Questions To Ask When Buying A Business

Buying a business is always a very important milestone in the life of any entrepreneur. To be successful when buying the business you need to ask yourself a number of questions. Some of these questions include:

Why Is The Seller Selling The Business?

There are many reasons that can provoke the seller to sell his/her business. These reasons include: relocating, changing business or the seller getting bored with the business. Before you buy a business always do some background checks and try to identify the reasons why the seller is selling it. One of the most effective ways of finding out is asking the seller why he/she is selling the business.

How Relevant Is The Business?

Why should you buy an irrelevant business? Before you part with your money you need to do your research and find out how relevant your business will be in your area. This calls for you to find out the state of the industry that the business is operating. Here you need to find out whether the industry is growing, mature or in a decline.

You should also find out the nature of the target market. Here you need to find out if the market is growing or shrinking.

Competitors are of great importance in business. If there are large competitors in your industry, they will most likely crush you.

What Is The State Of The Employees?

You need to find out the kind of staff that the business has. Here you need to find out whether the employees have the necessary skills to take your business to the next level. You should pay close attention to the most important employees such as managers and supervisors. You should review their employment contracts and ensure that they are in line with the vision that you have for the company.

Is The Asking Price Given By The Seller Worth It?

Sellers usually base their asking prices on the values given by their valuation companies. You should always ask the seller how he/she arrived at the asking price. Before you part with any money it’s wise that you hire a company to help you in valuing the business that you want to buy. As rule of thumb you should never buy a business at a price that is higher than its value.

4 Questions To Ask Yourself When Selling Your Business

Are you planning of selling your business? You need to ensure that everything is in place for you to sell the business at the right price. To help you out here are some of the questions that you should ask yourself as a business seller:

What Are The Things That A Buyer Will Look For In My Business?

There are many things that a buyer will look for when buying your business. Some of these things include: product lines, management structure, compatibility of operations, and customer and market base.

The buyer will also review your financial condition which includes: tax returns, payroll records, financial statements and depreciation schedules. If there are any employees in the business the buyer will like to know about their employment contracts.

How Do I Determine The Value Of My Business?

It’s easy to determine the value of your business as all you need to do is to hire a certified valuation company to do the valuation for you. The company will consider a number of factors in order to come up with the value of your business. Some of these factors include: assets, cash flow, market share, customer base, and financial history.

When Is The Right Time To Sell My Business?

The right time to sell your business is when everything is in place. You should wait until your business is viable and you can predict that it’s going to have an exponential growth. You should also wait until you have prepared all the necessary documents and you have a professional exit strategy.

You should never sell your business when you are desperate. For example, you shouldn’t sell your business when you have a pressing loan that you need to settle. This will not only give you stress, it will also result to you selling the business at a very low price.

Should I Tell My Employees That I’m Selling The Business?

You shouldn’t tell your employees about it. This is to avoid the repercussions that come with telling them. Some of the repercussions include: key employees looking for work elsewhere, competitors bad-mouthing you, vendors shortening terms and banks calling in notes.

You should maintain confidentiality and only let the employees know about it only after you have completed the selling process and the new owner is ready to start operations.

Benefits of Seeking Business Brokerage Services

Business brokerage services are very important whether you are buying or selling a business. Business brokers play a vital role in bringing together buyers and sellers.

Benefits of Brokers To A Seller

If you are a seller you should highly consider hiring a business broker who will help you with the selling process. Some of the things that the broker will help you with include:

Business evaluation: the professional will help you in determining the value of your business. This will help you in knowing the price that you should sell the business.

Marketing: there is no way that you will sell your business without letting other people know that you are selling it. The broker will help you in marketing the business confidentially, which will ensure that you sell the business within a very short time.

Negotiation: since the professional will be working for you, he/she will help you with the negotiation process, which will ensure that you get the best price for your business.

Documentation: the selling process requires you to have many documents, which can be confusing for you. The broker will help you in filling the documents thus giving you an easy time.

Benefits of A Broker To A Business Buyer

Just like the broker is of great value to you when selling your business, he/she is also of great value when buying a business. Some of the benefits that he/she has when buying a business include:

Available business: the professional will let you know when there is a business for sale. Since many brokers are very knowledgeable about businesses, your broker will investigate the business for you to ensure that it’s profitable and will be profitable in the future.

Buffer: sometimes you need to retract or modify an offer, which might irritate the business seller. To avoid creating enmity between the two of you, you should let the business broker deliver the bad news to the seller.

