Buying a business can be a complicated procedure, from finding the right one to working out all the details required for a smooth transfer of ownership.
While there is no such thing as the “perfect” business, a business broker knows the importance of finding one that fits your needs, talents, skills and lifestyle.
A business broker has many different types of businesses for you to consider and the knowledge and experience to walk you through the entire process.
Below you will find some helpful information as you consider whether buying a business is right for you.
Going into business for yourself is a big step, one that can be full of apprehension and even fear.
Almost 90 percent of all those who purchase a small business have never owned a business. Most of them bought a business that was different than what they had been looking for. These buyers had the opportunity to explore the marketplace and subsequently found a business more to their liking. In most cases, the seller financed the sale.
Most buyers are seeking to obtain the following when considering the purchase of a business:
As you begin your search, keep in mind that running your own business is more than a job; it is a lifestyle change. In most cases, it is a very big lifestyle change. Usually, you will be working longer hours, making all of the decisions, and, as the expression goes, “you will be the chief cook and bottle washer.” In other words, you will be doing all of the work from running the business to, in many cases, sweeping the floor and changing the light bulbs.
Being in business for yourself can be a daunting prospect. There are no guarantees. At some point, after all of your investigation is completed, you will still have to make that “leap of faith” that is necessary to proceed with the purchase of the business.
You will have to work hard, perhaps even “tighten your belt” a little, and perform many different jobs to be successful in your own business. But, if running your own show, making your own decisions, not having to worry about job security (remember, no one can fire you from your own business), and just being on your own are important – then owning a business is for you.
After taking this leap of faith, almost all business owners will tell you that they would never go back to being an employee.
Unfortunately, too many prospective buyers want to know the asking price first and then ask how much money they can make.
These are the wrong questions to ask initially. You need to know how much cash the seller requires as a down payment. No matter how good the numbers are, there is no point in looking at a business if the seller wants three times as much cash as you are willing to invest.
Remember, the actual amount of money a business earns is usually much more than just the bottom line. A smart approach is to get more information on the business, and even make a visit, before ruling it out or getting too involved in the numbers. It’s all part of the learning process.
One of the most common questions asked by those who have never purchased a business (which is incidentally about 90 percent of those looking to buy a business) is how do you actually buy a business. There is no right or wrong way to buy a business.
However, it is important that you get answers to all of your questions and that you have all the information necessary to make an informed decision.
Unless you are completely familiar with the type of business purchased, it is beneficial to include as part of the agreement that the seller will stay with you (30 days is fair, with perhaps another 30 to 60 days of telephone consultation) a sufficient length of time to teach you the business – at no charge. If you want the seller to stay longer, it may be best to offer to pay him or her a consulting fee of some type.
The next step to buying your own business is to make sure it is the right move for you and your family.
Owning one’s own business is still very much “the great American dream,” but it’s not for everybody. Here are some questions that you should ask yourself before taking the next step.