Businesses really have only two choices: they can grow (through formation or purchases) or go away (mostly by sale). Those are the two things I spoke about during a recent Lunch and Learn presented for the West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce. If you would like to access the PowerPoint I used, click this link:Chamber Luncheon Final
Here are the high points of what we discussed:
- Identifying an Opportunity;
- How to Avoid Pitfalls;
- What the Buying/Selling Process Looks Like;
- Pricing the Transaction;
- Structuring the Transaction.
Following the formal presentation I took questions from the attendees. The one item that stands out was a question about the size of transactions I normally worked on. I responded that in my 30+ years I have worked on transactions ranging from start-ups all the way through the sale of a $45,000,000 company, but the most important transaction is whatever my client(s) need to accomplish.
However, the best question came as I was packing up to leave. An attendee came to me and asked, “Why is it that you simply gave us all of this information free of charge?” My answer was really pretty simple: “My job is to help businesses and individuals achieve their goals. For me, that includes providing people with an opportunity to expand their business knowledge. Simply giving some valuable information away for free? No, I’m doing what I love.”
The Kreamer Law Firm specializes in business law as well as estate law. We Get Things Done!
This blog is part of a series of blogs on buying a business. We are first exploring the qualities you need when deciding to whether or not you are should buy a business. I encourage you to go back and read the previous blogs.
This week we are discussing access to commitment.
Commitment. The one indispensable characteristic of a successful Buyer is commitment. By this I mean that although a Buyer will not succeed simply because they ARE committed to the business; it is certain that the business will fail if they are not. Business commitment takes many forms. Business ownership can take a toll on the Buyer’s social and family life in addition to their financial situation. Accordingly, a Buyer, and to some extent their family and friends, must be willing to make some short term sacrifices to reap long term benefits. Among the commitments successful Buyers make is to be “life long learners.” There are many good business books and courses. Four books that we strongly recommend are: “Getting to Yes” by Roger Fisher and William Ury; “Guerilla Marketing” by Jay Conrad Levinson; “From Good to Great” by James Collins and “E-Myth Revisited” by Michael Gerber.
If you would like assistance in regards to the purchase/sale of a business, please contact me at http://www.kreamerlaw.com.
The client who comes prepared for meetings with their attorney save significant amounts on their legal fees. This is because the attorney can work much more efficiently to address your needs.
The nature of the preparation is dependent on the type of matter involved, but, at the very least, you should consider writing out a list of questions and/or issues to be discussed. This will help you “focus” the discussion, stay on track, and avoid forgetting something which needs attention.
If we were asked to assist you in the formation of your business, we would urge you to consider the following:
- The business name
- Principal address of the business
- Names, addresses and social security numbers of all “owners”
- How much (as a percentage of the total equity) each owner will own
- What each owner will contribute to the business in return for their ownership
- Names, addresses, and titles of officers
- If the business will be leasing space, a copy of the lease
- If the business will have employees how many and when the first payroll will be paid (you are considered an employee of a corporation of which you are an owner; you are NOT an employee of a limited liability company in which you are an owner)
We strongly recommend, but do not require, that you prepare a business plan. The biggest value a written business plan is that it will cause you to think through the business on a practical logistical level. A “completed” business plan should include:
- A marketing plan
- A projection of revenue and expense, and
- An analysis of the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (a S.W.O.T. analysis) which you may confront in your business.
Although there are several business plan software packages available, we HIGHLY recommend you work with a nearby Small Business Development Center (“SBDC”), which is a governmental entity charged with assisting entrepreneurs.
The adage “time is money” is particularly true when working with your attorney. By spending some of your time preparing for your meeting with your attorney, you could save a substantial amount of money.