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Valuing Your Customers

Jun 20, 2022

We've all heard the phrases, "The customer is always right," or "Customer is King," - and there's a simple reason for that: Businesses don't survive if they don't have customers. And because most business owners want to survive, they'll (usually) do what needs to be done to keep their customers. 

Of course, we know the customer isn't ALWAYS right, but now's not the time to split hairs. At the end of the day, if you want to keep your doors open and the till humming, you need to keep them happy. That doesn't mean you must acquiesce to every ridiculous demand or unjustified complaint, but as a whole, learning how to value your customers is a critical component to long-term success.

Whether you've just acquired or started a new business or have owned one for years, it's never too late to put the following five suggestions into practice. 

Understand Your Customer: This is Marketing 101 but an important step that should not be skipped. Understand who you're selling to. Create...

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Secured vs. Unsecured Financing: What Small Business Owners Should Know

Jun 16, 2022


Never needing to borrow money and paying everything in cash is the dream, right? No interest rates, no processing fees, no lengthy applications, and no credit checks. Unfortunately, that’s not very realistic for many people, particularly those operating a small business where the costs often require some form of financing. 

The good news is, you don’t need to make it onto Shark Tank and strike a deal with Mr. Wonderful before you can start, or expand, your business. There are plenty of financing options on the table that don’t require a sales pitch on national television. 

Financing comes in two forms: secured and unsecured. There are pros and cons to each, and before entering into any loan agreement, you should be well aware of the benefits and risks to make the best financial decision for your situation.


First things first: Secured vs. Unsecured

Secured loans require collateral. Unsecured loans do not. 

Mortgages, car loans, and...

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Selling in the Ether: Growing Your Business

Jun 16, 2022

Whether you own an e-commerce site, a brick-and-mortar store, or thinking of buying either one…this post is for you!

E-commerce is a booming industry with no signs of slowing down. According to Statista, sales in 2021 amounted to approximately 4.9 trillion U.S. dollars worldwide - and it’s forecasted to grow another 50% over the next four years. That’s a lot of money, but it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Just think how easy it is these days to buy online. Offers get delivered to our inboxes on the daily, targeted ads pop up when we scroll Instagram, Amazon has been waving that dangerous Order Now button for some time, and with Google Pay, we don’t even need to get up to dig out our credit card when it’s time to check out. It’s so popular that many brick-and-mortar stores have pivoted to make their services and products accessible for online purchase.

If you are already involved in an e-commerce business, you’re undoubtedly...

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Five Funding Options You Might Not Know About

Jun 09, 2022

We're back with another post about everyone's favorite F-word: Funding!

It can seem the most daunting of the hurdles when acquiring a business, but as we mentioned in a previous post, there is quite a long list of ways you can secure funding. We already gave our Top Four. Now we're going to explore some other creative, alternative approaches to keep in your toolkit.

The key word here is approaches, plural. None of these methods need to fly solo.

Think of it as you would when stacking a sub. (Or hoagie, for our Philly-area friends.) The more layers you give it, the more delicious it becomes. Bread and cheese and meats and pickles and peppers and, well - you get the idea. Each component brings something to the table to create mouthwatering goodness. In the same way, you can "stack" multiple approaches and angles to get the financing you need and the price point you want. 


The Equity Earn-In Approach

This method is relatively straightforward. You agree to contribute a...

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So You Bought a Business

Jun 02, 2022

So You Bought a Business.

Congratulations! You bought it. It's yours. The paperwork has been signed, the deal has been done, the arrangements have been made, and you are now the shiny new owner of [insert business here.] You just put in a helluva lot of time, sweat, and energy into making this happen, so take a moment to lift a glass of something bubbly in honor of yourself. Salute! Santé! Prost! Sláinte! Salud! Skål! 

So now what.

Now we turn our focus to some of the nitty-gritty details. Not to add any pressure to the situation, but the first 90 days are critical to setting the foundation for your long-term success. As you begin to settle into your new role as owner, your top priorities over the next three months may include:

  • Getting to know the Team.
  • Hiring an operator and/or preparing to take over those tasks yourself.
  • Evaluating (and improving) systems and processes.
  • Taking a deep dive into the daily finances.

