Why Should I Use A Business Broker?

You’ve come to the decision that buying a business or selling your business is the path that you want to take. The best piece of advice, although biased, I can offer is to retain the services of a business broker or business transfer adviser. Although business brokers usually work on behalf of the seller, there are sell-side business brokers and buy-side advisers. Even if you’re a buyer and you decide not to retain the services of a business broker or transfer adviser, you’ll receive the benefits because a business broker is working with the seller.

The broker is sort of like a clamp that holds things together as the business buyer and seller progress through the business transaction. Below I’m going to explain to you how both business seller and business buyer can and will benefit from the services of a business broker:

Let’s meet-

The good thing about the business broker is, the profession requires face to face meetings. Even though the broker is getting paid by the business seller, the buyer has to meet with the broker in order to view the business as well as so the broker can determine if the buyer is a compatible buyer for the business.

The meeting will be an interview style meeting. Some of the questions that will be asked by the broker are:

1- Can you go into detail about your background?

2- Have you ever purchased a business

3- Do you have easy access to the cash to buy a business?

4- Can you show proof of proceeds on a recent bank statement?

5- How soon are you willing to make a purchase?

In addition to the question and answer portion, you’ll also be given a personal financial statement to fill out and return. Be sure you return this information as soon as possible.

What usually takes place after this meeting is, the business broker will than present compatible business to the buyer. So come prepared with a recent bank statement showing the cash. Time is of great importance. Strike while the fire is hot and move with swiftness.

Expect for the broker to ask you to sign a non-disclosure agreement. The business seller wants to ensure that the word about the business being for sale is kept quite.

As the buyer, you’ll get to see very general financial information about the business of interest and others in the business broker has other businesses available. If you decide that you have serious interest in any of the businesses that are presented, the broker will provide you with more in-depth financial date and also arrange for you to see the business in person.

The broker will act of the best point of contact for the buyer. Any questions or concerns that the buyer may have, the broker can answer all questions concerning the business.

How the business broker helps the seller-

If you’re the owner of a business and you’ve decided to sell, one of the best services that you can retain are the services of a business broker. The broker will oversee the entire process while you continue to run your business.

The business broker will interview all of the buyers. This service by itself is worth the broker fee. Business brokers usually have access to a database of buyers that they’ve acquired over the years. These are buyers that have identified themselves are compatible and financially capable of buying a business. Having access to a list of buyers will speed up the process and help get the business sold while it’s still “hot.”

The business broker will especially prepare a marketing plan for the business in question. A sales prospectus will take time to prepare but your broker will provide you with this required document. In addition, the broker will structure the deal as well as assist the completion of the paper work.

Many owners don’t know how much their business is worth, therefore the broker can assist you with pricing your business. Te pricing of the business is just a starting point. The buyer will get an official appraisal. Between the 2 numbers, the negotiations will start there. Also, you want to ensure that your business is properly priced. You don’t want it to be overpriced not under priced A business that is priced right WILL SELL. The ultimate price of the business will be determined by what it sells for or as brokers like to say-the marketplace.

The business broker is one of the most important advisers that a seller can have on their transaction team. This broker will bring their years of experience to the table. This will help both buyer and seller and ensure both parties walk away happy.

The State of Alternative Business Financing Going Into 2014

The year 2013 was a very good year in the alternative business financing industry. After going through some growing pains in 2008-09 with the bank meltdown and start of the recession, alternative lenders such as Accounts Receivable Factoring and Merchant Cash Advances have become very important for small business startups as well as businesses which are looking to expand.

Alternative business financing has almost become main stream today, as banks continue to turn down applications for business loans. Today traditional banks with their stringent requirements have been only approving businesses with “A credit.” This has left a huge void in the small business lending industry which is now being filled by alternative business financing lenders. Small businesses are always looking for fast access to working capital which they can use for many different reasons such as payroll, marketing, inventory, and cash flow. The great thing about alternative financing, is that business owners are now able to get access to this working capital even with poor personal credit and without the need to put up any collateral.

Small business owners usually do not mind paying a little more money to alternative lenders, because they know that trying to obtain a bank business loan will involve going through a very lengthy application process, tons of paperwork, headaches and a lot of red tape, only to later find out they were denied for the loan. With various alternative lenders, such as Accounts Receivable Factoring and Merchant Cash Advances, it is now possible to be approved for financing in as little as 24 hours while having access to this capital in less than 1 week.

According to the November 2013 biz2credit small business lending index, the large banks (with 10 billion or more in assets) only approved 17.4% of loan applications. This number is way below the numbers that existed back in 2005-07, when the big banks approved more loans than they denied. Compare those numbers to alternative business lenders who today approve more than two thirds of their loan applications.

The approval process and paperwork of an alternative lender is simple and it is much faster and easier than the application process you have to go through with a traditional bank. The entire process is being stream lined today by alternative lenders, who are utilizing new types of technology to make the process easier. These lenders can now approve applications in a matter of days rather than months unlike the application process of banks.