Paperwork: as mentioned, there is a lot of paperwork involved when buying a selling a business. The broker will help you in putting together the papers and ensure that everything is in order.

Are You a Reluctant Wanderlust in Business?

Are you a multi-talented, multi-passionate person who finds it hard to “commit” to doing “just one thing”?

Sometimes I feel like a loser when I couldn’t just “stick with it” when something ceases to give me a deep sense of excitement and purpose. Some may call it ADD.

Do you identify with being a “wanderlust” in life – not only having a desire to travel physically but also (and more importantly) to embark on a personal journey that involves experiencing all parts of SELF and all aspects of LIFE?

In different stages of my life, and especially in my own business, sometimes the tension between the strong pull to EXPERIMENT, to DARE, to chase FREEDOM, and the fear that comes up when I untether from the “known” would tear me apart.

Do you know the wanderlust part of you and the primal part of you may be at odds with each other, resulting in conflicting/self-sabotaging behaviors that hold of you back from soaring in your business?

Sometimes the restlessness eats me up as it turns into a nervous energy. Sometimes I fall into the comparison trap when I see my college classmates climb up the corporate ladder and score impressive titles. Sometimes I just feel plain lost and doubt… why can’t I just be everyone else and “settle down?”

***

COMMITMENT. FREEDOM. ANCHORED. EXPERIMENT.

HOME. WANDERLUST.

What some consider to be a daring experiment may be judged by others as “hopping from one thing to another” or being a flake.

It’s hard enough when the judgment comes from outside of us. But it can be downright self-sabotaging when the conflict comes from within ourselves.

The tension created by Commitment vs. Abandonment, the longing to Trust vs. the need for Certainty sends mix messages – to our selves, to others, and to the universe.

The conflict turns us into Reluctant Wanderlusts.

I don’t know about you but I have heard enough of those “free calls” to encounter quite a few of them talking about “commitment”… and, ha, to commit you just pull out your credit card and pay the money… only if it’s that easy!

“Commitment” on a superficial level can feel binding to us who has a fierce streak of wanderlust. How do we discern being committed from “staying put” out of fears or past/outdated conditioning?

When are we going to stop beating ourselves up from not being able to “stick with it”… just because others manage to stay in the same job for 10 years?

What is being daring, adventurous and open to experimenting to uncover a deeper part of us, to challenge the status quo and to stretch ourselves; and what is just plain “avoidance” – running away from what we have to face in order to expand and grow (but feel hard and gut-wrenching)?

The lower chakras’ need for certainty and safety fighting the upper chakras’ desire for inspiration and expansion creates conflicts that muddle up our energy and make everything feels like we have one foot on the gas and one foot on the break.

How do we commit, without feeling being tethered? How do we make the wanderlust in us and our need for certainty play nice together so we can finally lift the foot from the break?

With the propensity toward “freedom” also comes the intense desire to find “home.” Without properly defining what each one means, we fall prey to internal conflict that keeps us from moving forward.

***

Can “wanderlust” and “home” co-exist?

1. Accept

Accept that we have that wanderlust part in us, and we have the “cave(wo)men” part in us. They are all parts of us being us and denial or avoidance will only create more tension that triggers self-sabotaging behaviors.

We need to have ALL of us on board for the actions we need to take, in order for the actions to be aligned, meaningful and impactful.

2. Commit

Commit to BEING someone, not to DOING something.

Make that commitment to yourself, not to someone else.

Commit to an identity and use it to guide actions. This can be exceptionally freeing because there is room for possibilities, adventure and experiment.

3. Anchor

Life is dynamic, not static. To soar upward, there needs to be a grounded-ness.

We need some kind of reference point, or else we can be just plain lost.

But you are free to choose your anchor. What can give you an unwavering reference point so you can feel SAFE in the world?

If the “primal” part of you doesn’t feel its need for “safety” acknowledged, the subconscious mind (which affects 95% of our thoughts!) can throw a thousand “blocks” at you.

Is this anchor something you can hold onto, something you have “control” over? If it depends on other people or external circumstances, you can get into a shaky situation when the rug gets pulled out under you.

4. Find your place in the world

This is “home” (which doesn’t mean a physical location); this is your CORE message. When you know what you are about, you develop a deep Trust to give you a sense of Inevitability that serves as rocket fuel behind all your intentions and actions.

“Niching”, in its truest and broadest sense, is about finding our role in the community, our place in the world.

