As in any big purchase, buyer’s remorse is not so unusual in business-for-sale transactions. Buyer’s remorse should, however, dissipate after a month or so and the new business owner gets into the rhythm of the business. For purposes of this discussion, lets assume that the price paid was fair for all.
When exploring a business for sale, one of the first questions a prospective buyer should ask is “can I be happy doing this, running this business?” If the answer is “I don’t know” or “I am not certain,” pause before you make a move and reconsider. Why waste your and the seller’s time while exploring the business opportunity if you won’t be happy? Why invest if you have a clear dislike for the product or service or tasks.
The first business broker I met said “remember, most small business owners often find themselves sweeping the floors at the end of the day.” My personal experience of small business ownership has found me as the leader, technology repairperson, bookkeeper, collections, purchaser, personnel manager, sales person, garbage take-out person, and more. If I did not like the heart of the business, it would have been difficult to do all of these things, since some are not my favorite tasks.
As a routine the business owner should glow when they talk about the business. If the owner cannot tolerate the work or the purpose of the company, it will be hard to get into work in the morning and energize the company as only an owner can do. Unhappy owners can quickly allow a business to flounder.
Three simple business-for-sale pre-purchase tips:
1. Know yourself, your talents and interests.
2. Be clear about the product/service before beginning your exploration.
3. If you hate the product or service and do not see a future that is appealing, don’t continue the exploration and don’t buy.