945 Concord St Suite 109C

Framingham, MA 01701

(508) 492-8728

How To Buy A Business: Assessment Before Buying a Business

AW Business Brokers | Best Business Broker > Blog  > How To Buy A Business: Assessment Before Buying a Business
How To Buy A Business | woman on her laptop

How To Buy A Business: Assessment Before Buying a Business

How To Buy A Business

How To Buy A Business | Buying a business is a significant decision. It can have long-lasting impacts for an individual or a business buying another entity.

Performing the due diligence or business assessment requires using several methods. You should use some quantitative and qualitative metrics to assess a business before buying.

Business Assessment

Be clear on the reason for buying a particular business. It will help you assess the target business. Also, check out what is the true reason for the seller to sell a business.

Sellers may have different reasons. Not many sellers sell a business when it is making profits. Many business owners look for a bailout when they consider selling a business as the last resort for their financial crises.

Look for the positives here. Some people sell it to liquidate their investments. Others do it when they retire. There are several reasons to look for but the important point is to know the real reason before digging deeper. This is key when learning How To Buy A Business.

Evaluate What is Included in the Asking Price

Look for the complete business valuation for How To Buy A Business. Sellers may include all tangible and intangible assets in the asking price.

Recheck the assets included in the business valuation process. Intangible assets are difficult to evaluate. For example, it’s hard to price the goodwill of a running business that has more intangible assets.

Another important consideration is to think of cash owned by the business. Sole proprietors running small businesses may not include the total cash held by the business in the valuation process.

A business may have resources that are partially owned by the business. Thus, it is important to assess the actual asking price by the seller.

Assets of a Business

Evaluation of the balance sheet of a proposed business is important for several reasons. However, it may not reveal the actual state of the assets – another key reason when learning How To Buy A Business.

For example, a manufacturing business may own more tangible assets. Similarly, a service business would own more intangible assets. Thus, the valuation method should change accordingly.

When evaluating a potential business to purchase, consider the true worth of assets owned by a business. For instance, whether a business holds a patent to produce a particular product, a business holds a market share in a particular market or a large customer base of a business.

Read the Finance Structure of the Business

Most businesses will be financed through debt. Debts are an important part of the financial structure of any business. However, it is important to consider the gearing level of a business.

Some businesses such as in the real estate sector will have naturally higher gearing levels. However, not all businesses can afford higher gearing.

Therefore, it is important to evaluate how much equity and debt a business holds. It would also mean the business will be in a position to apply for further debt financing when required.

What are the Liabilities of the Business for How To Buy A Business

Another important factor in a business assessment is to evaluate the liabilities section of a business. It would include both the short-term and the long-term liabilities.

If a successful business is financed by high-interest debt financing, it could prove costly. Thus, the expansion or growth of a business must be sustainable.

Short-term liabilities such as bank loans are also important. Therefore, you should carefully evaluate the solvency of a business in the short and long term.

Perform the Due Diligence on Financial Statements

Reading through the financial statements isn’t enough for How To Buy A Business. You should critically evaluate different financial performance metrics.

Assess the balance sheet of the business to know what a business owns and what it owes. The income statement will reveal the operating efficiency and profits of the business. Evaluate the important cash flow statement to assess the liquidity of a business.

Establish the trends across several financial years through due diligence on financial statements. Consider the external factors such as economic downturns that may affect all businesses.

Talk to a Business Broker to Know the Actual Worth of a Business and How To Buy A Business

Business assessment is a challenging task when you want to buy or sell a business. It requires evaluating several aspects of a business. From considering the profit, cash, assets owned, liabilities, to the prospects of growth, there are several important factors to consider.

Seeking help from a professional business broker can make you an informed business assessment decision.

Learn How To Buy A Business with AW Business Brokers. New clients are welcome.