7 Proven Tips To Buying a Business Post-Pandemic
1) First, you need to decide how much money you want to make. This should be the first question you ask yourself, because the amount of money you want to make determines what kind of business you are going to buy.
2) What do you enjoy doing? It is always better to be involved in a business you enjoy, and hopefully be able to make your “vocation your vacation.” You don’t want to acquire a business that requires you to be behind a desk all day long when your passion is to be outdoors.
3) Next make a list of all your talents, from the obvious to the forgotten ones. Don’t leave any out. If you are proficient at MS Word, Excel, and other computer programs write it down. If you know how to play a musical instrument be sure to put it on your list of talents. What you are going to do is to take a complete inventory of things you know how to do, which will be important in your search for the business you are going to acquire. Once I was coaching an individual who wanted to earn additional income because their job wasn’t producing enough money. After we did an inventory of their talents, we discovered that in their early years they managed rental properties for their father. I suggested they start a real estate management business. They did, and eventually owned and managed multiple properties, ultimately netting a six-figure income.
4) Know where you want to work. Do you want to stay in the same area you are living in now or are you willing to relocate? If you are not interested in relocating, there is a possibility your opportunities will be limited unless you decide to work on a national basis by selling products on the Internet.
The famous bank robber Willy Sutton was asked why he robbed banks? He replied, that’s where the money is. The best place to own a business is where there is growth. Cities, communities, and relationships are all either living or dying, because nothing stays the same. Stack the odds in your favor, go where the growth is, and give your business an edge.
5) Are you a self-starter who is disciplined and once you start a project you finish it, or do you perform better with a partner? I have worked with many people who, even though they were provided with a step-by-step guide for what to do, were not able to implement and complete the program themselves. However, if they partnered with another individual, they completed the job. When you buy an operating business, you get not only the playbook of how things are done, but employees who know the business, and a business that is producing cash flow from the day you take over.
6) Do you like working with and serving the general public or are you more comfortable behind the scenes helping people by email or telephone? If you are an introvert who feels uncomfortable talking with people in person on a daily basis, you should not own a retail or service business that requires a lot of personal interaction. I have seen people who enjoyed being a customer in a retail business and then purchased a retail business of their own, only to discover they didn’t like the hours, working with shoppers, or the back-office duties that go along with owning a retail establishment, and ultimately sold the business at a loss.
7) Don’t get hung up on how and where you will get the money to get started. Because once you have determined how much money you want to make, what you enjoy doing, what your talents are, and where you want to live, finding the right business gets a lot easier. Now you have the checklist of your wants and needs, and all you need to do is to search out businesses that are for sale.
I have bought businesses with no money down and have started business with no money down. Sometimes you may have to borrow money from credit cards or bring a partner on board where they provide the money and you provide the work. This is called “bootstrapping” and is how many people get started. Or you may want to use what we call “love money,” which is money from family and friends. Money is not as hard to get as people think, because if the opportunity is good enough you will find the money. Money is attracted to opportunity, especially after a pandemic. Many businesses owners are tired of operating their businesses and are more receptive to selling out now than before. And as they say “Luck is when preparedness meets opportunity. And opportunity is always there.”
Terry Monroe is founder and president of American Business Brokers & Advisors (ABBA) and author of Hidden Wealth: The Secret to Getting Top Dollar for Your Business. He has owned and operated more than 40 different businesses and sold more than 800. As president of ABBA, which he founded in 1999, he serves as an advisor to business buyers and sellers throughout the U.S.
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