5 Myths that Hold Back Potential Small Business Buyers

In our previous post we showed several misunderstandings potential small business owners have that hurts them. In this post we want to show the other side. These are the myths that prevent many would-be owners from getting into small business. While it is certainly challenging to own and operate small business; they are not insurmountable and the rewards make it worthwhile to pursue that dream.
We hope that by understanding these common myths and realities you will not get scared by the challenges and be able to make an informed decision.
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5 Myths that Hurt Potential Small Business Buyers

Many potential buyers of small business dream of one day owning a business where they can hire people to do all the hard work and they can sit back, relax and collect money. They think of owning a small business as some form of nirvana to escape from the drudgery of everyday corporate life. It’s only when they get into it that they realize how difficult it is to own and operate a small business.
In this post we aim to identify common myths about owning a small business along with the truth the owners can expect to face.
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5 Qualities of a Good Business Broker

Majority of small business owners use a business broker when buying or selling their business. A business broker takes the headache out of buying or selling process and lets you focus on your primary tasks. A broker also presents you with more and targeted opportunities that you cannot otherwise find yourself. One of the most important considerations when choosing a broker is whether he/she can help you sell your business at the highest possible price in the shortest time or buy a business at the lowest possible price quickly.
However, not all business brokers are created equal. There are good business brokers and there are mediocre ones.
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Effective Techniques for Working with Buyer Business Broker

Many small business buyers hire business brokers to find a suitable business that is available for sale. Hiring a business broker makes the search easier. A business broker can search for businesses from the large database of available businesses and filter the suitable ones based on your criteria. In some cases, they can also help with the buying process, including document preparation and negotiations – particularly useful when you are new to business.
However, working with business broker is not without pitfalls. Typically, a business broker represents the seller. They make money from the commission paid by the seller – similar to real estate agents. This may cause them to keep seller’s interest ahead of buyer when there is a conflict.
Below we have highlighted several tips you want to keep in mind when hiring a business broker.
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Financing Problems for Small Business Owners

I came across this absurd news from Wall Street Journal yesterday about how small business owners are having problems getting financing from banks. To summarize, WSJ mentioned that many small business owners are denied loan applications for starting new business or business expansion. In some cases the business already had committed orders from customers and only needed money to ramp up production or hiring to start the work.
However, in almost all cases their applications were denied on the basis that they did not have sufficient cash flow to cover the payment. In the past, the business owners used to put business assets such as account receivables, inventory, equipments, etc. as collateral to get the loan. The valuation on these assets has declined in the recent downturn and is not sufficient to cover the loan payment.
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Importance of Due Diligence in Buying a Business

Whether you are buying a business for the first time or you have purchased and sold number of businesses you cannot underestimate the importance of due diligence before signing on that dotted line. The mistake made at this stage can not only be costly in terms of financial losses; but it will get you stuck with bad business for a long time.
So what is due diligence? Due diligence is the process of looking at the business you are planning to purchase from multiple angles to verify that the financials match with what the seller promised earlier. Presumably, you have already done your homework in terms of market analysis, competition, and future potential before putting an offer with the seller. The due diligence comes into picture after the seller has agreed to your offer. It is usually one of the last steps in the buying process before you start preparing the closing documents.
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How to Overcome Challenges of Starting a Business in Bad Times

In our previous blog post Is this a Good Time to Buy a Business we argued that the difficult economic times present an excellent opportunity to start a business. There are a number of advantages and opportunities that bad economy; like current one; provides. The advantages include less competition, good talent available at reasonable salary and others.
While it is true that this is a good time to start a new business you cannot ignore the challenges that you will be facing in starting business in bad economic time. By understanding the challenges and preparing yourself to meet them head-on you will improve your success rate. Here are three most difficult challenges in our mind along with suggestions on how to overcome them.
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5 Reasons to Establish Partnership

The failure rate of businesses with partnership is much higher than those managed without partnership. So why would anyone want to get in the partnership? Despite what statistics shows there are some valid reasons why you should consider establishing partnership. As I mentioned in my previous blog there are pros and cons of partnerships. As long as you take steps to make it work you can get what you want out of partnership.
Here are 5 reasons why you should consider getting into partnership. In some cases there may be multiple scenarios depending on the situation and number of partners involved.
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Pros and Cons of Partnership

Many people would love going in the business with a partner for variety of reasons. At the same time you will find equal number of others who hate the idea of working with a partner and losing independence. What is it about the partnership that brings different reactions from different sets of people? In this article we will highlight the pros and cons of being in a partnership.

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Is this a good time to buy a business?

This question keeps coming up in many conversations with existing business owners and prospective ones. In almost all situations I encounter two diverging opinions. In one camp you have those who say the economy is so bad; consumers are spending very little money, banks are not lending and many other issues facing small businesses today. In the opposing camp there are those who say this is the best time to start a business because you have many businesses for sale at good price, your business will be ready to take advantage when things start looking up and so on.

These conversations remind me of a story of two shoes salesmen who are sent to an African village to explore business opportunities for shoes. One salesman goes to the village and finds that nobody is wearing any shoes. She sends a message to the headquarters – stop this project. No one here wears any shoes. The other salesman goes to the village and finds the same situation. However, she sends an urgent message to the headquarters saying – crank up the production in full force. No one here wears any shoes. As you can see the opportunity is in eye of a beholder!!!

Many of the well-known businesses of today were started in bad times.
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