8 Things We Wish Every Business Buyer Knew Before Calling Us
When it comes to buying a company, the adage “It’s not personal, it’s business” goes right out the window. Investing life savings, sacrificing a conventional career, recognizing the risks, and developing the relationships necessary to make it a success is about as personal as it gets. It’s emotional. It’s expensive. It’s hard. And it can also be the best decisions you’ve ever made.
All the more reason to thoroughly understand exactly what you (and your business partner and your family) are getting into. Buying a business is one of the most complicated—and rewarding—endeavors the lucky few ever do, and it takes a team of people working together to make it happen, make it worthwhile, and make it enjoyable (yes, enjoyable).
Here are eight things we wish every would-be buyer would know before approaching a seller with an offer.
Make sure you love something about it.
One of the biggest mistakes future business owners make is buying a business they know or care very little about. The success of a business, whether it is a start-up or a takeover, is steeped in the non-stop involvement of its owner. As the new face of the business, you better be smiling—and this is much easier to do if you love what you do or what you are selling (preferably both).
Know your broker’s background.
Many business brokers work in a part-time capacity and close only a few deals per year. Consider this: The Firm Business Brokerage handled 43 transactions in 2016 and has helped a total of 152 buyers find the business of their dreams since 2010. Aligning sellers with prospective buyers isn’t just our full-time job; it’s the reason we get out of bed in the morning.
Know everyone’s name at the table.
You may be buying a business entity, but there are a lot of humans involved in its sale. Learn names, shake hands, and get a good gut read of the room. The better you feel about the people with whom you do business, the smoother the transition will be; you’ll ask better questions, get better answers, and have a better chance of meeting your company milestones successfully.
We can only help you find a business with those listed in our current portfolio.
Our brokerage is retained by the seller. While there is no obligation to buy, there is a benefit to creating a buyer profile so that we pair you up with business listings that match your goals, risk tolerance, and budget.
Tax returns are only a piece of the financial puzzle.
When evaluating a business for purchase, it’s important to work with a broker who can explain the intricacies of the company’s existing financials. Some items claimed by sellers on tax returns will not be claimed by you; things like their personal phone, mileage on their cars, and one-time large purchases that won’t impact financials after the sale.
Get a proper business valuation.
Don’t trust a business valuation completed by the business; it’s essentially like having a mother describe her own child. A professional broker can ensure the valuation is approached with objectivity and transparency; due diligence and underwriting will reveal any skeletons long before pen hits paper, but it’s better to avoid that headache up front.
Secure the right financing.
We won’t tell you how many business deals are threatened by incorrect or insufficient financing. Ensure you can buy the business of your dreams by securing the necessary funds prior to the sale. The Firm’s extensive contacts, strategic partnerships, and resources can help make your dream a reality.
What will your cash flow look like the first year?
When considering a business for purchase, consider what the business looks like right now and what it could look like a year from now. Are there ways you can save on expenses? How will you treat your write-offs and advertising? Are there ways you could increase exposure, marketing space, mass appeal, and product development to the benefit of your new bottom line? Consider these factors in more when determining if you should purchase the business.
The Firm Business Brokerage knows what it means to find the right fit between seller and buyer; some of this is chemistry and some of this a lot of accounting. We’re happy to assist you no matter what side of the table you find yourself (this time). For more information, contact us here.
- Why it Makes Sense to Carry as a Seller
- Let's Talk About Pets
- What Exactly Are the Benefits of an SBA Loan?
- 2020 Industry Highs and Lows
- What the "Big Buyers" Want
- What’s an earnout, and why does Ryan Reynolds have one?
- M&A Advisor or Business Broker?
- How to Sell a Business in 7 Easy* Steps
- The Firm Advisors: #1 in the World -- Again!
- Documentation is Key During This Time
- Small Business Debt Relief Program
- Work On Your Small Business (While You Aren't Working In It)
- Meet the Listing: Body Shop w/ Towing & Auto Repair
- Superstitions and Deal Killers
- Choosing Your Investments: Stock Market vs. Business Purchase
- Video: Deal Education
- Industry Spotlight: Advertising and Marketing
- Meet the Team: The Firm Advisors Office Tour
- Securing Your Business Against Ransomware
- M&A: What's an M, and what's an A?
- Location, Location, Relocation
- $20M in One Month
- Pet Care: A Recession-Proof Industry
- The Firm Named to BBB Honor Roll
- Firm Family Christmas
- Firmgiving 2019
- Cortney Sells on IBBA's Podcast
- The Firm Makes Inc. 5000
- M&A: The Industry Defying Gravity
- Have You Met Makayla?
- Dr. Lemberg's Pathway to Retirement
- Steven Makes His Mark in M&A
- Hot Off the Press - June 2019 Magazine
- All Good Things Take Time
- The Firm June Magazine Release Celebration
- The Firm Feels Good Doing Good
- Corner Kick Spoils our Swan
- Opportunity of the Week: A Business That Brightens Children’s Futures
- Q&A With Cortney: Stock Sale Versus Asset Sale
- The Ins and Outs of Seller Financing
- Preparing for the Perfect Retirement
- The Firm Is Breaking Industry Records & Poised for Growth in 2019
- Simply the Best
- Competitor Analysis, Opportunities Listed
- Dentist to Dreamer - Hard Work Pays Off!
- Kansas City Tech Company Useagility Sells to First Tek
- 8th Year as Omaha's Best Business Brokerage
- Sellers: Why You Should Finance Your Buyers
- Summer Intern 2017 - Ameya Shelby
- Industry Forecast: Mind the Generational Gap
- Selling Your Business: Getting a Proper Business Valuation
- Asset Sales or Stock Sales: Determining the Best for Your Business Transaction
- Why (and How) Business Owners Are Selling in 2017
- The Law of 3's - Choosing the Right Kind of Broker
- A Mutually Beneficial Relationship
- Reaching Out is Key
- Confidential Business Reviews
- A Change of Pace to Business Ownership
- Confidentiality is at the Core of Business
- Moving into the Boardroom
- Buying a Business vs. Starting Your Own
- Bringing Buyers and Sellers Together is Just the Beginning
- Client Interfacing in the Digital Age
- Four Questions Every Buyer Should Ask
- The Firm Outpaces Transaction Totals from Previous Two Years
- Faces of Omaha 2016: Face of Business Brokerages
- The Firm Business Brokerage Set to Double Sales within Seller's Market - MBJ 2014