Common Mistakes To Avoid When Buying A Business

I often see clients who get caught up in the excitement of buying a business and the whole sales process. They become so focused on closing the deal that they neglect to investigate the important details related to the business they want to buy. New buyers make many mistakes before buying the business and after acquiring it. I have narrowed down eight common mistakes made by new buyers. The mistakes to avoid when buying a business are as follows:

1. Reviewing the Business Yourself

Don’t try to do everything alone. Ask for help. Find a professional consultant. This is especially helpful if you lack experience in the industry you are considering entering. They can provide you with expert advice on the industry and can really fill you in on what you’re getting into. This is valuable information that financials alone cannot provide.

2. Don’t Believe Everything You Hear

Owner and brokers are trying to sell you the business so naturally you should not believe everything they say. They will tell you all of the good things you want to hear. An industry expert or consultant can point out things the owner or broker failed to mention which could cost your money in the future. This is especially helpful information as it relates to equipment. Replacing outdated equipment is a major expense for a business. Having all of the information up front, both good and bad, will aid in negotiations of the sale price.

3. Assuming Their Customers Will Be Your Customers

Customers may have been loyal to the previous owner but that does not mean they will be loyal to you. If possible, try your best to retain current customers. Some clients may leave initially and others later if they do not like the changes taking place. Plan to lose some customers but also plan to gain new ones. Step up your marketing efforts. Gaining new customers will help to offset any lost revenue.

4. Making Changes

People generally do not like change. Don’t make too many changes immediately after taking over. Ease into the business and get to know the current staff and customers before implementing any changes.

5. Making it Personal

It is not recommended to complete a sale under your personal name. This makes you personally liable. You want to protect your personal assets should the business experience tough times or should an incident occur. Consult your accountant and attorney to determine the best business structure for you as well as what the best option is to avoid any personal liability

6. Company Culture

Every company has a culture. Changing the culture can upset staff and clients. For instance, do not try to change a family run business into a formal corporate structure. Company culture is an important aspect of a business that must not be underestimated.

7. The Internal Social Network

Every company has a social network or a group of employees who are friends. These social networks typically have a leader who influences the morale and the opinions of the others. This person can make or break your business. Negative environments will eventually trickle down to clients. Ask the current owner who the social influencers are. Plan to spend some time getting to know them and getting them to jump on your band wagon.

8. Leadership

Owning your own business comes with the perk of making your own schedule. A mistake many make is not being around. Be present, at least initially. Spend time with the staff. Communicate your vision. Express to the employees who you are and the way you like things to be done.

There are many common mistakes you can make when buying a business, but keep these eight tips handy on how to avoid them and you will be off to a good start!

The Value In Sharing Your Business Story

Do you feel as though your business has run aground before it’s had a chance to get off the shoreline? Do you wonder if you have what it takes to make it happen?

You’ve probably heard it said repeatedly by now that a business needs an audience that will translate into paying customers. Chances are you’ve pictured your audience and have already beaten down a few doors to make headway with them.

Don’t stop there. Be open to telling your story wherever you go. Don’t be obnoxious. Don’t make your business the only focus of conversation you have with others; you’ll turn people off if you do. But do tell your “business story” to your friends, a business coach, the clerk at your local pet store, or anyone else that will listen. Doing so may become a springboard for new opportunities. Those you share with may see opportunities you’ve failed to see.

Target Your Obvious Market

An artistic woman was asked to create d├ęcor or a friend’s wedding. She and her friend narrowed down a theme and colour scheme. The artistic woman had never thought of creating such designs before but enjoyed the adventure.

Soon enough, she decided to make a business of creating and selling a line of unique party favours that could be personalized on a party-by-party basis. At first, the woman saw her market only as brides and mothers of the bride. Her marketing was focused in that direction.

Eventually, she received orders for children’s birthday parties and baby showers. She quickly realized she had a reach beyond brides for her product. Now she needed to reach out to friends of mothers-to-be and parents that might be planning parties for their children.

Up to that point, the artistic woman had mostly been tending display booths at local bridal shows, handing business cards to passersby and relying on word-of-mouth marketing. She had optimized her website so that it was easily discovered, but after a year in business, she still hadn’t earned enough money to quit her day job.

Look for Untapped Markets

While the artistic woman had certainly been targeting those having parties, she’d failed to identify another key target. She shared her business ideas with a young friend who was about to become married. The young bride-to-be had hired a wedding planner to assist her. Her wedding planner had organized large corporate events, weddings, baptisms, bar mitzvahs, and birthday parties for influential families in the past. The wedding planner was also in a network with other event planners and suppliers.

It quickly became apparent that the artistic woman needed to target event planners. It would be a lot easier to develop relationships with a few event planners than to try to drum up business on a bride-by-bride or family-by-family basis. Party planners could be the key the woman needed to gain volume purchases.

The artistic woman began a campaign to cold call event planners. She also planned key publicity to target this new niche. With the assistance of a public relations company, she spread the word in key areas online and through social media, and is now ready to take orders globally.

The moral of the story is this: don’t leave any stone unturned, tell your story. Share your business goals with others you meet and see if a new idea might be spawned.

Listen intently to the suggestions and feedback of those around you. Collect a variety of viewpoints and brainstorm them. Stay open to new ideas, investigating them before discarding them.

Experiment this week by telling your business story to others you meet. Ask who they see using your product or service. Look for ways to promote your business on a larger scale. Perhaps a new niche is about to be discovered. Volume sales might be just around the corner. Smooth sailing and business success may be yours in no time at all.

What Does Networking Mean to MLM Business Owners?

MLM business owners can plan in advance on how to market to their potential audience. The primary goal is sales but turning cold prospects into a vibrant network offers so much more. Networking means that your business can move more info across different arenas. This is done through traditional or digital means. A network that operates in the digital field can move digital content faster than in the traditional market. Both sides of the coin will operate in cohesion. It is better to start your business network online than trying in the traditional field, unless of course you have a ton of resources in the world.

Your MLM business networking solution should be flexible and ready to help you market. Building trusting relationships and loyalty among those outside your circle will take your energy and time. Trust is a big factor among people nowadays, they are skeptical especially with all the scandals that have happened in the past few years. It is best to practice an ethical business; this means no lying, cheating or strong arm tactics. This would only hurt you in the long run and set your company back to the Stone Age. Practice safe marketing techniques, its fine to be creative and bold in the copy.

Networking in an ethical way will get you the business that you want. Most ethical MLM businesses reach further in various networks. There are plenty of ethical courses you can take to help you steer clear of any problems. Do a Google search or visit your local college for a business law course. Opening up your MLM business to network building is one step to marketing, these networks may never purchase but they can help you find the right prospects. These networks have influence with their audience and lurkers. A lurker is a business or person that lingers in the background, watching updates, statuses and other bits of info that you or your networks produce.

Your MLM business presence on the social media websites will have lurkers. Getting these lurkers from the shadows can be a daunting task. Especially if you want them in your active network, the problem is getting them hooked and reeled in. Sometimes it may be easier to fish for Bass, than to bring in the lurkers from the shadows. When you can create a line that draws those in from the shadows, you can build them into your network. Turning them from passive networking and into active networking partner is a different challenge. This means cultivating and getting to know them on some level. Never push a sale to them; this would end up costing you problems in the long term.

Your MLM business networks are powerful tools for you to move your business along; you may get constant sales from them or nothing at all. It is important to cultivate them and encourage them in their endeavors. Building up your trust, loyalty and need level will take time for you develop with them and those outside.