One of the big problems with buying a business is that it costs nothing to look.
There are hundreds of thousands of businesses listed for sale, lots of business brokers and countless other resources one can tap into while in the stage of looking for a business.
In addition to online resources, one could network with accountants, attorneys, bankers, investors, chambers of commerce and on and on the list goes.
Unfortunately, many prospective buyers get into the trap of turning the goal of buying a business into an endless search process because it is so easy to do.
Simply looking at business for sale listings is not buying, and one’s attitude towards the entire business buying process and overall urgency will dictate whether or not you ever close a deal.
There are three types of mindsets in people who look to buy a business. First, there are those who have the attitude that if the right opportunity surfaces they will consider acting on it. Second is the group who are under more pressure time-wise to generate an income stream. This group, parallel to looking for another job will also investigate the possibility of buying a business (“hey, since I’m already out of work I may as well look at all options”). The third group is those individuals who unlike the first two who want to buy a business, actually need to buy one.
Their reasoning may be to replace or generate an income however, they are absolutely certain that they do not want to work as an employee again. They’ve had it; they are no longer willing to do what they have been doing up to now in their career. Now it’s their turn to reap the benefits of their hard work.
This group, the “needers” are the ones who time after time in the twenty plus years I have been in the business for sale arena are the ones who get to the finish line and purchase a business infinitely more frequently than the other two groups.
Their need to buy a business versus someone’s want to is not to be confused with them being reckless. Not at all. In fact, they are generally more diligent simply because they know that buying a business is a goal they are almost consumed with achieving.
The process of buying a business can take many twists and turns. Deals fall apart. Initial financials don’t prove out. Sellers and buyers lose motivation, or trust in one another. Businesses can be grossly overpriced and sellers won’t budge. Terms cannot be agreed upon between the parties. Unforeseen issues arise. Throughout it all,
maintaining laser beam like focus is a must. A lost deal is simply one more business out of the way on the road to the right one.
The bottom line is that if you are simply dipping your toe in the water by spending endless hours looking at listings with the dim hope that the right opportunity will surface then let me save you a lot of wasted time – give up the search.
if you are truly serious about buying a business then adopt the attitude that it is something you need to do, at every level.
Having that outlook will force you to intensify your search, will insulate you from the roadblocks that arise and will cause you to be immersed in meaningful dialogues with sellers with the ultimate goal of reaching a good deal.