Statistics indicate that only about one out of 15 buyers looking for a business to purchase actually ever buys one (Business Brokerage Press, August 2009). Therefore, it is standard practice for business owners and brokers to separate the real buyers from the rest.

These indicators will help you determine in which buyer type you may be categorized:

People who are serious about being in business for themselves realize that they will really be the proverbial “chief cook and bottle washer.” Too many prospective business owners want to be the Chief Executive Officer of the business. Being the CEO of your own business doesn’t mean that you sit behind the big desk and plan on how to increase the price of the business’ stock. It means that you will be changing light bulbs, emptying the trash, stocking shelves – and everything else that needs to done in running a business. That’s what it takes to own and manage one’s own business.

Real buyers understand that they will be buying someone else’s “baby.” A business that another person has built, nurtured and developed. A business in which the owner has spent many, many hours — one that has supported the owner and his or her family. It may be important to the present owner that he or she feels comfortable with a potential new owner. The buyer should consider who he or she is in the eyes of the seller.

There is the famous line from a mid 1990's hit movie that goes, “Show me the money.” Real buyers don't begin the business-buying process unless they have the necessary funds or know exactly where they will come from.

Real buyers know there are no sure things. There is always a risk in buying a business. If a buyer is looking for a sure thing – buying a business is not it.

Real buyers know that they will be successful in buying a business if both sides, the buyer and the seller, have negotiated and both feel that the deal is a good one.

Real buyers know that owning one’s own business is a big responsibility. There are usually employees to consider, customers or clients to attend to and suppliers and vendors to work with. It entails a large component of financial responsibility.

Real buyers know that buying the right business generally takes time. Patience is required. However, one can’t be a procrastinator – when the right business comes along, one must be ready to act.

Real buyers have a viable reason for going into business for themselves, have discussed it with those who are involved, and have a willingness to do what it takes.

Real buyers have the courage to make that “leap of faith” necessary to actually pull the trigger and purchase a business. Many of potential buyers get to the edge, but can’t make the leap. Buying one’s own business is a serious step – if you can’t make the jump, no sense going any further. Unfortunately, many don’t realize they can’t until the they are at the jumping-off point and have to decide.


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