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Selling Small Businesses - What Is Your Business Worth?

When it comes time to sell your business, knowing how to enhance its value and planning ahead are key to doing it on your terms. Selling a business can be complicated and very time consuming. Since the average business sale transaction takes anywhere from four to 12 months, business owners need to be in the right frame of mind when they embark on the process. A big mistake that is often made is not planning well enough in advance to optimize its value and not having a strategy for exit. THE CONCEPT OF VALUE The concept of value was set forth as early as the first century, B.C., when Publilius Syrns wrote his Maxim 847: "Everything is worth what its purchaser will pay for it," or as an early British economist, Samuel Bailey wrote in 1825, "Value, in its ultimate sense, appears to mean the esteem in which an object is held." So, a closely held business may have a high value to its owner resulting from the efforts expended to build it, but it may have a lower value to a potential buyer who may be more ...

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Certified Business Brokers Announces the Successful Sale of Papas Restaurant and Grill

VR Business Brokers in Dallas Helps in Ownership Transition of Fisher Cabinet Works TYLER, TX -- (MARKET WIRE) -- 11/06/2006 -- VR Business Brokers announces the sale of Fisher Cabinet Works, which designs and manufactures custom cabinets and offers several lines of pre-finished cabinets. Pete Fisher Jr., the founder of Fisher Cabinet Works (http://www.fishercabinet.com/), engaged VR Business Brokers in Dallas to sell the company. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Fisher Cabinet Works, based in Tyler, Texas, was established in 1992 and employs approximately 50 workers. New owner, Tami Wolfe, plans to keep the headquarters in Tyler and has launched an expansion with a new showroom in Plano at Lakeside Market on Preston Road. "I was attracted to Fisher Cabinet Works because nobody in the Dallas / Fort Worth area offered their high-quality craftsmanship at an affordable price," said Wolfe. "Now that we've opened in Plano, builders and homeowners are learning what we can do to improve the aestheti ...

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Kissing Your Business Goodbye

Kissing your business goodbyeExperts say it’s never too early to start thinking about selling. In fact, they suggest developing an exit strategy long before that next business opportunity beckons or it’s time to retire. “Things can be done today that can have big impact on how valuable the business is 20 years from now,” says small business expert Jeff Cornwall. David Doyle, director of the Tennessee Small Business Development Center at Southwest Tennessee Community College in Memphis, agrees. “Grow the business to sell it,” Doyle says. “Don’t let the day-to-day activities of the business prevent you from being able to focus on business growth.” Doyle and Cornwall also say it’s vital that business owners position businesses to run without them. “If all of what is in your business is based on you and your relationships, it doesn’t have real value in the business world without you,” Cornwall says. “You have to make sure the business is independent of needing you over the long term. If you have an accounting fir ...

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Buying a Business? 14 Common Business Buyer Mistakes

The following is a discussion of fourteen common mistakes made by first-time or novice Buyers in their search for a business to purchase. Use this checklist to help you from making the same wrong moves. (1) Inadequate Assessment of Capital Resources When a business broker attempts to QUALIFY A NEW BUYER in terms of his financial resources, the primary Buyer capabilities of interest are: cash on hand available for a down payment additional funds available for working capital credit or borrowing capacity From experience, brokers recognizes the necessity of having a reserve of funds for working capital including, operating costs, transition costs, changes desired by the Buyer after purchase, additional advertising and a safety margin. The BUYER'S ASSESSMENT of his financial resources should be made prior to searching for a business to buy in order to focus efforts on acquisition candidates that fit financial capabilities. (2) Unrealistic Expectations Owning your own business is ...

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Buying or Selling a Business? What is the CPA's Role?

Whether you are buying or selling a business, your accountant can make or break the deal. If you choose to engage advisors, such as a CPA, to assist you in the sale or purchase of a business, it is important that they be deal friendly and transaction experienced. They must have a clear understanding of your objectives and seriousness in getting the transaction completed. In many instances, the sale of a business fails to close because of a CPA's actions or lack thereof. For instance, the buyer's accountant makes too many demands of the seller due to the lack of understanding of the due diligence process or the documentation that should typically and reasonably be provided by the seller. Certainly, you want your accountant to look out for your interests, but not to the point where the demands are so strenuous that the other party walks away from the deal. The failure of the seller's accountant to provide financial records and information in a timely manner to the buyer is another way to kill a deal. ...

