryptic tax returns and the like, and will also (hopefully) be able to get more information from the seller’s broker. Know going in that a terrible listing package is not a reflection of the business itself. It’s a reflection of the broker who listed it. 

 

Ready to take the second step towards business ownership? Do you have questions about the NDA? Would you like to see an example of the comprehensive business packages we create for our listings? Ask us! Please leave us questions and comments, we would be happy to help.

 

Want to read “Buying A Business? Step 1: What’s Right For You?” (click here!)

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

 

 

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? 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

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

www.InfinityBusinessBrokers.com

 

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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

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

www.InfinityBusinessBrokers.com

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How Important Is Preparation When Buying A Business?

The short answer? Preparation is everything.

 

Think about buying a house. A home buyer doesn’t just drive up to the first house they see with a for sale sign in the yard and write a check. A home buyer researches the local neighborhoods, school districts and property taxes. They hire a real estate agent to help them with their search. They look at various options online and then schedule times to see homes. They also talk to banks so they can get pre-approved for a mortgage.

 

The process of buying a business is much more complex than the process of buying a house, yet business buyers come to the market overwhelmingly unprepared every day. They want to be driven around town by a business broker to scope out the local business market with no real thought about what they want or need from a business. If you are serious about buying a business, this is not the path to take. Instead, start with these 3 steps:

 

 

1. Have a conversation with an experienced and qualified business broker about your goals for business ownership. For instance, if the reason you are considering buying your own business is so you can spend more time with your kids, then buying a large bar that will require your presence for 12 hours a day 7 days a week is probably not a good choice. A good broker will be able to match your goals with the right types of businesses.

 

2. Talk to your broker about your work history and experience. Your choice of industry will need to take into account what kind of practical experience you have. If you’ve spent the last 20 years as an auto mechanic, then buying a large salon is probably not the best option. Business ownership comes with a steep learning curve so you don’t want to add learning a new industry to the list.

 

3. With your broker’s help, figure out what you can afford. If you’ve got $80,000 of capital to invest – you have no business looking at $80,000 businesses. It may take you several months to begin turning a profit, and during those months you will still need to pay your lease, payroll, pay for new inventory – not to mention the extra cash you will need during the closing process for things like licensing and attorney fees. Your business broker will be able to tell you what your budget for the purchase of a business should be based on how much money you have. An important note here – don’t lie to your broker about the amount of capital you actually have. Your deal will absolutely fall apart when the time comes to provide proof of finances.

 

Once you know what you can afford, know what industries would match with your practical experience and have an idea of what kinds of businesses would meet your goals – you can start the business search process, the right way.

 

Have you thought about buying a business but don’t know where to start? Do you have more questions about the business buying process? Ask us! 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

Comments Off on How Important Is Preparation When Buying A Business?




How To Avoid Becoming The Angry Whim Buyer

 

As the world recovers from long lockdowns and regular travel begins, the entrepreneurs who have put their dreams of business ownership on hold can start the process again. Here’s the thing. Buying a business is a process. One that takes planning. Lots and lots of planning. 

 

Why do we point that out? The angry whim buyer.

 

It happens constantly. We get a call or email from a buyer who is in town and wants us to drive them around to see a few businesses while they are here. Oh, and they leave tomorrow to go home so it has to be today. 

 

Guess what? Not going to happen – not because we don’t want to sell you a business, but because seeing a business on whim is utterly impossible. It can not be done. When we tell this buyer no, they inevitably get angry. Angry because they want to see a business and they would be spending a lot of money. Angry because today they have nothing to do and it fits into their schedule so it should also fit into ours. 

 

Here’s the reality. That angry whim buyer obviously planned their trip. They bought plane tickets. They packed bags. They took leave from work. They arranged pet sitters. They reserved a rental car.

 

If this buyer really wanted to see businesses while they were here – they absolutely could have if they had just planned ahead like they did with all the rest of their travel arrangements. 

 

Why can’t I just go see a business when I feel like it? Why do I have to plan ahead?

 

Operating businesses protect themselves while they are for sale by maintaining a shield of confidentiality about that for-sale status. No one except the seller, the broker and buyers who have signed the appropriate non-disclosure agreements know that the business is for sale. This keeps the staff from quitting en masse. It keeps vendors and clients from canceling contracts. Most people think that a business for sale is a business in trouble (hardly ever true), so it is vital that the for-sale status stays need-to-know.

 

What does that mean for a business buyer who wants to see a business? The process usually goes something like this:

 

You talk to a business broker about your goals for business ownership, the amount of capital you’d like to spend and about the types of industries you are interested in. They help you narrow down the list of all potential businesses for sale to just those that would be what you are looking for. You then sign NDAs for those businesses and get a cursory look at some financial information as well as the name and location of the business. That information is used to narrow your list further to just those businesses that you really like. Your broker will then contact the seller’s broker and set up a conference call between you and the seller. If you are still interested in the business after your initial conference call with the seller, you can set up a walk through of the business location. This visit will have to take place when the business is closed so no employees or customers will be around. It will also have to occur when you, your broker, the seller’s broker and the seller themselves are available.  

 

It should be obvious that this process can’t happen in a couple of hours. It just can’t. 

 

Here’s what you can do instead. When you start planning your trip – plan to see some businesses. Talk to a broker. Sign the NDAs. Talk with some sellers. Coordinate a few business visits long before you step on the plane. Using the process to your advantage will keep you from wasting your time looking at businesses that never would have worked for you in the first place. Start planning today

 

Are you thinking about traveling to see businesses and want to know more about the process that’s required? Would you like to know what businesses are for sale in a particular area? 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

 

1 Comment »




Michael Monnot

941.518.7138
Mike@InfinityBusinessBrokers.com

5111-E Ocean Blvd
Siesta Key, FL 34242




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