Why You Should Keep Politics Out Of Your Business Transaction

This one probably seems pretty obvious. Two people who are essentially strangers are trying to put together a deal for the sale of a small business from one party to another. There are seemingly endless moving parts and points to negotiate, so just getting to a closing table sometimes feels like it takes a herculean effort. All throughout this process everyone needs to try their best to stay objective and keep their cool – but with someone’s blood, sweat and tears being exchanged for someone else’s hard earned money it can be tough to stay emotionless and not be offended.

 

Then someone starts talking politics.

 

 

We all know how divisive political conversations can be. They upend family gatherings and have turned into brawls on the street. Why are we talking about them? A simple political comment can snowball and end a deal.

 

You don’t have to be madly in love with the person on the other side of your transaction. What you do have to do is get along with that person long enough to put a deal together, close that deal and then go through a training period on the other side. The relationship between a business buyer and a business seller is so delicate intermediaries (business brokers) are needed to keep the deal on track and act as a buffer between the parties involved.

 

Why then would a person trying to make a deal happen for themselves throw a political grenade on the whole process? Just don’t. It’s a bad idea.

 

Everyone is entitled to their own political opinions. What you don’t need to do is share those opinions in an already tenuous situation that has big ramifications if the two parties reach a point where they can no longer communicate.

 

Ok, but what if I’m not the one who is always bringing up politics?

 

If you really want your deal to happen your best bet is to ignore those comments from the other side. Change the subject, walk away and communicate through your business broker as much as possible.

 

Are you buying or selling a business and want to know more about how business brokers can act as a buffer in a business transaction? Have you been a part of a business deal that went south because of a political clash and have a story to share? Please leave questions and comments here.

 

 

 

Michael Monnot

941.518.7138
Mike@InfinityBusinessBrokers.com

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What’s Makes A Great Business Broker? Hiring The Right Help

 

If you are buying or selling a business, you will want a great broker by your side, as it will be instrumental in giving you the best chance for success.

 

How do you know if a broker is good? What should a great broker do? Here are a few of the things we do for our clients that mediocre or bad brokers just don’t do:

 

A great broker should answer the phone and return emails.

We know, this sounds crazy, but we get lots of clients simply because we were the first business brokers who actually answered the phone, returned their call or answered an email.

 

A great broker should talk to their clients.

Again, this might sound ludicrous, but we come across folks all the time (especially buyers) who have never had an actual conversation with their broker. Their communication has been limited to a few emails and non-disclosure agreements sent back and forth. We think it is critically important to talk to our clients. If we can talk to you and find out what you really have in mind, then we can save you time and target a search of businesses that fit with your goals. If you are selling, your broker should make themselves available to answer any questions that you have and should also know what your goals are. The only way a broker can really know this very pertinent information is to have a conversation with their clients.

 

A great broker should not be pushy.

Everyone has had the pushy-salesman experience, and it is never positive. Your broker is there to help you buy or sell your business, but all of the decisions in that process are yours alone. Your broker should never try to force you to make decisions that you are uncomfortable with. Many brokers behave like the quintessential bad used car salesman. They don’t get paid if the deal doesn’t close, so they force the deal at the expense of their clients. We think that’s just bad business. We get many of our new clients from referrals from past clients, and that wouldn’t happen if we didn’t keep our client’s best interest at the forefront of every transaction.

 

A great broker should follow through.

If a client needs information, needs documentation, wants to schedule a meeting or call – then a broker should follow through and make sure that those things are happening in a timely fashion. Business deals don’t close themselves, so a great broker needs to stay on top of what needs to be done, and needs to keep the deal moving.

 

If you are considering buying a business or if you are ready to sell the business you currently own, look for these qualities in the broker you work with. The difference between a great broker and a bad broker can mean success or failure for your transaction.

 

Would you like to know more about what we do for our clients that sets us apart from other brokers in the industry? Ask us! Please leave us a comment or question here, and we would be happy to assist you in any way we can.