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Buying or Selling a Business? What is the Attorney's Role?

Whether you are buying or selling a business, your legal counsel can make or break the deal. If you choose to engage advisors, such as an attorney, to assist you in the sale or purchase of a business, it is important that they be deal friendly and transaction experienced. You must articulate your objectives and seriousness in getting the transaction completed. In many instances, the sale of a business fails to close because the attorney for one side makes too many demands of the other side. Certainly, you want your attorney to protect your interests, but not to the point where the demands are so strenuous that the other party walks away from the deal. The buyer, seller, and their advisors involved in the transaction must have a mutual understanding of the price and terms of the deal.......who is getting what and for how much......or the sale may be doomed before it starts. Business brokers can refer you to legal professionals if you don't already have one that is experienced in legal issues related to b ...

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Selling Your Business? Don't Let Anyone Know!

Family and private businesses are sold in an environment that is unlike the selling environment of anything else you can imagine! Sound surprising? After you review the following ten reasons that make selling a business different, perhaps you will agree. (1) Confidentiality Making the decision to sell one's business is a difficult enough task in itself. However, once the decision is made how do you sell it without anyone knowing it's for sale? Adverse things can and do occur when people know, or think they know, a business is for sale. Confidentiality must be maintained. Here's why. a) Employees get nervous and may leave for more stable employment. They believe that the "new broom will sweep clean." That may be true in public company acquisitions but is generally not true in private company sales. Your staff represents a significant portion of your company's value. Should your key employees leave, most buyers of private companies will not buy. b) Competitors may take advantage by using the ...

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The Seller Remorse Stage of Selling a Business

Getting Cold Feet? Closing the deal can be the most challenging part of buying or selling an operating business. Valuations, investigations, and negotiations are complete and now it's a matter of getting everything into writing in a form that satisfies everyone so that the transfer of ownership of the business can take place. However, you can definitely count on someone getting cold feet just before the closing. Be prepared for this! Anticipate it happening and then work through it logically, reasonably and unemotionally. "Seller’s Remorse" doesn't happen at any specific stage of the process. It can occur at any time and the usual symptomatic thoughts start going through the seller's mind. “Do I really want to sell my business?” “At this price, am I just giving my business away?” “What if the new owner mistreats my long-time customers and loyal employees?” "What if I’m bored as soon as I retire?” “Who is this new potential owner? "Will he maint ...

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The 1031 Exchange -- Sell Business Property Now, Pay Tax Later

A growing number of investors are selling properties and paying taxes later through a deal structure called a 1031 exchange. Section 1031 of the U.S. Tax Code permits a seller of commercial properties to defer the capital gains obligation if it identifies a replacement property within 45 days of closing the sale. The seller must then close on its new purchase within 180 days of the first closing. In a typical transaction, the property owner is taxed on any gain realized from the sale. However, through a Section 1031 Exchange, the tax on the gain is deferred until some future date. Section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code provides that no gain or loss shall be recognized on the exchange of property held for productive use in a trade or business, or for investment. A tax-deferred exchange is a method by which a business owner who has outgrown a company-owned building, for example, can defer the tax liability as long as the proceeds are used to buy another building of equal or greater value within a spe ...

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Buying a Business - Questions to Ask the Seller

The following serves as an excellent checklist for a Buyer in compiling questions to ask the Seller about his business during the Due Diligence period. Potential Problem Areas to be Addressed Changes in law, New competition, Change in technology Foreign imports, Drop in demand, Equipment obsolescence Facility obsolescence, Market shifts, Down trends Employee theft, Interest rate flux, Labor problems Tax liens, Increased repair costs, Low margins Capital improvements needed, Single supplier position, Single customer position Bad receivables, Low backlog, Shipping problems Political instability, Restricted credit, Lavish facilities Closed business, Customer problems, Supplier problems Regulatory violations, Utility rate changes, Insurance cost changes Obsolete inventory, Slow moving inventory, Obsolete advertising Key talent leaving, Lease about to expire, Employee promised equity High lease escalation, Product liability claims, Patent ex ...

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