Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Are you Gambling with your Purchase of a Business?

     Every business broker has had the experience of being contacted by a potential client who states very simply that they want to buy a Business or Franchise.  How many of these conversations make it abundantly clear that they have misconceptions as well as no clear understanding of what type of business is suitable for their skill set and level of experience?  The most common misconception that we encounter at  is the almost religious belief that buying a Business or Franchise is an automatic recipe  for success.  From there the conversation can reveal an unrealistic assessment of the skills necessary for success and the fact that the necessary skill set may vary greatly with the type of business.  What to do?  We have a buyer standing in front of us looking for guidance and sound advice in the decision to buy a Florida Business.  Here is what we do:
     We have developed a very straightforward and user friendly questionnaire that we insist that the client fill out.  I ask them to include in the process any and all decision makers who will be part of the process of selecting the most suitable opportunity.  I want to know how they feel about risk and debt.  I want them to consider in advance how much they are willing to work so that they have a realistic expectation and choose a field that conforms to their expectation. We know there are businesses that are pretty much 40 hours, no weekends, etc. and others that will suck every hour of wakefulness out of you.  We know the level of profit to expect and how that relates to the workload.   They may have no idea about these things.  By the time they finish filling out my questionnaire they will have considered and discussed most all of the most important factors that they should consider before rather than after they have started making any decisions.  By going through their answers together we can develop a set of criteria to aim to satisfy.
      Next comes the part of the questionnaire that deals with identifying their personal skill set(s).  The goal is to address how any deficits in skill or experience can be compensated for or outsourced.  The true talents, experience level, and skills that the client brings to the potential new business can now bring the conversation to the next step in the process.
     Now I want to identify Business opportunities that meet the criteria we have developed.  The last step is to compare what we have found to a non-franchise business opportunity in the same area, business category, and other criteria we have developed.  It may just be that after a thoughtful conversation that our client can see that they are  more suited for an existing business that is for sale.  At least now we can have that conversation and truly deliver the guidance and sound advice that was their reason for contacting us in the first place.
     If you would like to see this questionnaire please request so by emailing us at

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