10 steps to buying a business

Here is everything you need to know about successfully purchasing a business, step by step.

Set clear goals

Get a clear idea of exactly what you’re looking for from your business project. Having a clear set of goals will allow you to assess potential purchases more confidently, securing your chances of finding a suitable business.

Find the right industry

Assess the reason why you’re interested in the particular field you’re looking at. Will it actually help you achieve your goal, or do you just think it seems interesting at the moment? If you’re not 100% sure whether you’re looking in the right industry, don’t make any commitments until you’ve had time to think things through.

Research

If you give yourself enough time to make an informed decision, you should have plenty of spare evenings to browse the web and get a clear picture of the kinds of businesses you’re interested in. Check out not just what businesses are saying about themselves, but what clients and customers have to say on social media.

Arrange a viewing

You won’t really know if a business is right for you until you see it with your own eyes. Make arrangements to visit the establishment and see your potential future business in action. Obviously you should be polite and courteous in order to form good relationships, but also don’t be afraid to be direct in your efforts to find out as much about the premises as possible.

Seek help and advice if you need it

Help and advice can be both formal or informal, and preferably both. Ask experts about the best way to go about buying the kind of business you’re interested in, in order to gauge a clearer idea of the industry overall. Similarly, ask a family member, friend or partner what they think of the business you’re interested in. They may point something out which you otherwise would have missed.

Look at it objectively

Now is the time to ask yourself the practical questions, before you make any kind of deal. What warning signs, if any, have you noticed about the business? Do you have the skills to improve the business and help it reach its full potential? Can your experience make the business increase your success? How much will you need to change before you can get the business back up and running under your management?

Get your finances in order

As with any purchase, you need a clear budget in mind when buying a business. Buying a business also involves buying the premises, and this can be an expensive venture. Thankfully, there are plenty of support options available. Bridging loans offer short term finance quickly in order to help you complete your purchase in good time, then you can start paying your loan back once the business is up and running. Make sure you pick a trusted provider to source your bridging loan, such as Glenhawk.

Make your offer

Once you’ve chosen your business, done your budgeting and acquired the finances you need, it’s time to finally make your offer for purchasing the business. Make sure you have a solicitor in place to help you through this stage and request conditions of the sale.

Negotiate

Don’t be afraid to fight for the deal you want. With your solicitor, you’ll go through a process called due diligence in which you’ll verify the information given by the seller. This will let you know what kind of position they are in and how desperate they are to sell, giving you an indication of how much you can push the deal.

Make the purchase and get started

Once the lending is settled and the transfers have been made, you’ll officially own your new business. Now it’s just a matter of making a success of it!

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