January 12, 2023

Everything You Wanted to Know About Buying a Business

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Everything You Wanted to Know About Buying a Business

Unconventional Acquisitions

January 12, 2023

If you’ve seen our DMs on Instagram lately, you’ll see we get asked a LOT of questions from readers like you. Like… a lot of questions.

Sometimes they’re specific, like… 

“I’ve got this idea.” 

“I found this business.”  

“I have no idea what I’m doing S.O.S.” 

We try to create content that answers some of the more frequently asked questions we see in our inbox each week. 

That’s why we pulled them all together to answer the top 5 Qs we hear every single week, at least a dozen times. 

If you’re new around here, or feel a little overwhelmed with where to get started buying a small business, bookmark this one so you can come back to it.

And now, for the moment you’ve all been waiting for…

1. Can I still buy a boring business if I have no idea how to work or run the business that I’m buying? 

1000% yes. If you don’t want to be in the weeds or day-to-day of the business you’re buying (like a laundromat or a car wash), you can always buy the business and hire someone else to actually run it for you. 

This is where we see the most success with UAers who became a part of our Mastermind

The idea here is that you are the business owner, but you hire someone else to be the business operator. 

Instead of having to manage employees or the operations of the business, your operator manages that for you. 

If you’re not sure where to start, we created this article to give you more specifics on how it works. 

2. How do I find a small business to buy? 
This is another top Q we get asked. We even debated saving our reply to our phones so we could copy and paste it because we get this question so often. 

Finding a business to buy usually takes place in one of two ways. The first way is you find the business listed for sale somewhere like BizBuySell.com

You do your research or even work with a small business broker who can help you with your search. 

You might not know this, but there’s an even easier and more efficient way to find a small business to buy. 

If you know what industry you want to get into and the general location or area, you can do a quick Google search to see what businesses are open and then give the owner a call. 

Some of our UAers have mentioned that setting up an informal meeting over coffee or making a quick stop by the business are other ways to get the conversation started. 

We also wrote about some of our top ways to find a biz to buy in this article here

3. I don’t have any money for a deal. What financing options do I have for buying a boring business? 
We get a lot of people asking us about how to fund the purchase of a small business. There are three main ways to go about doing this. 

Most of the time, your options are to…

  • Apply for a small business loan from your local bank
  • File for an SBA loan with your local government office
  • Set up seller financing with the business owner

There are pros and cons to each option—we break it down for you even further in this article—but the best option by far is seller financing. 

That’s because you’re able to have more control over the terms of the deal (like what you’ll put as collateral and the amount you’ll pay towards a down payment). 

In general, it also means you get more control and flexibility based on the actual performance of the business versus an interest rate decided on by the bank without your input. 

Seller financing is by far our recommended approach for how to fund your business acquisition, and the process is a lot easier than you might think. You can learn more about it over here

4. What are the most important numbers I should look at when in the due diligence stage of making a deal?

We also get a lot of questions from our UA Mastermind members when we do deal reviews in our private Facebook group. 

Long story short, they all want to know the same thing: How do I know this is actually a good deal, and that I’m not being ripped off or missing something crucial? 

The numbers we recommend looking at first, which are the best indicator of whether a deal is even worth your time, are:

  • Financials (i.e., profit/loss, profit margin, annual revenue, monthly recurring revenue, etc.)
  • Cash flow (i.e., expenses and income streams, etc.)
  • Expenses (i.e., monthly and yearly expenses on equipment, labor, maintenance, etc.)
  • Assets (i.e., equipment, real estate, machinery, etc.)

Once you know these numbers, you should have an idea of the basic financial picture of the business. 

Something to keep in mind though is that small businesses are notorious for getting behind on their bookkeeping. 

If you’ve approached a small business owner about potentially buying their business—or have even started having an early conversation about it—make sure to give yourself plenty of time in your due diligence timeline to pull the figures together.

If you find yourself in the due diligence stage, here are a few other tips to help you discern if a deal is right for you. 

If you’re fully committed to buying a boring business and want support, feedback, and direct answers, you should consider joining our Mastermind.

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