What Can You Realistically Afford? Thoughts For Business Buyers

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Michael Monnot

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

www.InfinityBusinessBrokers.com

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Due Diligence On Yourself – Why Sellers Need To Prep

You might think you are ready to sell your business, but very few small business owners actually are. Do you have all of your books in order? Have you made any necessary repairs?

 

Preparing a business for sale can be a lot like preparing a house for sale. You need to make it look aesthetically pleasing and fix what’s broken.

 

There is, however, one major difference. Due diligence.

 

Once you have accepted an offer from a buyer, the due diligence period begins and you will be opening up your financial records, contracts, leases – everything – for that buyer to inspect.

 

Any problems found during due diligence can lead to one of two outcomes. Either the deal is dead and the buyer walks away, or they come back to you with a lower offer to compensate for the problems they’ve found.

 

No seller wants a perfectly good deal to fall through, and you want to get the best possible price for the business you’ve worked so hard to build – so how do you avoid due diligence issues?

 

Do due diligence on yourself.

 

 

Before a buyer has a chance to peek behind the scenes and go over your books with a fine-tooth comb, you should do this yourself. By performing due diligence on yourself you will see your business through a buyer’s eyes and will be able to address any potential problems long before a buyer finds them.

 

Don’t think you have any issues that will come up in due diligence? Think again. All small businesses have a few skeletons in the closet, and they can’t be hidden. Buyers always find issues, so the best way to deal with this eventuality is to solve the problems before they are found.   

 

How do you do due diligence on yourself? Ask your business broker for guidance and perhaps employ the services of a business transaction CPA. In most cases, you as a business owner know what the problems are. Figuring out the best way to deal with those problems will be where those experts come in handy. Is this an issue you can conceivable solve? How can you solve it? Is it a better tactic to just be upfront with the issues that exist when communicating with a future buyer or try to implement changes that will resolve those issues before the due diligence step in the process? 

 

Performing the due diligence process on yourself will help you and your business to stay ahead of the game during the transaction process and will also help you get the biggest return on your business sale. Ask your business broker for help. 

 

Do you have questions about what buyers will want to see during due diligence? Would you like to know what problems we’ve seen in due diligence in the past? Ask us! Leave any questions or comments and we would be happy to assist you.

 

 

 

Michael Monnot

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

www.InfinityBusinessBrokers.com

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

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

 

They Googled you.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Michael Monnot

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

www.InfinityBusinessBrokers.com

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Michael Monnot

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

www.InfinityBusinessBrokers.com

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Buying A Business In The Post-Quarantine Economy

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

grocery stores

liquor stores

health care and health care supply businesses

waste disposal

cleaning services

laundry

auto repair

delivery services

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Michael Monnot

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

www.InfinityBusinessBrokers.com

 

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Want To Sell Your Business? 3 Must-Haves

In a perfect world, every business seller would list their business and get an all cash, full price offer the next day.

 

In reality, this is rarely the case. Like, it never happens that way.

 

On average, it typically takes nine to twelve months to get a business from listed to sold.

 

As a seller, there are three very basic (but also very simple) things you can do to improve your chances of selling right out of the gate.

 

 

Offer Seller Financing 

Banks and other more traditional lending institutions have always been gun-shy about small business loans – and the 2008 recession didn’t help. There are always a lot of buyers who are looking for new business opportunities, but they typically don’t come with a lot of cash on hand. By offering to finance part of your purchase price, you will be able to attract many more buyers than you would otherwise. Worst case scenario if the new owners fail? You get to to keep the sizable down payment the buyers put up and you get the business back

 

Hire A Business Broker

You might be great at what you do, but what you do isn’t helping people buy and sell businesses. This is what business brokers do for a living. They know the business transaction process inside and out, they have access to buyers you could never find and they are experts in confidential business marketing. Going it alone won’t save you money. It will more than likely mean you either won’t be able to sell at all or will end up having to take far less for the business than if you had hired the right help.

