Archives for January 2012

Is there something I can do to help sell my business?

It goes without saying that a buyer will want up-to-date financial information. Work with your professionals to make all current information available.  Make sure that your attorney is familiar with all laws and the business closing process.  If you have an attorney, you may also want to check to see if he or she could participate at a closing on short notice.  You wouldn't potentially want to have to wait for an attorney to make the time to prepare documents or attend the closing.  When it comes to any business sale transaction, time is of the essence.  When parties don't close on schedule, the buyer could reconsider or make changes in the original proposal. … [Read more...]

What are business brokers and what can they do?

Great question! Business brokers are professionals that will facilitate the successful sale of your business.  However, there are certain things business brokers can and cannot do.  For example, they can help you price your business and structure the sale.  They can also assist you to find the right buyer and negotiate effectively with that party.  Business brokers can also help buyers to successfully purchase a business. Keep in mind that business brokers are not magicians, and this means that they can't sell overpriced businesses.  If your business is structured and priced accurately, chances are that it can and will sell.  However, only the market will determine what a business will sell for in the end.  There are a variety of factors that can influence a sale including the amount of the down payment you'll accept as well as the terms of the seller financing. … [Read more...]

How long should I expect it to take to sell my business?

In short, the answer to this question depends on many factors.  In general, 80% of businesses close within 12-14 months of listing.  Keep in mind that this figure is just an average.  However, if you get together the information needed to begin the marketing process, the overall time period will decrease.  Pricing your business properly from the start can also make a big difference. While some sellers want to overprice their businesses with the idea that they can always come down in price, this strategy usually backfires.  Many buyers won't even look at overpriced businesses.   Another aspect that can be a key ingredient to a quick sale is the down payment.  When a down payment is lower, the time to a successful sale is typically shorter.  When there is a reasonable down payment it also tells a buyer that the seller has confidence in the business’s ability to make the payments. … [Read more...]

Should I Get an Attorney?

Our clients often ask us if they should get an attorney to assist in the buying process.  It is a good idea to have an attorney review your documents.  However, make sure that this attorney is familiar with the process of buying a business.  You will also want to select someone who can accomplish the process  in a timely manner. We have recommendations of qualified attorneys with ample experience helping buyers through the process.  Keep in mind that while your we are extremely knowledgeable about the process, we can't give you legal advice.  On the other hand, many attorneys aren't qualified to give business advice. While, of course, you will want your attorney to look out for your interests, keep in mind that throughout the process the seller's interests must also be protected.  A seller's attorney could instruct him or her not to proceed if it seems that the seller's interests aren't being considered.  Obviously, any transaction should be fair for both parties. If you are … [Read more...]

Do I need a business broker?

How can Provest help you buy a business?  First of all, we can give you an array of businesses to choose from and in many cases you wouldn't have found them on your own.  It is important to note that 90% of the time, business buyers end up with something other than the business they first inquired about. It should go without saying that we can also give you a lot of information about the buying process and small businesses in general.  We are entrenched in the market and can give you invaluable information about trends, pricing and even local considerations. Throughout the sale, we handle the fine details.  If it is necessary for other professionals to assist you in any way, we can give you recommendations. All in all, you can share your business needs and requirements with Provest, and expect to get results. … [Read more...]

I have found a business I want to buy, what now?

It is at this stage that Provest can be quite invaluable.  We will be there to answer any questions you might have or do the relevant research.  Next, we will prepare an offer based on the price and terms you feel are appropriate.  Typically, you will have final approval upon review of the actual books and records supporting the figures that have been provided.  You will find out at this stage if the buyer will accept the price and terms you offered. It is essential that you and the seller agree on price and terms. When the seller receives your offer, he or she can approve it, reject it, or counter it with his or her own offer.  If you receive a counter proposal, you can accept or reject it. Once a price and terms have been agreed up, “due diligence” is next.  The burden is on you – the buyer – no one else.  You have the opportunity to bring in outside advisors or do your own due diligence.  If there are no areas of concern, you can allow the closing documents to be prepared and … [Read more...]

How can I be successful with my new business?

With a new business, you'll have to work hard and put in many hours.  Of course, even aside from the capital necessary to buy the business, you'll also need money to make improvements.  Buying a business doesn't mean you can sit at a desk from now on.  You must also get out there and handle a variety of elements including upkeep, promotions, hiring and bookkeeping.  All of these elements and more contribute to success. … [Read more...]

What should I look for?

The bottom line is that you want to find a business you would feel comfortable operating.  To succeed, it is important that you are proud to own your business.  Of course, there are also financial considerations.  You also want to find a business that fits your price range and you want to make sure you'll make enough income to pay your bills. Keep in mind that when you see a business you want to buy, it is beneficial if you have ideas of how to improve it and make it more profitable.  As a new owner, odds are that you will be making improvements to strengthen and grow the business.  In our opinion, unless you can take the business to a new level, it is probably not the right business for you.  The ultimate success of the business is in your hands, and that is why we advise clients to find businesses they feel optimistic about owning. … [Read more...]

How does a seller price his or her business?

Typically, a seller will come to a Provest for advice on what a business' selling price should be.  After carefully reviewing financial information, we suggest a range of prices.  We take market considerations into account.  While a seller may already have a figure in mind, we will recommend a price range.  When more cash is required by the seller, the price will be lower.  In contrast, when there are lower cash requirements, the price is generally higher. In today’s market, many business sales have a seller-financed component.  As a result, the down payment and terms are essential. In many cases, the structure of the sale is more important than the actual selling price.  The fact of the matter is the terms of the sale can mean success and failure. … [Read more...]

What makes people decide to go into business for themselves?

Researchers are often looking into this topic.  However, it turns out that most surveys reveal similar answers.  The following list details what buyers typically are seeking.  (This list is 1-4 with the most important elements listed first.) 1. I want to do my own thing and control my own destiny 2. I no longer want to work for a boss 3. I have skills and abilities I'd like to take advantage of 4. I'm interested in making more money *As you can see above, making money is not the top reason that people want to run their own business! … [Read more...]

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