 

 

 

Michael Monnot

941.518.7138
Mike@InfinityBusinessBrokers.com

 

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Why Are Sellers So Difficult? Understanding The Other Side

If you have just entered the business market, you may have noticed that sellers are not falling all over themselves to court you and sell you on buying their business. Considering how much money you are about to spend, you may feel like sellers should be doing more to entice you – but business sales don’t work that way.

 

 

It’s not like buying a really expensive car or a really nice watch where sales people fight over you and do everything they can to close a deal.

 

When you own and run a business, it is a life-encompassing affair. Your business is your baby, so selling that business – which involves handing over the keys and walking away – can be a very emotionally difficult thing to do.

 

Whether it’s productive or not, many sellers look at buyers as the villain in the story. They see questions as a personal attack. They get offended when you find issues. They get easily insulted during negotiations. You get the idea. 

 

Another issue arises because most business information is inherently private and proprietary, so it can be hard for a seller to hand over that information to someone who is essentially a complete stranger.

 

When sellers first list their business, they put together a package of general information, and that information is probably all they are comfortable handing over. Trouble can start when you as a buyer want more information than a purposefully vague listing or a basic marketing package.  

 

As a buyer, you are entitled to all the information you need to make an educated decision, just try to see your requests from the seller’s point of view. Would you be willing to answer a 90 question list after you had provided the answers to those questions in a marketing package the buyer clearly hasn’t read? Would you love the idea of complete strangers digging around your financial records?

 

The key to working together with sellers is to have a bit of patience and to use your intermediaries (your brokers and attorneys) as a buffer between the two sides. A good broker, for example, will ask you to read any information already supplied and pare down that 90 question list so as not to offend the seller.

 

Working together with the seller is of the utmost importance if you want your deal to reach a closing table – and keeping things amicable will make the training and transition period (where both sides will be working together) from being an awkward disaster.

 

Are you a new buyer in the market and have had trouble finding cooperative sellers? Do you have questions about what information you will be able to access and what kinds of questions are appropriate to ask a seller? Ask us! Please feel free to leave a comment or question, and we would be happy to help you on your road to business ownership.

 

 

 

Michael Monnot

941.518.7138
Mike@InfinityBusinessBrokers.com

 

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Business Buyer: What’s In An Offer?

If you’ve found a business you really like, and you are ready for the next step, congratulations!

 

The next stage in the business transaction process is the initial offer, sometimes called a “purchase contract” or an “offer to purchase”.

 

 

Once a buyer makes an offer, the seller decides if they are willing to accept the offer. If they are, then the business transaction heads into a period called due diligence. Just like you can’t do an inspection on a house until you’ve had an accepted offer – in business sales an accepted offer will give a business buyer a chance to look over every aspect of the business and decide if they want to go ahead with the sale.

 

What goes into an offer?

 

This document will contain the terms, conditions, non-compete conditions, financing, inventory, transition details like training, warranties and any other aspects of the purchase.

 

Should I write my own offer?

 

In most cases, you will want to have a business broker put together an offer to purchase for you, although there are some standardized versions you may be able to use in the most simple of transactions. Business transactions are inherently complex, so having someone who writes these types of contracts all the time to help you will keep you from having issues (like if you unknowingly leave out what could be a crucial part of the contract) down the road. If you really want to write your own, just make sure you have your broker look it over before it gets handed over to the seller.

 

Is an offer set in stone?

 

Absolutely not! Your initial offer is contingent upon what you discover in due diligence. If what you uncover during this period makes you unwilling to go ahead with the purchase, you will have the opportunity to back out. If what you find during due diligence isn’t enough to kill the deal, but you discover, for instance, that the business is earning 15% less than was initially stated , you will be able to adjust your offer accordingly.

 

The moral of the story? An offer is an important part of the business transaction process, so use the experience of your business broker to guide you through this step.

 

Are you a buyer with your eye on a particular business but you aren’t sure what will need to go into the initial offer? Was your initial offer rejected by the seller and you need to know what to do next? Please leave us a comment or question and we would be happy to help you.

