What to Consider Before Buying an Existing Business

As an entrepreneur, there are different paths you can follow to own an enterprise. You are at liberty to either purchase an existing firm or to start yours from scratch. Which is the best option?

With the many uncertainties when starting a business and high chances of failure, an existing firm would be your best option. When choosing the best among existing businesses for sale, ensure it has a good cash flow statement.

So, how do you get information about businesses for sale? Unlike in real estate, you won’t see “For Sale” signs outside a typical enterprise. Instead, you may want to engage business brokers to help seal the agreement.

With that in mind, here are some tips to consider when buying an existing business.

1. Your Interests and Expertise

You want to buy a firm that you can easily manage. Its management procedure shouldn’t be the source of your stress and depression. But how do you find such a firm?

If you don’t like sacrificing or waking up at dawn to go to work, you’ll experience problems no matter the business you run. It doesn’t matter how intelligent or smart you’re, if your attitude is not right, the enterprise will collapse.

2. Evaluate the History of the Firm

Buying a business is quite complex; it requires tons of financial analysis and management expertise. In simple terms, you’ll need to check the sales record, financial records, and the entire organizational and management structure of the firm you are interested in purchasing.

The best way to acquire this information is by visiting the seller. Engage them in a conversation and ask prudent questions about the firm. Some basic questions should include the main reason why they’re disposing of the company.

For example, if you are looking for businesses for sale in Michigan, you are going to want to ask questions about the area and the local market for the industry you are looking to break into. It may be the case that the particular industry you are looking into in Michigan is declining, and the seller is trying to offload their business before the market downturns extensively.

Tread carefully, particularly in cases where the business disposal is due to financial problems or excessive debts.

3. Assess the Value of the Enterprise

You may engage the services of a business valuation company to place a price on the enterprise. As a buyer, you’ll also need to understand the various factors that influence the value of a business. These include the following:

  • The location of the business.
  • The furniture and other fixtures in the enterprise.
  • The current inventory.
  • Presence of competent employees
  • The cash flow statement- able to meet the expenses of this firm and leave some profits.
  • The future growth of the industry.
  • The competition levels in the market.

4. Determine the Financing Strategy

Once you make the decision to purchase an enterprise, you’ll need to check your financial muscle. Acquiring an enterprise is not an easy task, especially with current inflation levels in the market. You may choose to engage a broker in the business market of your choosing

The broker will be very helpful in negotiating the price and other terms to ensure they are favorable to all parties.

When buying an existing firm, you’ll be acquiring an income stream. Its cash flow statement should be able to meet the costs and expenses of running the enterprise.

Where you use credit financing to purchase the firm, its proceeds should be able to service the loan. Otherwise, you may have issues if you are not able to expand the business as much as you initially anticipated.

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About Dequiana Jackson

Dequiana Jackson, CEO of Inspired Marketing, Inc., is a small business marketing coach who shows women entrepreneurs how to use solid marketing strategies to turn their life’s passion into a profitable, service-based business. Dequiana is the author of Know Your Business: How to Attract Ideal Clients & Sell More and runs the award-winning blog, Entrepreneur-Resources.net.

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