No longer does a business owner need to put up their house or personal assets as collateral for the loan and their personal credit score has very little impact on the decision making process of an alternative business lender. Today even credit unions are falling behind because of their rigid application process.

As we head into 2013 it is still not clear what implications Obama Care is going to have on the small business owner. However the housing market has stabilized, and unemployment is dropping from 8.5% in January 2012 to about 7% in December of 2013. I believe with the availability now of these alternative lending sources, more and more small businesses are going to be able to grow and succeed. Make no mistake, alternative business financing clearly plays a vital role and fills a real need for small business lending in the U.S. today.

In conclusion, 2014 is shaping up to be very promising for small businesses as well as the overall U.S. economy. One of the main reasons why businesses fail is due to lack of capital. The fact that these new type of lending sources now exist, means that much less small businesses will fail. The availability of fast access to working capital is now a reality and is readily available to small businesses at every stage of their development.

Critical ‘Must Haves’ When Starting A Small Business

Starting a business has been an integral part of the American dream for hundreds of years. This is the segment of the business world that has helped this country grow during its infancy, and it has been a mainstay in helping to keep the American economy afloat ever since. With all of the changes that all of this growth during the years has brought, the most important thing a person needs when starting a small business is knowledge. The amount of training and assistance that is available is staggering to say the least. What you need is to focus on what type of business you plan on operating, and find the assistance and training that is applicable to that field.

The time involved to get trained will depend on the type of business you want to have, and whether you plan on having someone train you or you plan on training yourself. Either way, you want this to be comprehensive in that it should cover everything from starting your business, maintaining it and then possibly selling it out when you want to retire. Everything involved may seem overwhelming at first, but it will all be worth it when you see the success starting to overtake the hard work you put in to make it a success.

The training you get and any assistance that comes with that training is going to be the foundation on which your business is built. From here, what you will need to get is a business plan. You can keep the plan in your head and just do it, or you can write it down in a professional manner. The latter of those 2 options is preferable for at least 2 reasons. One, having it all written will keep the ideas you have fresh for years to come. Your business, be it large or small, is going to be complex because it involves so many things. From where the business is going to be, how many employee’s you plan on starting with, advertising, marketing, and the list goes on.

The second, and possibly most important reason, is that a professionally written business plan is key to getting a loan to help get your business up and running. Now, if you have your own capital this isn’t going to be necessary. Nor would writing down your plan for the purpose of securing a loan, but again, writing down your plan is beneficial. There have been many times when people start their own business with certain things in mind, only to have those certain things change in time. The business world can be very fickle and your own plans may have to change to keep up with the external changes that have a direct or indirect influence on your business.

Having all of the applicable business licences is a legal necessity and something you definitely need to plan on getting. The reason this fact is being pointed out after the financial aspect is that some people tend to put the cart before the horse. Securing a loan is typically not contingent upon having the required licences to legally operate the business. However, getting the required licences would be pointless without the cash to get the business up and running. If need be, if the licensing procedures are costly, you can always take out 2 separate loans. One to get the licensing you need, and then when that is taken care of, secure a second loan for the business itself. With small businesses though, this is typically unneeded as many licences can cost as little as ninety-nine dollars.

Once you have the capital and the legal obligations taken care of, you need to come up with a name for your business and register that with the state where the business is head-quartered. When starting a small business this is kind of a no-brainer because you, typically, will only have one location. Some people though, when starting out, will have their main offices in one state while having another portion of the business, like a distribution centre for example, in another state. With this being the case, you need to register your business name in the state where the business originates from.

Your business name needs to be filed for the obvious legal reasons, but it also needs to be filed because it would be rather hard to advertise and market your business without one. Hopefully, this aspect of your business is a part of your plan because, without it, no other part of your plan is likely to work. This should also be a part of the budget that was included in your start-up loan. The main reason new businesses fail is because they fail to get the word out. Focusing on the best ways to do this should have been a part of the training you received at the outset.

Adding to these musts when starting your new business, is to actively retain legal advice. You will want to do this to get advice on contract and documents, as well as ongoing consultation and representation as you build and protect your business. One way to do this, without enormous cost, is to purchase a small business legal plan. You can usually find one that will provide the essentials for a start-up business, as well as ongoing advice as your business matures.

Aside from the training, the business plan, the loans, the licensing, and the small business legal plan, perhaps the most important thing you need to start your own business is patience. The old parable about the tortoise and the hare is true. Especially in the business world. No one gets rich quick, at least not legitimately, so slow and steady really does win this race. The rule of thumb to go by is to expect to be in business for 5 years before turning enough of a profit to live comfortably on. This is why many financial institutions that give out loans to small businesses like to see a 5 year plan. They know as well as anyone that 5 years is typically how long it takes to turn a liveable profit.

If this all sounds like a lot of work, well, it is. But with education, planning, organization and patience it doesn’t have to be hard. The rewards of owning your own business and being your own boss far outweigh the time and effort it took to become successful. There are many places online and, you can go to get testimonials from people who have “been there, done that”, and succeeded. I wish you good luck and much success with your new business.