Many Canadians feel that the cost of local housing, whether purchased or rented, is beyond their means. Affordability is especially an issue in Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary. Less in the news are non-residential properties and the hardships their rising property taxes are causing to small businesses. It’s an expense that is causing small businesses to relocate, reconsider expansions and, in some instances, shutter, notes a recent Globe and Mail Report on Business.
You’ve never been known as someone who has trouble making decisions. But here you are swinging like a pendulum when it comes to following through on selling your business. You’ve taken your business as far as you can. You have other ideas about what you’d like to do with the rest of your life while you still have the health to act on it.
The finishing line to buying your business is in sight— you want to get there ASAP. But you can’t shorten due diligence, an important and complex part of the purchasing process. As described in Due Diligence in Buying a Business (part one), our goal is to identify any fatal flaws, verify that the information is reasonably accurate and confirm that this business will really work for us. And so, it's essential we keep to the plan our broker has set out for us.
We have successfully negotiated agreement upon an offer to buy a business based on the information our business broker and the seller have provided. This offer included many conditions that we must be satisfied with prior to closing or the offer becomes null and void and our deposit, refunded. We must now plan and execute a reasonably thorough analysis of the business and the information provided.
Guided by our business broker, we have made a conditional, non-binding offer to purchase a business at a price (below market) and terms that would work for us. We set out a time for response, a closing date, financing, training and transition, what was included and excluded, and provided a deposit for the broker to hold in trust.
We have talked about how to go about selecting a business. You get that none are perfect and that you will never have enough information to feel 100% confident about your choice. You have decided that all things considered—after reviewing the documentation provided by your broker, your meetings and discussions with the business owner and your personal visit to the business—a business will work for you.
Seller financing is a gate you want open on your road to business success. You may have made it past all the other checkpoints, but if you’re unable to secure financing for the business you want to buy, your journey ends here.
What makes one business better than another for you when you are buying a business? Some of the considerations are obvious. Others are not. As you explore the business landscape, keep these 12 markers for choosing a business in view.