What To Look For When Buying A Business

When planning to buy an existing business, you will want to look for a type of business that matches your experience and skills. Not only are you buying a business, but you are buying a lifestyle and a means of making a living.

What type of business is right for me?

Obviously, you will want to do some research on different types of businesses available before you make the purchase to see if it will meet your needs and fit into your lifestyle. One of the most common reasons business owners fail is because they get involved in an industry they know absolutely nothing about.

How to find the right business for sale

Ok, now you have decided which industry you feel most comfortable in. Now it is time to find the perfect business. There are many businesses for sale across the US. Finding the right one can many times be very challenging. We have found the best way to search for a business is have the business come to you. BusinessMart.com offers a free Business Buyer Membership. This free membership allows you to set up certain criteria such as type of business, location, asking price and many other factors. You can choose to have emails sent to you daily with only businesses that meet your exact criteria.

After you have chosen a business

You will want to investigate the financial stability of the business, including the location and customer base. It is advisable to be well versed on how to value a prospective purchase so you know if you’re paying a fair price. You will also want to seek the advice of professionals, such as business brokers and/or accountants. They can warn you of any possible pitfalls.

Asset purchase or stock purchase

The buyer should also consider whether or not the purchase is strictly an asset purchase or includes stock as well. If you purchase the stock of an incorporated business, you may be in for some hidden surprises such as any pending lawsuits, hidden claims for back wages, or back taxes owed. Also, if you purchase the stock, you may not be entitled to a tax deduction for depreciation on existing equipment.

Seller financing

Something that can be looked into is seller financing. If the seller will finance the purchase of the business with a fairly low down payment, 20% or less, this indicates a high level of confidence not only in the business itself but in your role as the buyer.

You could also consider linking the purchase price to the retention of the current customer base. If you are purchasing a service related business, many times you are heavily relying on the existing customer base. Some deals are made in which the purchase price can be dropped if a certain percentage of customers are not retained over a particular period of time.

If the purchase price is based on customer retention, it can be quite valuable to also have an agreement in which the seller is available for a certain time period during the transition of the business to the new owner. Not only is there an incentive for the seller to remain in the picture, but this also affords the opportunity for the buyer to be personally introduced to clients and vendors.

Due Diligence

This is just a basic overview of the business buying process. It is suggested you investigate every aspect of the business during your due diligence process. Due Diligence is probably the most critical stage in the buying process. Many prospective buyers incorrectly identify this period as strictly a financial review, but it goes far beyond that. Due Diligence encompasses a far greater project – that being the complete investigation and review of the business.

Incorporating Business Insurance in Risk Management – Even for Small Businesses

Risk management is an endeavor in which most successful businesses engage to some degree or another. Whether it be a formal procedure developed at the executive level of a large company, or a more intuitive examination performed by an astute small business owner, assessing and dealing with risk. In general is something most businesses do as part of their basic planning. No matter who you are, or what business you’re in, avoiding risk management is a risky decision in and of itself.

Why insurance exists in the first place

Of course, no major effort in risk management for a business can really occur without taking into consideration the potential for unforeseen harm affecting your operations. Indeed, this is the purpose of insurance in general, and it’s certainly the reason why business insurance exists specifically.

Are you really engaging in risk management for you’re business if you’re not taking seriously the kind of insurance you have for that business? Probably not.

Risk management for small business?

You can never be too small a business in order to engage in both risk management and due diligence in the choice of small business insurance for your company. The truth is that even small businesses can be seriously undermined or even ruined if they don’t engage in the proper assessment of risk that involves insurance coverage. Unless you’re adequately covered, you simply have not engaged in proper risk management — no matter how small your business is.

Assessing your risk is the first step

When any business engages in risk management, assessment is the first step. You need to know what kinds of risks your business faces in order to take that next step in determining how to in fact deal with those risks.

Transferring your risk is where insurance comes in

Where business insurance comes in is determining just how much of that risk you’re going to in fact transfer to someone else — an insurance company — and how much they’re willing to assume that risk for you. Transferring that risk is obviously one of the more desirable remedies in dealing with risk of any kind. If you can get someone else to essentially assume it for you, without making an unnecessary investment in dollars yourself, then not only are you engaging in smart risk management, you’re engaging in smart business — period.

Insurance companies are like risk management outsourcing firms

In fact, the entire insurance industry exists on this basic premise, doesn’t it? Insurance companies provide insurance so that all businesses can transfer a basic component of their risk assessment to someone else. Insurance companies make money by assuming that risk for you. You make money in properly transferring some of the risk involved in running your business. It’s capitalism at its purest. You really can’t go wrong when business entities engage in mutual profit enhancement, can you?

The insurance component of your risk management efforts is probably the most desirable to address. There are some risks you simply have to assume for yourself, some risks you have to figure out how to minimize yourself, and some risks you have to learn how to eliminate yourself. Those constitute the major remedies after an initial assessment of risk.

The insurance industry specializes in risk management transfer

What differentiates insurance from those other remedies is that the entire insurance industry exists in order to manage it for you. Its risk management outsourcing at its finest and it has literally been fine crafting its skills for hundreds of years. Ideally, things like small insurance exist not only to handle some of your risk management for you, but they exist so that you do it at a cost most favorable to you.