When you can articulate your core message into how you fit into the larger ecosystem (aka, how you create value and why you are relevant to the community you want to serve), you have found home through your business endeavor – a “home” that allows you to be YOU anywhere in the world.

When you find the WORDS to talk about how your conviction is translated into your work, you turn the inkling in your Guts into something your “logical mind” can get on board with.

When you find the WORDS so you can step up to own what you do, you voice it and set the intention for it to materialize.

When you get your entire SELF on board, you find a renewed excitement and commitment for your business.

Ling is an Intuitive Brainiac. Through her unique blend of Business + Marketing coaching with a Mindset + Psychic Twist, Ling Wong helps Maverick Entrepreneurs nail their message, claim their superpowers and muster up the GUTS to monetize their Truth.

Ling helps her clients find their Message, nail the WORDS that sell and design a Plan to work it, through her intuitive yet rigorous iterative process born out of her Harvard Design School training and 10 years of experience in the online marketing industry.

3 Things To Do At Your Desk That Will Grow Your Business

I was on the phone with a client and she said, “I have a really stupid question to ask you.”

By far the best and fastest way to get to know someone is to talk with them, ideally face to face, so it makes sense that you need to get out from behind your desk, meet people and get to know them.

Yet, it’s easy to justify that you need to be at your desk. You need to clean up your inbox, work on your website, work on the new program you’re developing or even work with current clients.

Some of this time is absolutely necessary, but when is doing work at your desk hiding or playing small? When does “working at your desk” limit your business’ growth?

My client went on to ask, “I know the best way for me to grow my business is to get out from behind my desk, but the reality is that sometimes I am at my desk. What am I supposed to do when I’m here?”

It was a great question.

The answer is, when you are at your desk, spend the time finding ways to get away from your desk and engaging directly with people.

It doesn’t matter what type of business you are in, the only way your business can grow is if you ask people to buy your product or service. That means you have to get to know each other and doing that in person is a lot faster than trying to get to know someone online.

I recommend that at least some portion of your day be focused on “away from your desk activities”. That means you are actually away from your desk, meeting new people and networking, following up with people you’ve already met and getting to know them better. It might mean getting up on stages and doing a presentation (by the way, a stage can be as small as a small table at a coffee shop with you and two other people). When you are away from your desk the goal is either to meet new people or to get to know the people you know better.

But what about those days when you don’t have any appointments? Those days when there aren’t any networking events?

The “away from your desk activities” that you do at your desk all need to have the same goal in mind, to deepen the relationships you have.

Here are my favorite three “away from your desk activities” you can do from your desk.

Call people you’ve met that you haven’t spoken with in a while. Let them know that you’ve been thinking of them and were wondering what they’ve been up to since you met or last spoke.

Follow up on that stack of business cards you have on your desk from people you met at networking events. I recommend calling them up and being honest. Let them know that you have had their card on your desk and it was time call.

Reach out to local networks or organizations. Ask them about upcoming meetings and even about possible speaking opportunities. And here’s a trick, let them know that if they ever have a speaker cancel that you would be happy to be a last minute substitute.

How much time do you spend away from your desk? What could change in your business if you increased the amount of time you spend away from your desk by just 10%?

The 4 Cs of Business Lending

If you are looking for money for your business than you will be happy to know you only need one “C” to qualify.

In lending when we look to see if a client is fundable we are looking for one of the 4 “C”s. You don’t have to have all of the 4 Cs, only 1 to secure funding.

The first C is Cash Flow. When you have an existing business with good cash flow you can qualify for business funding.

If you do have verifiable cash flow this substantial increases your chances of being approved for funding. There are many funding programs you might qualify for including Business Revenue Lending.

If you don’t have cash flow your business still might have Collateral, the second C.

Collateral for your business is really your business assets. Many things can be used as collateral including equipment, purchase orders, even account receivables.

Having Collateral greatly increases your chances of being approved.

If you don’t have cash flow or collateral, don’t worry you still can qualify for business funding.

Lenders also look at your business Credit to qualify you. Business Credit is our third C.

Lenders will lend you money with no personal guarantee based on your business credit profile and score. If you have a good business credit profile you can use that as security to obtain funding.

If you don’t have business credit built now, call me so I can help you quickly build an excellent business credit score and profile.

Maybe you are just starting a new business, and you have no business credit, cash flow, or collateral. In this case you can still qualify for funding. But lenders will use your personal Credit to qualify you.

Personal Credit is the fourth and final C that lenders will look at to approve you for funding. You can secure credit lines, through me, up to $250,000 with as low as a 650 credit score.

