Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Want To Buy A Small Business (or) Are You Crazy?

You've bought yourself an existing, operating, small business. The deed is done. You have avoided most of the start-up problems and learning curves by purchasing a going business. You believe the business was priced low. It will be at least a year before you find out for certain. Most buyers don't really pay a lot of attention to the minor problems and weaknesses. They often come as a surprise and cause a new buyer to question if he or she made a mistake. Usually a mild case of buyers remorse shows up, but only temporarily. 

You may, for example, find that sales are lower than you expected, operating costs are higher, and personnel problems happen just when you don't expect them.  Yikes! The business isn't exactly as represented. You are now the owner just beginning to deal with things like this. Now you understand why the previous owners were so anxious to sell. Despite words to the contrary they  probably developed an increasing lack of enthusiam - and decided to sell. It doesn't matter anymore. You are now responsible for the business. 

Nothing moves until something is sold, and three things have to happen - first!

(1) The business has to have the ability to function smoothly.
(2) Provide quality products, 
(3) at reasonable prices, and 
(4) on time. 

A business can not exist if there is employee inertia. You have to set the target and they must work towards it. Employee inertia is serious. It is up to you to convince employees of the importance of your goals. You may have to re-educate your empoyees to understand your idea of importance of a customer.
Once you develop a satisfactory comfort level with the competency of the business, it's time for you (or a sales person) to reach out for sales using all of the marketing tools available. 


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