How to buy a business?

How to buy a business?

There are many important factors to consider when buying a business. An initial assessment of the business will assist you at determining if it is an acquisition worth pursuing. The starting point is for the buyer to ask themselves the following questions:

  • What skills or expertise do I have?
  • What kind of business am I best suited to?
  • How much liquid cash do I have available?
  • What do I need to raise in finance?
  • What income do I require from the business?
  • How many hours do I have to spend in the business to earn the required income?
  • How far am I prepared to travel?
  • How will this business affect my family and leisure time?

If you don’t have a gut feel for the business, then you shouldn’t buy it. A buyer should always buy a business that they feel they can improve on, which has potential. They should complete a detailed due diligence on the business to verify figures and profitability. Below are a few of the advantages and disadvantages to be considered when buying a business:


  • Immediate profits – don’t have to wait to establish profits. Average estimated time is 18 months.
  • Less risk – success of the business model is already proven
  • Base to build on – new owners drive can increase profits and growth.
  • Hiccups ironed out – free of start-up problems + you have existing clients, employees and suppliers etc.
  • Smaller capital outlay – you may be able to buy an existing business with established profits for less than starting a new concern.
  • Assistance from seller – 99% of sellers stay on in business for a period of time to assist buyer with takeover and to ensure continuity.


  • Problems – you could be taking over problems someone else has created.
  • Location – maybe not situated in good position.
  • Future area developments – maybe not conducive to business sustaining the market, products etc.
  • Time factor – minimum of 3 quotes required by bank for equipment required + one still has to find suitable premises

Other important points to consider when buying a business:

  • Always remember that CASH is KING, look carefully at the figures and concentrate on the cash flow rather than on the NET PROFIT.
  • Buy a business you can improve on. If there is no potential to grow the business, don’t buy it.
  • Make the decision to buy yourself, don’t rely on an advisor.
  • Ascertain what the appropriate method of financing the business is.
  • Identify any major problems that may exist in the business and see if it can be minimized or eradicated.
  • Seller finance in most cases is a form of protection, so it is important to concentrate on the terms of the agreement rather than solely on the price.
  • Establish what the exact reason is for the seller wanting to sell the business
  • Think creatively about the future and buy something you are going to be proud of.
  • Don’t procrastinate, GOOD BUYS are GOOD BYES if you wait too long!


October 31, 2018Comments Off

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