April 1, 2022

How to Buy a Business While Working a Full-Time Job

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How to Buy a Business While Working a Full-Time Job

Unconventional Acquisitions

April 1, 2022

One question we get asked a LOT at Unconventional Acquisitions is how to go about buying a business while you’re still working a full-time job. I mean, if you’re first starting out, there’s a LOT to learn. 

You probably want to know what your financing options are. You probably want to make sure you’re finding the right fit for your portfolio based on your goals. And if I had to guess…you also probably don’t have a lot of time to invest in learning how to do it. What can I say? You strike me as the kind of person who wants a solid ROI on their investment on day one. 

If any of this sounds like you, keep reading. Today we’re outlining some really simple ways to buy a business while you’re still working somewhere else. Let’s get to it. 

Here’s what you should be thinking about before you buy a business while working full-time:

1. Avoid startups and other shiny, “too-good-to-be-true” opportunities

That Didnt Really Work Out Pretty Boy GIF - That Didnt Really Work Out  Pretty Boy Back To The Outback - Descubre & Comparte GIFs

I know it probably seems really sexy to invest in startups like Uber and Tesla, but most of the time, you won’t see cash flowing into your pocket. In some cases, it may even take years for your dividends to equate to something comparable for you to have a truly passive income.

That’s why we love boring businesses…they’re unassuming, low-stress, and will help you see a return on your investment from the very first day you’re the owner.

They’re also a lot less risky than a company that’s just starting out. My rule of thumb for business buying is to invest in somewhere that has…

1) been in business for at least 3 years or more
2) a squeaky clean profit and loss statement
3) tax returns available to view
4) standard operating procedures (or SOPs) in place
5) an owner who is actually interested in selling their business

Curious about how to navigate buying your first (or maybe your next) business? We created a course that will walk you through everything you need to know.

And if you’re REALLY serious about creating more passive income…we’ve also got a mastermind with our exact playbooks on how to do it. Click here to join the mastermind.

2. Find businesses with low upfront costs that will cash flow on day one

Cash Flow GIFs | Tenor

This is another popular philosophy we have here at Unconventional Acquisitions, so I want to walk you through an example. Have you ever thought about the profit margins versus the startup costs of a vending machine (yes…I’m talking about those glowing snack boxes you see outside the DMV).

My friend, Quinn, brings in $20k+ of revenue every single month from his vending machine business (and he’s only putting in about 10 hours a week to do it). And part of the reason this business has such high margins is because the costs to manage it are relatively low. 

And the best part? The cost to get started is pretty affordable if you ask me. You really only need a vending machine (~$500-$3K, depending on where you buy it) and a credit card reader ($250). You’ll also need to hire someone strong who can move it to the location you’d like (~$100), and pay for your snacks ($250 when you buy them in bulk at a warehouse store like Costco).

Plus, you don’t have to pay for real estate or somewhere to actually store your vending machine. In most cases, the property will let you place your machine on their turf at very little or no cost to you.

That means that you can get started with cash flowing on day one, with just $2.1k upfront.


3. Look for opportunities that give you ownership plus equity, and get you out of the weeds.

Before you look into buying a business, you’ll need to decide how involved in the business you want to be…a.k.a. do you want to be the person working in it day-to-day? 

Once you get a better idea of what you want that working dynamic to look like, you’ll want to find business opportunities that will give you full ownership of the company, as well as equity. A few business ideas, that may sound boring, that will equal passive income for you are things like laundromats, car washes, and even waste management services.

Businesses like these will allow you to hire an operator (i.e. someone who manages the day-to-day logistics in your business) and a team of employees who will perform the majority of the work to run the business for you. 
Another benefit of finding an operator is that they are likely an expert in their field and will know the best way to run your business. Compare that to the months (or even years) trying to figure out the best way to do things, and an operator is a total game changer.

Related: How to Find Your Small Business Operator
 

A few things to keep in mind…

Doing your due diligence when it comes to figuring out if a deal is right for you can take a LOT of time, especially if this is your first time around. You may need to take meetings with the previous owner, a layer, your bank, etc. and those things take time. Plus, if you want to research the industry, location, and other info about your deal, you’ll need to plan for a lot of late-night Google sessions. 

One thing we recommend doing, especially for new dealmakers or experienced dealmakers who are buying in an industry they’re unfamiliar with, is to save up vacation days or PTO so you can give yourself ample time for research. 

Whether it’s taking a few hours to meet up with someone without working your full-time job, or giving yourself ample time to really dive deep into the details, you will need to come up with time to devote to your deal during the typical 9-to-5 workday.

If you want to get the most bang for your buck and get the kind of support you’ll need so you can be totally confident in your deal…well…that’s exactly why Unconventional Acquisitions is here.

Our business buying course outlines EXACTLY what you’ll need to do to get started (perfect for you if you’re new to the world of dealmaking). And if you’re ready to really dive in and do the dang thing, with the accountability from a community, a weekly forum to ask your questions, AND get access to our exact playbooks for buying boring business, then our mastermind is perfect for you. 

Because yes, you could spend hours and hours scrolling the internet trying to figure out how to do it, or losing sleep at night wondering if your deal is a good one, but why would you want to? We’ll help you make the right investing decisions for you and your goals (and make money at it, too). 

Yours Unconventionally,

Codie & Ryan

Co-founders – Unconventional Acquisitions


If you want to learn more about how to find and buy businesses, check out these articles👇


Is Business Buying Right For You?

The 5 Most Common Mistakes When Buying A Business

How Long Does Buying a Business Take?!

You can also register for the course here OR if you are serious about buying a small business, join our Mastermind

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