Many buyers think some of the most important aspect of buying a business is the cash flow. A six figure salary after loan payments could be an irresistible lure. Buyers often imagine what money can offer their family and imagine the future through rose colored glasses. Take your eyes off the fantasy and pay attention to the reality.
Do you like waking up to bake bread or milk cows while the chickens are still enjoying their REM sleep? Perhaps the scenario seems great in the light of full pockets burning with cash. But cash will only burn in ones pocket awhile before it develops into a heavy load to carry. Money can not buy you love and it can not buy you happiness if you hate your job.
The above scenario has happened a lot more than once. Many brokers see this again and again. Some of my buyers traded his pension to buy a business. His family was excited about having dad around more as the hours were considerably lower than those he spent in his corporate job. But he hated it. He was unhappy and his family shared in this unhappiness. After only five months of awaking at 4:45 AM, he asked me to sell the business. He wanted it sold now, and he was ready to pay to get eliminate the job. On top of whatever penalty there may have been for liquidating his pension, he asked that we lower the asking price on the business by a total of $75,000 during two months. A low-ball offer was accepted and the business sold for exactly $100,000 barely had been funded it eight months earlier. Perhaps industry was worth less as, during the course of ownership, the business had been neglected and not grown.
When you are looking out for a business, think of what you will be doing. Do you like being outdoors or are you a suit and tie sort of person? Do you prefer to speak with people? Are you efficient resolving customer complaints? Do you desire to be home while your kids are awake? Will working weekends change your life in a way you can tolerate? Will the smell of pizza on all our clothes be something you can tolerate on a long-term basis? There are a load of questions that have to be considered. If possible, spend some time at the business before you buy. It may be unlikely that a buyer will be capable to deal with the team before the papers are signed, but one can ask the one in charge about them and perhaps watch them in the parking area before or after work. Retail situations open themselves to mystery shopping, which is a great way to leaner about the business. But remember never say anything to the owner inside the store or talk to the employees about anything that a usual customer would discuss.
Go slowly in selecting the right business. Do not be lured in by bargains without undergoing your mental due-diligence check on your future enjoyment as business owner.