You're overwhelmed, there's too much information, too many opportunities, so much risk, lots to lose, therefore you're paralyzed. I know how you feel, I've been there. Twenty years ago I was a business buyer. I will use the word "business" only for the balance of this article, but understand you could buy a franchise as well). I had a pregnant wife at home; check that, we were living in her parents' house where she grew up. We had very little money to buy a business and the only hope I had to buy one was to find a business good enough to convince her Dad to back me. Obviously I was paralyzed too.
Here's the end of the story. I found a business to buy, I borrowed all the money, struggled a tad at first, succeeded, struggled even more later, and now own a very successful international franchise. I'm living the American Dream of entrepreneurialism... and now I want to help you do the same.
Through this blog I will attempt to keep it real. Real stories, succinct to-do lists, and honest advice. It is my honor to be writing for BizQuest and what a perfect name for the start of our journey together. Let's get started on your BizQuest!
Here are five things you need to do to get started:
1.Take a deep breath and relax. I'm not going to tell you everything is going to be OK in the end. This ain't no fairytale. This may not work out at all, but if you do fail anywhere in this process, you won't be the first, nor alone. Transworld is my 5th or 6th business (do we count MLM's??) and failing is only part of the learning process. Trust me, panic is not a good leadership trait, so let's learn to take risks and have a clear head and cool demeanor. There are tons of worse things in life than making a mistake in business. We need to focus and have goals. Take another deep breath. If you can't relax completely... good, me neither.
2.Take a step back and take a personal inventory. What are your skills? What are your dreams? Why are you doing this? What are your past business or hobby experiences? How is your physical health? Can you sell? If not, can you sell something you believe in? Are you ready to rock! Seriously, you need to be committed to the process and the end goal of buying a business.
3.Take a financial inventory. What are we going enter the game with? How is your credit? How much cash do you access to have personally? How much can you really borrow? Don't count on banks, and get it in writing if a relative says they will back you (yes... I did).
4.What do you need to live? Who is going to provide shelter, food, and pay the bills? If it's you, how much is that a month? Do you have the cash? If you don't... do you have someone paying the bills, a mother in law who cooks (very well), and live in your wife's old bedroom... we have a shot at this!! Understand you will need money to live on and the business you buy may not provide any income to begin with (not necessarily a bad thing).
5. Create a buyer profile - Just like a resume. List business experiences, education, involvement in sports, hobbies. What businesses you might like and what businesses you won't want. For instance, I wanted people to be happy to see me, so a funeral home was out. It may be a great business, just not for me. Put a picture of yourself on there! It'll be important for people to get to know you and remember you. Have a financial capability section. List cash available for down payment... not every penny you have, but what you feel comfortable risking on a business transaction.
I know what you're thinking. Nice advice Cagnetta, but I'm way too sophisticated or plain lazy to create a buyer profile. Really? Funny thing is multimillion dollar private equity groups have them in the form of brochures or websites! Professionals like doctors and attorneys looking for their next career position have a CV. Job hunters have resumes. Part of this process will be marketing you!
There are thousands of buyers out there, and perhaps only a few businesses that will meet your criteria and ability to succeed at in a new business venture and thereby give you the shot at taking your piece of the American Dream Pie! Simply you have competition. A ton of it! And I am going to teach you how to beat them and get the business you want!See you next time.
P.S. Want to send me your buyer profile for critique? I'll give you feedback.
|Andy Cagnetta owns and operates Transworld Business Advisors. He joined the company as a sales associate and later purchased it. Transworld is an international franchise business and franchise brokerage, with thousands of businesses for sale and 50+ franchisees in the US and four countries.|