By Bob Cooper
With today’s uncertainty, and with all the restraints that lenders have put into place, this still may be the best time for you to expand your business. It’s during these times that many of your competitors will struggle, hunt for a way out, and find that there are no buyers. When you come across these shop owners, you will typically find that most will have at least some assets, some will have a good location and an assumable lease, and some will have a good-sized customer base. Regardless of whether you take over their operation, or just buy the assets and customer database, the key is to provide them with the assurance that their customers will be well taken care of, and that they will be paid fairly for whatever you purchase.
If you decide to start scouting for the right opportunity, you should first check with your vendors, because as suppliers, they are generally the first to know about shops that are struggling. In addition to locations that are in specific communities, you should look for shops that have a reputation for charging a fair price for their services, and treating their customers well. Otherwise, you’ll end up buying a business that has a customer database full of the wrong people.
When the economy is good, and businesses are doing well, the price for a business will always be higher. With today’s uncertain times, you have a rare window of opportunity to expand, which you may very well never see again.
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