planning
Exit Strategy

What Startups Need to Know About Exit Strategies

by Tim Berry

  Startups looking for angel investors or venture capital (VC) absolutely need an exit strategy because investors require it. The exit is what gives them a return. Exit strategies related to startup funding are quite often misunderstood: The “exit” in exit strategy is for the money, not the startup founders or small business owners. The... Read more »

starting
4 Things You Might Not Think to Investigate Before Buying a Business

4 Things You Might Not Think to Investigate Before Buying a Business

by Lisa Furgison

If you’ve got your eye on a new business, you’ve got a lot of research to do. We know you’ll ask for financial records, look into the economic stability of the area, and be critical of the asking price, but it’s hard to uncover everything there is to know about a company. To make an... Read more »

starting

What is Advertising Opportunity?

by Tim Berry

A product or service may generate additional revenue through advertising if there is benefit from creating additional awareness, communicating differentiating attributes, hidden qualities or benefits. Optimizing the opportunity may involve leveraging strong emotional buying motives and potential benefits. Read more »

starting

The History of Franchising As We Know It

by Joel Libava

The franchise model has been called the greatest business model ever invented. But, how did it begin? How did franchising start? Read more »

starting

Q & A: How Do I Evaluate This Business? Real-World Due Diligence

by Tim Berry

This question was posted on my “ask me” page on my timberry.com site. I can’t promise to answer all the questions I get, but I try, and I’m particularly happy when I get one whose answer might be useful to other people. Those I post here or on my main blog. This question came from... Read more »

starting
Business Sale

6 things to do today to prep your business for sale

by Carol Roth

Too often, the shareholders of businesses wait until they are ready to sell their business to start planning for an exit. However, a lack of planning today may cause you to lose value when you ultimately are ready to go sip margaritas on the beach. Here are six best practices to follow before you want... Read more »

starting
Money

Seducing the Guys with the Money: 7 Factors that Create a Desirable Business

by Carol Roth

Financial buyers (aka private equity firms and guys that look like them) have billions of dollars to purchase companies, making a sale to a financial buyer one of the top ways for mid-size business owners to get liquidity in their business (liquidity is a fancy way of saying cashing out / getting the benjamins /... Read more »

funding

His Investors Made Him Sell

by Tim Berry

This happens all the time, but usually on a much smaller scale, so this story gets into headlines and serves as a reminder to all entrepreneurs. I read Why I Sold Zappos on Inc. Magazine’s website just two days after I posted Choose an Investor Like You Would a Spouse on this blog. And the... Read more »

starting

My Boss Wants to Sell Me The Business

by Tim Berry

Our ask-the-expert forum at Bplans.com presented me with this question today: Where do I start? My boss said he would sell the business for $500,000. What would be the best way to go about getting this business; and what should I know? Of course this might be the opportunity you’ve been waiting for, but let’s... Read more »

starting

Business Valuation

by Tim Berry

Valuation is what a business is worth, as in “this company’s valuation is $10 million.” This would mean that a company is valued at $10 million, or worth $10 million. The term is used most often for discussions of sale or purchase of a company; it’s valuation is the price of a share times the... Read more »

starting

What’s a Domain Name Worth?

by Tim Berry

What’s a domain name worth? I have reason to write about that today, because of e-mail correspondence. Today I have somebody trying to sell me swot.com for $600,000. Yes, you read right, that’s $600,000, as in six hundred thousand dollars. There was a predictable thread: He had chosen me because of my work, his first... Read more »

starting

Plan for Changes in LLC Ownership with Buy-Sell Provisions

by Nolo

Many, if not most, LLC owners overlook a critical element of their operating agreement that can save them both money and angst: buy-sell provisions. When you create buy-sell, or buyout, provisions for your operating agreement, you and your co-owners can prepare for events that have been the downfall of more than a few successful small... Read more »

funding

Plan for Ownership Changes with Shareholders

by Nolo

While diligently filing articles of incorporation and adopting bylaws, many corporate owners overlook a critical element of their business relationship: buy-sell, or buyout, provisions. By creating a shareholders’ agreement with buy-sell provisions, the owners of a small, privately held corporation can prepare for events that have been the downfall of more than a few successful... Read more »

funding

Finance options for purchasing a small business

by Tim Berry

Purchasing an existing small business may be a good way to fulfill dreams of being your own boss. But where does the money come from to purchase it? The best way to have access to funds is to have collateral. Equity in a home is often one of the best resources. If that is not... Read more »

planning

Planning for Purchasing a Business

by Tim Berry

A business plan is normally essential to the process of purchasing a business. A good business plan always defines the business’ specific mission and objectives, new ownership, sales focus, market, strategy, management team, and financials. This is particularly important when you are purchasing an existing business, because there is so much uncertainty involved. Start with... Read more »

starting

The ABCs of Buying a Business

by Tim Berry

Buying an existing business is an excellent option that is often overlooked by entrepreneurs, but it does have advantages. You will have an established name, existing customers and an immediate revenue stream. However, searching for a business to buy can be difficult, and finding the right one to buy is tougher yet. The process can... Read more »

starting

Questions to Ask When Buying a Business

by Stephen Windhaus

There are so many questions to ask when considering the purchase of an existing business. In fact, there is not enough room on this page to list them. But let me give you a few examples that relate to financial, marketing, ownership and operations: Most importantly, why is the seller selling? The answer will either... Read more »

starting

Purchasing an Underperforming Business

by Angelo Meneguzzi

Consider this scenario. A wife and husband are in the starting stages of negotiating a price for a florist shop that is being sold by an elderly lady who is selling, “because her children want her to retire.” Since her husband died five years ago, the business has been going downhill, and for the past... Read more »

starting

What’s That Business Worth?

by Milton Zlotnick

When valuing a business for sale, start by reviewing basic financial statements. Example: A husband and wife have been working in his father’s small business for almost four years now. They would like to buy his small business from him. It is a independent copier/fax dealership located in a small town. They know the market... Read more »

starting

Buying a Business

by Nolo

For some people, buying an existing business is a better option than starting from scratch. Why? Because someone else has done much of the legwork for you, such as establishing a customer base, hiring employees and negotiating a lease. But if you want to buy a business, you’ll need to do some thorough research to... Read more »