Buy a Business in Northern Virginia
Choosing The Right Business
Despite the many advantages that purchasing an existing business offer, a strong financial and operational track record alone is no guarantee that you will experience similar success. Choosing a business that fits your interests, background and experience is of paramount importance. By way of example, you may not want to purchase a hospitality business if you have no experience in dealing with the public, or an engineering business if you are a pastry chef. Below are some suggestions to help you successfully locate a business that suits your background, skills and desires.
- Choose a business where you have an advantage by way of either qualifications or experience. Business is highly competitive, and you need to be at least as good as your competitors.
- Choose an occupation that you enjoy. Small business ownership often involves long hours, and requires great enthusiasm to motivate staff, and deal successfully with clients. This can become very tedious if you are not happy at it.
- Check the Seller's reason for selling. There are many legitimate reasons for selling a perfectly good business, such as retirement, marriage or partnership difficulties, health issues, other business interests, or even just simple "burn-out". But sometimes, there may be other reasons, such as impending problems with a lease, technology changes, new competition, demographic or infrastructure changes, obsolescence, impending major capital outlays... the list is infinite.
- Understand clearly the nature of the business, and how much capital is required to run it. In addition to the cost of purchasing the business, you need to have sufficient working capital to finance inventory, accounts receivable and overhead costs. Working capital requirements differ substantially between retail, wholesale and manufacturing companies.
- Understand the cash flow characteristics and any seasonality. A year-end profit does not necessarily mean that there will be cash available at critical times to meet necessary costs, such as interest, taxes, and your living expenses.
- Ensure that you have the means to purchase, operate the business, and fund any planned growth or development.
- Try to get to know the Seller, to gauge whether you can successfully "fit into their shoes" and run the business at least as well as she or he did.
- Try to meet the key employees to make sure they intend to stay, and that there will be no major personality clashes. In many cases, Sellers will not want you to talk to the staff until negotiations are at a fairly advanced stage. If this is the case, you may wish to include appropriate provisions in the purchase agreement.
- Avoid major changes to the business during the transition period, unless you are very sure of what you are doing. A smooth changeover with minimum customer impact is the usual road to success.
If you would like to receive more information about anyone of our business for sale listings, please download and complete our Financial Information Form and Confidentiality Agreement and either scan and email these documents to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax to (703) 547-8754.