Buying a Business
Buying a business is a big step in your life. Owning your own business may be one of the most rewarding experiences when things are going well, and one of the most stressful experiences when things are going bad. The majority of people interested in buying a business have never actually owned one before.
First, you will have to examine the reasons why you want to buy a business. Perhaps you have not had much luck working for others in your life, or you may simply want a better life for you and your family. Owning a business is not just a job, but it is a literal way of life. At a typical job, once you leave to go home, you will not have to think about work until you return the next morning. When you own a business, you may leave, but have to return that night because one of your employees is having a problem, or you may be so overloaded that you not only have to work when you are in the office, but you will also have to work once you get home as well. It will take a lot of your time and effort. You have to ask yourself if you are ready for such a change.
After you decide that you are up for the challenge of owning a business, then you have to start looking at what interests you. Just because a business is successful for one person, does not necessarily mean that you will be successful as well. You have to find something that you will dedicate as much time as needed. If you do not like it, then you will not give what it needs.
You will need to know what to look for when you start looking at businesses.
Here are a few essential things:
1) Good documentation. A good business owner keeps clean, information books, which will allow you to easily track their success, lost, profit, and inventory. If the business owner does not keep good books, there is a higher chance that their way of doing business is not great as well. You do not want to inherit a mess for a business.
2) How long has the business been operating, and how long has the current owner owned it? It is important to find a business that has a long track record. This ensures you that you are getting a business that is well established and has a good client base. The time period in which the current owner has owned the business may give you some insight on the stress level involved in keeping the business. If the current business owner has only owned the business for a couple of months, then you may want to start asking questions.
3) Take a look at how they are doing business currently. Owners who are selling their business have a way of starting to neglect their business towards the end, whether it be by closing early, or allowing their inventory to diminish. This may be alienating customers and may hurt your business in the future.
After you find a business that you are interested in, you must then submit a written proposal to the current owner. If you have never owned a business before, this may be a daunting task. If you are unsure, you may want to review your proposal with a lawyer before submitting it. Your proposal should not only contain the amount in which you are willing to pay, but also the stipulations that you have for the sale. The buyer will review it and get back to you about it. Do not be surprised if the buyer returns to you with a counter offer. You will have to haggle with the owner so that the terms work for both of you. It may take several tries, but once it is all over, you will be the proud new owner of a small business. This is where the adventure begins.