These types of unsecured credit lines do not look at revenue or financials. Your credit is all that is used to qualify you for funding.

All you need is 1 of the 4 “C”s to qualify for much of the business financing that is available to you today.

Micro Money

The SBA has a great loan program called The Microloan Program. Although the name is Micro, the benefits to you can be huge.

The Microloan Program provides small, short-term loans to small businesses. Micro loans can provide you working capital and fulfill other purposes when you need money the most.

Some of the common uses for Micro loans include:

• Working capital
• The purchase of inventory or supplies
• The purchase of furniture or fixtures
• The purchase of machinery or equipment.

Terms, Interest Rates, and Fees and loan terms vary based on the size of the loan, the planned use of funds, the requirements of the intermediary lender, and the needs of the small business borrower.

Secrets of Bonding 105: Choose Your Partner!

When the music starts you take your partner by the hand and head for the dance floor!

When it comes to Surety Bonds, how do you know which partner to choose? Which bonding company fits the project at hand? Here are some tips:

Federal Projects

These contracts require a bonding company pre-approved by the Treasury Department to issue bonds with the federal government as obligee. Federal projects include all contracts with a branch of the federal government such as the Army Corps of Engineers, Office of General Services, Dept. of Veteran Affairs, and the Federal Aviation Administration. This a big area of activity with 38,786 contract opportunities listed as of this writing.

The bonding company must be listed / approved, and for a sufficient amount (equal to or more than the contract in question). Circular 570 issued annually by the Treasury Department aka the “T-List”

Fine points regarding federal: HUD is not a direct federal agency, and makes their own rules.

Any other project owners may CHOOSE to require the T-list as a means of screening the bonding companies. You need to review the written bonding requirements to determine this. It could say that “a T-listed surety must be used.” It could also require that the T-list amount be equal to or greater than the contract in question.

State and Municipal Contracts

The most common requirement is for the surety to be licensed in the state where the work is being performed. Many sureties do not find it worthwhile to maintain licensing in all 51 states. * To check for a specific state, you can go the state insurance department, the surety may list this info in their web site, and it also appears in the T-list details (assuming the surety is on the list).

Private Contracts

This category includes all non-public commercial contracts, such as a general contractor building an office for a private company. It also includes all the subcontractors such as electricians, plumbers, roofers, etc. All subcontracts are private even if they are performed on a federal or state projects (because they are not “prime,” not contracted directly with the public entity.)

In this group you may find that a T-list requirement is indicated, or the owner may choose to be more open. They can make or waive the requirement at their sole discretion.

Contract specifications may also stipulate a certain A.M. Best rating. Simply look up the surety to determine if they have a rating, and if it meets the requirement.

Steps for a Successful Business

The Business industry is like a world with the motto “Survival of the Fittest.” This is a very realistic statement when the business world is being talked about. Many business aspirants have succeeded but a lot more have failed. Business is a very challenging pursuit, for an aspirant to be successful; he/she must possess exceptional skills and capabilities.

These are the 10 Vital Steps for a successful business pursuit:

1.) Be Innovative. Invent and Improve. Try to think about your market and their interests. Or you might want to know what their problems are and try to make a business that will be of help or solve their problems. Your Idea will start your business. Make an idea that will seduce your customers.

2.) Define your Market. After creating an idea, determine your market. Know their needs and also their wants. If your target market are teenagers, then know what they need.

3.) Make a Plan. Plan out your budget and the materials that you need. Jot down everything you need with a corresponding budget so you won’t fall short of your budget.

4.) Develop a vision. Imagine your workplace. Would you need employees? What is the ambiance of your workplace? Imagine all these things. It must portray and set the feel of your product.

5.) Study your Business. Research. No one has ever been a successful businessman without research. Know your business.

6.) Hire Employees. When you hire employees, choose those who are also a good fit for your product. Train them physically and emotionally. Always impart in them the power of discipline.

7.) Market your Product. Business without marketing is dead. Marketing will bring life to your business. Create strategies.

8.) Be an Advocate. Do you wear or use your own product? This is one way of assuring your customers that your product is effective. This is also one more very effective way of promotion.

9.) Keep Learning. Never stop researching and studying your product and your market. Update and Improve. Change is a factor so there must also be change and improvement in your product. The change must also be congruent with the changes of your consumers.

10.) Keep your Budget checked. Poor financial management will surely bring failure to your business. Track your expenses and your profits.