 

List For A Realistic Price 

Your business is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. When deciding on a listing price many sellers try to set a price that will recoup all of the money they have invested over the years or use the value of new equipment when determining what their 10 year old stuff is worth. We get that you have invested a great deal of your time, money and energy in your business. You can absolutely get a good return on that investment, but you need to be realistic. Your business price should be based on your cash flow, what your equipment and inventory are actually worth and what the market will currently allow. Making a sensible and well-informed decision about listing price is key if you ever want to see a closing table

 

If you think you are ready to sell, go into the process with an open mind. Have realistic expectations, and use the experience of your business broker to help you set realistic goals for your transaction.

 

Do you have questions about how to price your business? Would you like to know what businesses like yours are currently selling for? 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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Michael Monnot

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

www.InfinityBusinessBrokers.com

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The Right Advice At The Right Time: The Role Of Attorneys In Your Business Transaction

Let’s start this one off by saying we are absolutely not advocating an attorney-free business deal. A business transaction involves contracts that you will need to sign and a lot of money changing hands – so the assistance of an attorney is absolutely necessary.

 

 

Business transactions, however, are also inherently very complex and businesses themselves involve a decent amount of risk. If buying a business gave you a 100% chance of getting a fabulous return on your investment then that’s what everyone would do. Buying and running a business means a fair share of risk and plenty of hard work.

 

Before you bring your attorney into the mix (which you will definitely need to do), ask yourself this important question – what do they do for a living? They protect you from any and all risk.

 

It is impossible for your attorney to keep you from any and all risk and also give you a thumbs up on a business. It is because of this conflict between what a lawyer does for a living and what you are trying to do (buy or sell a business) that we are suggesting that you keep their advice to only the portions of your deal that they specialize in.

 

What do we mean by this?

 

Your attorney doesn’t need to be giving you advice about price. Determining what a business is worth in the current market isn’t what they do. They don’t know how to derive value from cash flow or how to price a business based on what comparable businesses have actually sold for.

 

Your attorney shouldn’t have a major role in negotiations. At the end of the day, a deal is happening between the buyer and the seller. These two parties will have a tough time coming to a consensus – even when using intermediaries like business brokers who act as buffers. Adding more voices and opinions to the mix by having attorneys intimately entwined in the negotiations might mean no deal will ever be reached. It becomes a “too many cooks in the kitchen” scenario.

 

I get why my attorney might cause problems, so what should I use them for?

 

Again, your attorney will be instrumental in putting together contracts and advising you of your risks in association with these contracts. You should absolutely listen to what they have to say in regards to these parts of a business transaction that are very much their specialty. You should listen to their advice, weigh what they have to say based on the fact that their job is to protect you from risk – and then use common sense to make up your own mind about what you should do.

 

A note here. You should also be using a business transaction attorney for this role. Your family law attorney (for example) isn’t going to understand your business contracts the way a business transaction attorney does. It would be like going to the pediatrician to get plastic surgery – it isn’t what they do. Finding and using a business transaction attorney with some experience in this very unique process will be pivotal to success.

 

Keeping a business transaction as simple as possible is the only way to successfully navigate a process that is inherently complex. Use each advisor for the role where their advice is the most appropriate and you will have a far better chance of transaction success.

 

Are you a buyer or seller who wants to have their attorney involved in everything? Do you have more questions about why this might be a problem? Ask us! Leave any comments or questions 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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All The Way To The Finish Line – Why You Need A Great Broker

 

Both parties have agreed on the purchase contract, you’re finished – right?

 

Not quite, and if you have a business broker who isn’t going to push your deal all the way to the finish line – then your deal could be in trouble. 

 

A contract does not mean the deal is done, it just means one step in the process has been completed. We have a very high closure rate once our deals get to contract – 70-80%, but most business brokers can’t get anywhere near that number.

 

Why?