 

 

 

Michael Monnot

941.518.7138
Mike@InfinityBusinessBrokers.com

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Keeping Your Cool: Advice For Business Sellers

We get it. Your business is your baby. Your blood, sweat and tears. When you are preparing to separate yourself from your business after a sale, it can be fairly difficult to remain objective. After all, this business has been your life for a long time. The level of emotions you encounter might surprise you. Add to that the need to work through a deal with a buyer who, in most cases, is a complete stranger.

 

Anyone who is selling their business hopes to find a buyer they like. Negotiating with someone whose personality meshes well with yours is far easier than with someone you generally dislike. 

 

 

The reality is you might not like the person buying your business. The good news is you don’t have to like them – you just have to get through the deal. The key is to remain calm, cool and collected.

 

It can take anywhere from 9 to 12 months (sometimes longer for niche businesses) to get your business from listing to closing. Even if you have a buyer it can take many months to get a deal all the way through. That time span can feel like an eternity if you’re working with someone you dislike.

 

Do your best to maintain your composure and maintain a level of professionalism in interactions with your buyer (whether you like them or not). This will make the transaction process far easier than if you let a clash of personalities devolve into a miserable time for everyone. Deals fall apart every day that didn’t have to because people let their feelings get hurt. Business transactions are just business – so reminding yourself of that regularly will help.

 

What if I totally hate the buyer?

 

You don’t have to sell someone your business, but their money is as good as anyone else’s. There’s also no way to know how long it will take you to find another buyer. Instead of walking away, do what you need to do to keep your distance from your buyer if it turns out that you’re not going to get along. Use your business broker for any and all communication between you.

 

Another thing to consider? In most business transactions there will be a  2-week training after closing. This training will be part of the purchase contract and ensures that the new buyer has the chance to learn everything they need to now in order to operate the business going forward. If you’re not a big fan of your buyer this 2 weeks can seem torturous – but you have to remember that at the end of the day the goal was to sell your business and get a financial return. If all that it’s going to take to reach your goal is 2 weeks – you can do it. 

 

Are you thinking about selling your business and are worried about finding a buyer you can work with? Do you have an experience with a buyer you’d like to share? Would you like to know more about the training period after closing? Leave any questions or comments, we would be happy to help.

 

 

 

 

Michael Monnot

941.518.7138
Mike@InfinityBusinessBrokers.com

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Want To Be An Entrepreneur? How You Should (And Shouldn’t) Start

Ready to become an entrepreneur and work for yourself? How do you start the process of buying a business and decide what business would be right for you?

 

 

First, let’s look at how you SHOULDN’T start.

 

The majority of would-be entrepreneurs start their business search by perusing various online business listing sites for that dream businesses they’ve always seen themselves owning. While it may seem counter-intuitive at first, this is absolutely the wrong way to start.

 

How SHOULD you start?

 

Do some soul searching and talk to the people who care about you first.  Trust us when we say that owning your own business is a life-encompassing affair. Those dream-state visions of running a business from the beach with a cold drink in your hand are extremely far-fetched. When you work for yourself, you work all the time. Nights, weekends, early mornings, few if any vacations – and you need to be ready to make that kind of commitment. If you think that type of life is the one for you because it allows you to fulfill your own destiny and make all of your blood, sweat and tears work for you instead of for someone else, that’s great. Now you need to clear this semi-extreme lifestyle with your spouse, your kids – anyone who you have a commitment with. If you are becoming a one-man shop and you used to work 9 to 5, it can be hard to balance your longer hours with your loved ones – especially if they are used to having you home for dinner and used to having you coach their little league team every spring.

 

Once you have the support of those you are closest to, you need to figure out what your goals for entrepreneurship are. Do you just want to make as much money as possible? Do you want to work in a specific industry that’s always been your dream and passion? Do you want a flexible schedule? Do you want to be home for dinner every night? Is it important to have weekends off? What financial goals do you have to meet in order to support yourself and your family? These questions will be pivotal in choosing what business will be right, both for your entrepreneurial goals and for your life.