It's OK to take your time with it. If...

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How to Finance the Deal

May 26, 2022

Moment of truth time. You did the research. You put in the work. You compared and contrasted the businesses until your eyes went crossed. Negotiations are finished, and both you and the seller are ready to make it official. It's time to talk about financing.

The money has to come from somewhere, and since no one has figured out how to grow it on trees (yet), we need alternative methods to fund our business buys. 

There is a surprisingly long list of ways to secure funding to purchase a business - and none of them are "more right" than others. (Though, if we're being honest, some of them are complete garbage, so we don't talk about those.) Ultimately, the route you decide to take will depend on factors like the type of business, the amount you need to borrow, credit history, collateral, etc. Below are the Top Four we recommend as a starting point.


SBA 7(a) Loans:

Small Business Association Loans are an obvious choice. (It's literally in the name.) These programs are...

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How to Negotiate the Deal

May 19, 2022

Over the last few weeks, we've walked you through the process of determining the type of business you want to buy, where to find them, and how to assess their value. Equipped with this information in hand, you're now ready to go into the fun part: Negotiation.

Ok, depending on your personality, this might not actually be the fun part. Still, it's definitely not the part you can avoid, especially if you want to reach an advantageous deal. (Which, of course, you do.) 

One thing to remember before we dive in is that negotiation is not an exact science. There isn't a checklist you can follow that will guarantee a positive outcome every single time; there are far too many variables at play. So with that in mind, dismiss the notion that there's only "one right way" to do this. There isn't. 

A quick Google search will give you more advice than you want to know about successfully negotiating a deal: Don't speak first. Words you should never say. Know when to talk away. Do your...

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How To Value A Business

May 12, 2022

Understanding the value of the business you want to buy is kind of a no-brainer. It’s unlikely you’re going to throw down a massive chunk of change without any idea of profit you can expect to generate in return. (But if you are doing that, you should still read this because you need it more than most.)

Before we dive in, the most important thing to keep in mind is to keep things simple. It can be very easy to overcomplicate and over-analyze every minute detail ad nauseam. This will likely leave you feeling overwhelmed, unmotivated, and bowing out before you get to the fun part. Focus on the pieces that matter most to you. 

The second most important thing to keep in mind is that there is no single right or wrong way to determine the value of a business. Yes, some factors will weigh more heavily than others (profits, for example), but depending on the industry, the market, the seller, and even you as the buyer, there are many things to consider. 


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Learning To Sell Yourself

May 05, 2022

“Everything in life is a sale and everything you want is a commission.” - Grant Cardone.

From sunup to sundown, we are active participants in the world of sales. It doesn’t matter what your job title is or how you spend your free time, we are either selling something or being sold something. From Instagram ads to billboards, agreeing to upsize your fast food order, convincing a toddler to eat their vegetables, jockeying for a promotion, deciding which movie to watch, or creating an online dating profile, it all comes down to the art of the sale. 

And when it comes to the business of buying a business, it’s no different. 

If you’ve followed our advice thus far (hint, you should be), by this point, you will know that the ideal business acquisition often comes down to the ideal seller. They are someone ready to retire, concerned about their legacy, want to protect their employees, or simply burnt out and ready to move on. 

However, unless...

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Building a Personal Brand

Apr 25, 2022

What Is a Personal Brand and Why Do You Need One?

What do you look for when you decide to make a purchase or hire a company to provide a service? Are you checking them out online, looking at their website, reading reviews, reviewing samples of their work, and learning a little bit more about them and their background? 

If you’re smart, that’s precisely what you’re doing. Because you want to know who or what you’re getting into business with. This is particularly true with large transactions, but even the day-to-day decisions are influenced in this way; how often do you check out a restaurant's Yelp reviews before deciding where to eat dinner? It’s a small thing, but the implications are far-reaching.

When going about the task of business acquisition, whether you’re just starting out or have been in the game for years, the way you present yourself, your brand, and your abilities are critical. Yes, you are the one doing the buying. You are the...

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