Business is sometimes hard work and pleasurable at the same time that is why it is best to always make sure that your business is your passion. However, business should not only be based on your needs because it is not meant to cater to your needs. Business is meant to cater the needs of your consumers. So always make sure that their needs are being met.

Build rapport with your consumers and leave an impact on their lives. This is how your business will flourish and succeed.

Impact – The Heart of Business

Thousands of people dream of having their own business and even more so be a successful entrepreneur. But what does it take to achieve success in the business industry?

One of the most successful entrepreneurs featured at the Forbes website, Wendy Lipton – Dibner said that “the success of your business would solely depend on you. The only thing you can rely on is your power to achieve your goal”.

She shared her success story at the Forbes website and said that when she was young she learned a very important business objective from her high school activity and that is to go out, explore, come back and explain how money is made in business. This is an objective she never forgot until she made millions for herself.

When she was already very successful, she never stopped understanding business and how it really works. Profit is the number one goal in business and how you make it is a natural talent. Yes, there may be a lot of guidelines given and showed on television and the internet but only you know how you will make your sales to the top.

Try to ponder on these notes when thinking of a business:

1.) Passion. Business may be set on profit but the core of your business should be something you love. Passion counts a lot in businesses because it also builds your determination in achieving your goal.

2.) Impact. Business is a big and competitive world, what will matter is how you make a difference to your market. How your business will impact your market. The profit of your business will rely on the impact of your business. The mark it will leave to your customers will make it grow.

3.) Three Guidelines.

If you have noticed, the three guidelines below are very simple and natural.

Passion

The first guideline will definitely minimize your expenses and maximize your sales because working on something you love will allow you to spend less. In this way, you will be a hands-on owner decreasing the number of your employees. Since the passion is high, you will discover a lot of strategies that will lessen your expenses.

Impact

The second guideline is the lifeblood of your business. It is hard to compete in the business industry. Your product may be the same with the other entrepreneurs. The only way to stand out is to leave an impact to your market. Impact may be a simple word but this is one of the hardest and most thought-of strategies of business. To achieve this goal, you must ask yourself- What is the core of my business? Who is my market? How will they remember my product? What will make them crave for my product more? How will my product leave an imprint their lives? If these questions will be answered then impact on your customers will surely be served.

Profit

The last and third guideline is the bread and butter of your business. When profit is not achieved, business will die its natural death. Remember that profit is your number one goal. What is business without profit? Profit will make your business live and survive. The absence of profit means the death of any business pursuit.

The goal in business is to make money. But the success of your business will depend on the impact it will give to your consumers and to the world. You might be earning, your business might have sales but if it doesn’t project impact then you are just another ordinary entrepreneur.

Ordinary entrepreneurs make money while successful entrepreneurs leave impact and touch lives.

Starting to Build Business Credit

A business starts building a brand new credit profile much the same as a consumer does.

The business starts with no credit profile. The business gets approved for new credit that reports to the business credit reporting agencies.

The business uses the credit and pays the bill timely. A positive business credit profile is established. As the continues using the credit and pays bills timely it will qualify for more credit.

When building an initial profile it’s ESSENTIAL that you meet credit issuer’s criteria. Remember, your personal credit isn’t being used for approval.

And you have NO yet established. This means what’s on your APPLICATION is ALL that’ll be looked at for approval, so your application must be very strong to assure approval.

If you truly want to separate business credit from personal credit your business must be a separate legal entity not a sole proprietor or partnership unless you have a separate business entity (Corporation or LLC) you might be “doing business” but you are not truly “a business”. These entities by default eliminate your personal liability, other entities don’t.

One of the biggest reasons for denial is your application not having the same legal name as what’s filed in state records. It is very important that you use your exact business legal name.

Your full business name should include any recorded DBA filing you will be using. Insure your business name is exactly the same on your corporation papers, licenses, and bank statements.

Whether you have employees or not, your business entity must have a Federal Tax ID number (EIN), just like you have a Social Security Number your business has an EIN.

Another bonus of is that most business credit can be obtained without the owner taking on personal liability, or a personal guarantee. This means in case of default, the business owner’s personal assets can’t be pursued.

It’s important to keep in mind that anyone can see your business credit reports, so having business credit makes your more credible for prospects, clients, competitors, lenders, credit issuers and those interested in buying your company.

Almost any business can get as long as it has an EIN number and entity setup. You don’t need collateral and financials. You can be a startup. You just need to know the proper building steps.

One benefit is that a credit profile can be built for a business that is completely separate from the business owner’s personal credit profile doubling the borrowing ability.