Jack Mencini and Adam Sonnhalter of Dirty Secrets of Small Business discuss how to buy a business right and how to engage an owner to sell a company.
Start with picking up the phone and calling the owner selling the company. Even a pizza shop is a good place to start. What do you say to the owner on the first call? I see you are listed in the business opportunities section and I am interested in buying your company. Tell me a little about the company and then ask the owner to set a day to meet with you to get more information.
Don’t be discouraged if the first owner you talk to is not giving you a warm reception. If it doesn’t sound good, move on to the next company on your list.
You need to go visit the company before you start doing anything. You need to start seeing yourself in that company and owning it. It is hard to do that before you actually go there and get the lay of the land. If they gave you this company- ask yourself…could you see yourself there? If there answer is no…move on.
If you are going through a broker, you may have to do an email or letter to reserve a time to see the company. Ask for the package first to summarize the opportunity you are looking. There may not be much of a package, but you can start to define what you are getting and gain confidence from the meeting on what the details of the company being sold are. From this point, you can start to determine what you are getting for the price they have stated to sell the company.
At this first step, there may just be pieces and parts of what the company is about, but this is where the opportunities exist to really dig down to determine how good a fit this company is for you to buy.
To learn more about how to go about buying a company, finding companies to buy and more insights on small businesses access the February 27th podcast and all the Dirty Secrets of Small Business podcasts on iTunes or here.
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