 

Now that you have these basic questions answered, you need to get some professional help. Find and talk to a good business broker. A good broker will immediately ask you many of the same questions we just outlined above, and then they will use that information to help guide you to businesses that will meet those goals. Notice that we didn’t say a good broker will just ask you what type of business you are interested in and show you only that. As brokers who care about the success of our clients, it is in our best interest (and yours) if you succeed, as a healthy local small business market is our bread and butter. We will use the classic bar example. If a new buyer comes to us and says “I want to buy a bar“, we should be asking questions instead of just emailing every bar listing in the area. Has this new buyer ever worked in the restaurant industry? If not, then buying a bar will likely be a huge mistake. Starting off as a new business owner and trying to learn an entirely new industry at the same time is setting yourself up for an epic failure. Does this buyer have a family that wants or needs them home in the evenings? If so, then working every afternoon and into the night is going to cause more family upheaval then it’s worth.

 

Deciding on a small business is a very big decision, and will need to take into account a variety of factors. The best way to weed through the choices that are currently on the market is to first do some soul searching and then figure out what your business ownership goals are. You will also need to use the assistance of a business broker. A good broker will not only help you find businesses that would be right for you, they can help you narrow the field to those businesses that will help you fulfill your goals.

 

Have you always had a dream business in mind but aren’t sure it would fit your goals for business ownership? Would you like to know what businesses are available that would work with your family schedule? Ask us! Leave questions or comments here and we would be happy to help.

 

 

 

Michael Monnot

941.518.7138
Mike@InfinityBusinessBrokers.com

 

 

 

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Buying A Business? Why Research & Questions Should Be Your Top Priority

We get it. Once you’ve decided that you are ready to make the leap and buy a business it can be hard to keep from going directly to the shopping phase. It’s fun to look at business listings and envision yourself as the owner. Guess what? Shopping for businesses in this way is unproductive and ultimately won’t get you what you’re hoping for from business ownership.

 

Why?

 

Any business, large or small, can be condensed down to one major thing. A business is cash flow. You are providing goods or services that you pay for and then your customers pay you. It’s the money in and money out that makes a business successful, and hopefully you’re making more than you’re spending.

 

If a business is essentially just cash flow it really doesn’t matter what color the walls are. Looking at pictures of businesses on the internet isn’t telling you much of the story. Neither is perusing vague P&L statements.

 

What you really need to know about a business is does it generate (or have the potential to generate) the amount of cash flow I need to live day to day as the owner – and is it possible for me to be successful in this industry.

 

How do you figure that out? Research and questions.

 

 

Research the areas where you’d like your business to be. Can you afford to live there? How much would you need to make to have that be possible? Will the area work for you and your family? If you’d love to live on the beach, but your target area has zero schools for your kids you might need to redirect your target area.

 

Research the different industry sectors possible in that area. Do you have any practical experience or education that would make a particular industry better for you than another? Will the industries available in your target area match with your skills? If you’ve always wanted to own a big restaurant but have never spent a single day in the restaurant industry, then looking at food service industry business is likely a mistake.

 

Once you’ve done some research, start asking questions. Have a conversation with an experienced and qualified business broker about the areas you’re considering, your practical experience and education, your goals for business ownership and the amount of capital you have to invest. Ask lots of questions – about the area, about the industries that do well in that area, about what types of businesses would both fit with your experience and with what you hope to get out of owning your own business.

 

Notice something? So far we haven’t said “look at listings” because it isn’t helpful until you know where you want to be and what you need to be successful.

 

Don’t waste a ton of time scouring the internet for your future business. Do some research and then get in touch with a business broker.

 

Do you have questions about the process to buy a business? Would you like to know what types of businesses would match your practical experience? Ask us! Leave any questions or comments and we would be happy to help.

 

 

 

Michael Monnot

941.518.7138
Mike@InfinityBusinessBrokers.com

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Why Sellers Need To Work On Confidentiality Too

 

If you are selling your business you probably know how damaging it can be if your staff, customers or frankly anyone finds out that the business is on the market.

