When you are beginning the process of buying a business, you want to know as much about it as possible so that you're fully aware of what you're getting into and you can make an informed decision. The trouble is that you don't know what you don't know. That is to say, that you can't possibly find out everything there is to know about the company, nor can you foresee what detail or aspect you’ll later wish you'd had knowledge of.
Through your standard due diligence, you should be able to find out about the company's financials and its processes. For topics that extend beyond that, we compiled a list of questions to ask when buying a business that might help you cover more ground.
What Skills, Abilities, And Qualities Does The Owner Of This Business Need To Possess to Be Successful?
It's important for anyone interested in buying a business to have a clear understanding of what it takes for it to operate successfully and to recognize whether or not they possess those required qualities. If a business requires the owner to greet customers or speak publicly, it would be best if the buyer had an outgoing personality.
How Diversified Is Your Customer Base
A company may look like it's performing very well on paper, but if the majority of the revenue comes from just one or two customers; it's a sign of instability. Should the company lose one of those key customers, the repercussions could be disastrous.
Note: it's also a warning sign if the company relies on a single supplier. If that vendor were to go out of business, the future of the company could be jeopardized.
What Do Your Employees Intend To Do After The Sale?
The last thing a new owner wants to deal with when they buy a business is to have the staff exit all at once. You’ll want to make sure that employees are aware of the fact that the business is for sale and if any key member of the personnel is considering leaving.
How Was The Asking Price Arrived At?
While some sellers will decide on a price based on verifiable factors such as the company’s revenue making history, its current assets, and its potential for growth; others may take a more arbitrary approach. Perhaps the selling price has more to do with what they need for the next phase of their life more than the business’ actual value. With an understanding of this, you can gauge how much room there might be for negotiation.
What Are The Biggest Challenges Facing The Company Today?
As a prospective buyer of the business, you want to have a clear understanding of what the possible problems you'll be dealing with as of the day one. If there are problems that are insurmountable or challenges that are beyond your abilities, you’ll want to know about them now, before the negotiations take place.
More questions may come up during the process of buying a business based on the responses you get from these. Ask all the questions you feel you need in order to be sure of your decision.Are you looking for a great business opportunity in Minnesota? Review the many businesses for sale in our current listings.