What’s easier for a small business owner? Get the right insurance from a company that offers great coverage at an acceptable fee? Or hiring your own staff to figure it out for you, without the proper experience or knowledge, and without the specific resources specializing in the field? While nobody would consider an insurance company to be a magic pill to deal with risk management, they do allow you to outsource one component of it with business and small business insurance that’s right for you and your company.

Business insurance helps you address basic risk management

Whether you’re a Fortune 500 company, or small manufacturer of baseball bats, risk management is probably a necessary component of operating a successful business. After assessing your risk, you need to someone effectively deal with it. That’s where small business insurance in particular comes in. Business insurance providers essentially allow you to transfer a part of your risk assessment to someone else. They’re experts at it, and they allow you to focus on your core competencies and other risks associated with doing business.

Business Luncheon Manners Always Matter – Ten Tips From Your Strategic Thinking Business Coach

Every business day of the year, there are business lunches taking place. And every business day there are bad business luncheon manners being displayed and observed. Inexperienced staff members to experienced business executives commit these business manner blunders because too many people forget their manners at the business luncheon table. And these business lunch manner faux pas result in a negative image of the person committing them and the company they represent.

All business manners are essential to building relationships in today’s business world. People, who present themselves very favorably, will maximize their business potential. I am very passionate about business manners and believe very strongly in the results that follow the use of good business manners in every type of business setting you encounter. The potential for negative impacts is considerable in any business meeting and business luncheons are no exception. Improve your business luncheon meeting etiquette and you will witness positive results in such forms as attentiveness, comfort, clear communications, and trust.

Your Strategic Thinking Business Coach would like to offer the following ten (10) tips to ensure good business manners at your business luncheon meetings.

Business Luncheon Manners Tip #1: Use strategic thinking in planning your business luncheon meeting location. Think very carefully about choosing the right restaurant because your choice says a lot about you and about how you feel toward your guest(s). If you select a restaurant that is too casual or inexpensive the guest(s) may not feel valued. On the other hand, if you select one that is too extravagant and expensive they may perceive you as wasteful and wonder how prudent you will be with their money if you win their business. The strategic thinking approach is to suggest that your guest(s) select the place. Their choice will tell you a lot about them, too.

Business Luncheon Manners Tip #2: Know your guest’s business. Do your “homework” and learn everything you can about their business and current trends in their industry. The most strategic tool to do the homework is to do a Google search. The more you know about the guest’s company the more impressed they will be with you.

Business Luncheon Manners Tip #3: Whenever possible, meet at the other party’s office and accompany him or her to the restaurant. Suggesting that you will meet them at the selected restaurant may save a little time and may be okay only if the other party is someone you have met before and will easily recognize. This will help avoid any potential awkward or embarrassing moments such as each of you waiting for the other to arrive when each of you has already been seated.

Business Luncheon Manners Tip #4: Never assume your business guest is looking for a social encounter. Although people in a business setting can sometimes appear extremely friendly or open that doesn’t mean they have the slightest interest in meeting up with you after hours.

Business Luncheon Manners Tip #5: Always be prepared to engage in some well-informed small talk. Avoid awkward silences by having a few casual, non-business topics in mind. Ask your guest(s) interesting questions and let them know that you would like to know what they think. People enjoy giving their thoughts on things that interest them.

Business Luncheon Manners Tip #6: Don’t “bad mouth” the competition. A business meal gives you the chance to talk about the benefits and value you bring to your clients and customers. Saying negative things about your competition always is in bad taste. Commit to building solid business relationships by outperforming the competition, not by putting them down.

Business Luncheon Manners Tip #7: Never, ever talk with your mouth full! Unfortunately there are far too many otherwise successful executives who never learned that they should not talk with food in their mouths. Instead of talking with your mouth full, take small bites, so that you can quickly swallow if somebody asks you a question.

Business Luncheon Manners Tip #8: Drinking alcohol will impact your judgment; so unless your business guest(s) takes the lead, don’t suggest ordering any alcoholic beverages. If you are in a situation where the guest(s) take the initiative and orders alcohol, you can avoid an awkward situation by ordering something light like a wine spritzer. And then simply do not finish drinking it.

Business Luncheon Manners Tip #9: Always be kind to the wait staff. “Anyone who is nice to you but nasty to their server is not a nice person. Be polite to restaurant staff, no matter what happens. This can be tough but it will provide an opportunity to form a favorable impression upon your guest(s).

Business Luncheon Manners Tip #10: Never ever ask your guests to help you figure out the tip. It is hard to imagine anything tackier at a business luncheon meeting than showing someone how much you just spent on them. Anyone who can read a menu will already have a pretty good idea anyway. If you can’t read the check without your glasses, then have them with you at all times.

Your Strategic Thinking Business Coach encourages you to develop a very solid set of business manners for business luncheon meetings and for all business occasions. If you would like to learn more about how a strategic thinking business coach can facilitate and guide you in that endeavor, please contact Glenn Ebersole today through his website at http://www.businesscoach4u.com or by email at [email protected]