 

Employees can panic and quit en masse, taking their regulars with them. Customers can stop coming in, worried about how much the business might change under new ownership. The community at large might think you’re selling to get yourself clear of a sinking ship (as the misconception that a business for sale is a business on the brink is both pervasive and in the vast majority of cases – false).

 

While your business is for sale maintaining confidentiality is paramount, but not just in terms of the for-sale status. There are parts of your business that a buyer will need to see – your tax returns, your employee records, your vendor contracts, your client contracts and the like that are also critically important. Your business records and proprietary information need to stay confidential too. 

 

That’s why it’s a good idea to hire the right help – a business broker. Business brokers are able to safely and confidentially market your business to buyers, at first through a purposefully vague listing and then only disclosing any identifying information after a prospective buyer has signed the appropriate non-disclosure agreement (NDA). The NDA also protects the records and information a buyer will have access to from disclosure so you don’t need to worry about confidential information ending up in the wrong hands.

 

While your business broker and buyers who have signed the NDA do their part to keep the confidentiality of your business transaction in place, you as a seller also need to be careful so you don’t burst your own confidentiality bubble. It happens more than it should, and often it’s the product of an seemingly innocent conversation.

 

Here’s an example. A business seller flies to see their parents on vacation, and while on the plane headed out of state they strike up a conversation with the person sitting next to them. The conversation turns, as it often does, to what you do for a living. The seller tells this stranger that he owns a waterfront restaurant that he’s currently selling. Later in the conversation he lets slip that this restaurant is in a specific community, one where there’s only one waterfront restaurant. Unbeknownst to the seller, this casual stranger not only lives in this community, they’re very involved in the community’s social scene and have many friends who frequent his restaurant. As soon as the plane lands, the gossip begins, as phone calls to friends include “did you hear the restaurant is for sale?” By the time the seller is on his return flight the damage is done and the entire community knows about his for-sale status. 

 

The point here is you wouldn’t carry around a copy of your business tax returns to show every stranger you meet, so you need to work just as hard as your broker and the buyers who sign the NDA to keep your for-sale status under wraps. Don’t tell strangers, don’t tell your friends, don’t tell your neighbors – you get the idea.

 

Are you considering selling your business and hadn’t thought about how important confidentiality is? Would you like to know more about how we market your business while maintaining confidentiality? Ask us! Leave any questions or comments and we would be happy to help.

 

 

 

Michael Monnot

941.518.7138
Mike@InfinityBusinessBrokers.com

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Planning Your Trip: 3 Tips For Relocating Business Buyers

 

Maybe it was the lockdowns of the pandemic. Maybe it’s just that you’re burned out. Whatever the reason, you’ve been daydreaming about moving somewhere else and buying a business. Guess what? There’s no better time than now to make the leap.

 

Want some tips on how to start? Here’s 3:

 

Do lots of research:

 

This one might sound obvious, but most people would be shocked at how little research most buyers do before taking a huge leap like this. Take a deep dive into the locations that interest you. If it’s somewhere you’ve only ever visited on vacation, research what it’s like to live there year-round. Is it a seasonal economy that you’ll need to account for when choosing the type of business to buy? Can you afford to buy or rent a home close enough to your business to make your commute make sense? If you have kids – what are the schools like and where do you need to live in order to get your kids into a school where they’ll be successful? What are the property taxes like? Are crazy weather events like hurricanes something you need to think about? The point here is you need to have a good handle on where you both want to and realistically can be long before you start a serious search for businesses to buy.

 

Find the right help:

 

If you’re serious about buying a business in a new area, a local business broker is going to be an immense help. They know the area, the local small business economy, the local licensing/permitting requirements, the major players in terms of commercial property managers – the list goes on and on. Having someone with local experience as your guide will make both finding the right business and navigating the buying process much easier than going it alone or using someone who doesn’t know the area.