 

Once the contract piece of the puzzle is done, many brokers walk away and let the deal fend for itself. They let things like licensing, SBA loan issues and follow-thru with details fall by the wayside – and when this happens a minor issue can become a major deal-breaker in no time.

 

A transaction isn’t closed until it’s closed.

 

Why would any broker let this happen? Once the contract is put together, most brokers think that their work is done, but the last few details are often the most important. Our process is different because we do an immense amount of pre-due diligence. We have all of the ducks in a row and have rooted out and dealt with many of the issues that come up at the end long before they become potential deal killers. Then, we don’t stop until the deal is done.

 

Let’s focus on just one of the often-overlooked last-minute details to give you an example of the importance of getting all those final ducks in a row:

 

If you as a buyer have no idea what the licensing requirements are for the business you are about to take over, how can you possibly have all of those requirements complete on the day you get handed the keys? Any business transaction means that at the very least all licensing must be transferred from the old owner to the new, and many of these licenses come with an inspection requirement that needs to be fulfilled before the business can serve customers. What does that mean if you don’t complete the necessary applications and inspections before the day you take over? You can’t open the doors until they are all complete, so having a broker who is on top of issues like licensing will be crucial for a successful transaction.

 

If you are a seller who offered seller financing, then it is in your best interest for the transition to the new owner to go smoothly. An incomplete licensing, permitting or inspection requirement will put the transition and the future of the business in jeopardy (meaning you won’t be able to get paid). Having a broker who is proactive on the licensing front (and all other fronts, for that matter) will mean a more successful transition to the new ownership and a far better chance for the new owner to find success right out of the gate.

 

Ask your broker how many of their deals make it to closing once the contract step has been reached. Their answer to this question will tell you all you need to know about their follow-through and whether or not you’ll be able to make it to the closing table.

 

Are you buying a business and want to know more about the process to transfer licenses? Are you selling your business and would like to know what aspects of your transaction will need to be followed all the way to the end? Please feel free to leave any questions or comments 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

www.InfinityBusinessBrokers.com

 

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Bad Advice: The Outrageous Listing Price

 

You’ve decided to sell your business, so you start asking the people around you what they think it’s worth. Your father-in-law, your CPA and your neighbor will probably give you vastly different numbers – and you’ve also got a rough calculation in your head of how much money it has cost you over the years to build the business into what it is today. Are any of these “valuations” correct? Probably not.

 

The hard truth of the business market is your business is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it.

 

Many, many sellers have a hard time with this concept – and unfortunately there are business brokers out there who will tell a potential client anything they want to hear in order to get the listingmeaning their bad advice will cause you to list your small business for an outrageous price that you will never, ever get.

 

The price you put on your business from day one is very important. A business that is priced correctly will tell buyers you are serious about selling (and that you aren’t totally insane). 

 

Your business should not be listed for a price that is based on how much money you’ve invested over the years, how much all of the equipment and furnishings cost you when they were new (8 years ago) or how much you think you’re going to need in order to retire with the quality of life you currently have.

 

Your listing price will contain a lot of moving parts, but primarily it should be based on cash flow, the current value of any assets and what comparable businesses have actually sold for.

 

There are some occasions where a standardized multiple is used, but every small business is a unique case, and should be priced accordingly.

 

What should you do? Have a serious conversation with your business broker about where you would like to set the listing price and then listen to what they have to say. If they think you’re way above where you need to be, you should seriously consider their advice before demanding they list for whatever you want. Any good broker is going to walk away from a client who demands an outrageous price. A broker who will bend to your demands (regardless of reality) should be avoided. 

 

 

Are you thinking about selling and are curious about what similar businesses have recently sold for? Would you like to know our thoughts on the current state of the market for your industry? Ask us! Please feel free to leave 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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Michael Monnot

941.518.7138
Mike@InfinityBusinessBrokers.com

5111-E Ocean Blvd
Siesta Key, FL 34242




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