 

Have the site visits planned way before you leave for your trip:

 

Seeing a business you are considering is an important step, but what many buyers don’t understand is this step never comes first. Businesses are bought and sold under the protection of confidentiality (see why here), so you can’t just fly into town and waltz into whatever business you please. The steps that are required before you set foot in a physical location go like this:

 

You talk to a local business broker about your goals for business ownership, the industries you’re interested in and the amount of capital you have to invest. They find you business listings that would match your goals and means. If any of those listings look promising you can request more information by signing a non-disclosure agreement for each business you’re still considering. After looking over the information a conference call with the sellers is next, so you can ask questions about the business and see if it’s still a good fit. If after your calls you’d like to see the physical location this can be arranged. It usually requires seeing the business before or after hours when no staff or customers are around and will need to be coordinated between the schedules of the seller, the buyer and the brokers involved. It should be obvious that this process can’t be completed once you’ve landed on your scouting trip and have called a local broker for the very first time. You need to plan your site visits when you are doing your initial trip planning – like before you’ve even bought your plane tickets. It is a colossal waste of your own time to fly in and see businesses you haven’t already vetted, so plan your trip with that in mind. 

 

If you’re considering a big move – now is the time. Contact a local business broker and get the process moving!

 

Have you always wanted to move somewhere else and own your own business? Do you have more questions about the steps of the business buying process? Ask us! Leave any questions or comments and we would be happy to help!

 

 

 

Michael Monnot

941.518.7138
Mike@InfinityBusinessBrokers.com

 

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Buying/Selling? Why You Really Need A Broker

 

Buying or selling a business? Are you ready to negotiate

 

No one has ever bought or sold a business without a great deal of back and forth between the parties involved – and many, many deals have died over the negotiating table. Nothing is more frustrating for buyers and sellers than the death of a perfectly good deal. If you are thinking about buying or selling a business, how do you keep your deal alive?

 

Use an experienced and qualified business broker. A good business broker is essential for success.

 

Of course you would say that you’re business brokers. Yes, you have us there – but we would advise you to use the services of a business broker whether that’s what we did for a living or not.

 

Why? The business selling process and the businesses themselves are both complicated, messy animals.  No where does that inherent messiness come out more boldly than during negotiations.

 

 

What needs to be negotiated? Essentially everything. The purchase price, the length of the due diligence phase, seller financing agreements, a non-compete clause, a new lease, the value of the inventory, the length of the training period, the value of the equipment and furnishings, the continued employment of certain staff, the closing date – the list goes on and on.

 

With such a monumental list of things that need to be agreed upon by two parties with vastly different goals it’s no wonder that many deals fall apart. A seller is dealing with handing over a business with which they have strong emotional ties as it has been a very big part of their life. Sellers are also nervous about selling themselves out of a job, essentially becoming unemployed the moment the deal is signed. They want to get as much as they can out of the sale of their business. Buyers, on the other hand, are dealing with writing a huge check to a complete stranger for a risky new entrepreneurial adventure. They want to spend as little as possible so they can keep working capital available. 

 

How do you meet in the middle of such vastly different goals? An intermediary like a business broker.

 

A broker’s responsibility is to keep the deal together and help it get to the closing table. Your broker acts not only as an experienced advisor who ensures everything that needs to be done gets done, they also act as an all-important buffer between the two parties. Business sellers and business buyers are entrepreneurs at heart – and to be a successful entrepreneur you need a strong and driven personality. If you’ve ever tried to argue with someone who has this personality type – you should understand why a buffer is needed. Too many perfectly good deals have fallen apart because someone asked the wrong question, made the wrong request – and the other side was offended to the point of no return.

 

Don’t try to go-it alone. If you are serious about selling or buying a business, you need a business broker to help you negotiate your way to closing table success.

 

Are you thinking about selling your business and want to know more about how a business broker can help you? Do you want to buy a business and want to know more about the negotiation process? Ask us! Please feel free to leave any questions or comments and we would be happy to help.

 

 

 

Michael Monnot

941.518.7138
Mike@InfinityBusinessBrokers.com

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Michael Monnot

941.518.7138
Mike@InfinityBusinessBrokers.com

9040 Town Center Parkway
Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202




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