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Mentoring In How To Buy A Business

30% of all business buyers have been through the process before and therefore have learned, through experience, what they should do and not do.  They graduated from the very expensive but enlightening "School Of Hard Knocks."  I myself learned how to become a business broker, hard money loan broker, real estate speculator, builder, and land developer by going to this school.  I must tell you, that the tuition is more expensive than Harvard Medical School or any other top notch University in the world.  Being sixty-one years old it is sometimes very enlightening to reflect on ones life, in retrospect, and see what was done right and wrong.



This exercise is often called the "What if?"  It is sometimes productive and sometimes demoralizing.  We all have made mistakes and the only person who hasn’t is the person who never takes a chance.  While doing this introspection, one big repetitive action repeated multiple times is my reason for repeatedly going back to the "School of Hard Knocks."



One of the reasons I joined professional associations was to have contact with people who knew things about my industry that I didn’t.  They became my associates, from whom I could call and ask questions.  Occasionally I met an old timer who really knew the ropes.  When it was possible, I went out of my way to build a relationship. I wanted him to be a "mentor" to me.



Not everyone who is an “old timer” and has experience can mentor others.  When I was a member of the Building Industry Association I met one of the top ten industrial general contractors in the USA.  His advice to me was to just jump in and do it. I kept asking him, How? He could not understand my questions, so he stopped spending time talking with me. A real mentor would have helped me outline the plan step-by-step. He would have helped me overcome the obstacles that inevitably occur, because an experienced person usually has the solution.



At the beginning of this article I stated that 30% of all business buyers have been through the process before.  That would naturally lead to the conclusion that 70% of all business buyers have never bought a business before.  The 70% knowing that they do not know anything about buying a business usually look for some family member, or family friend, who has experience, to help them.  Some of these inexperienced buyers understand that they need a team to help.  They look for an attorney to help them develop or write the contract and form the legal entity.  They find an accountant who will review and audit the seller’s records.  They may even look for a business appraiser to tell them what the business is actually worth, in order to make sure that they do not over pay for the purchase.  The one thing that many buyers realize but cannot find is a business-buying mentor.  This is someone to educate them through the process and tell them about the pitfalls of locating and purchasing a business.



The attorneys and accountants have specific functions that come into play only after you are 100% sure you are intending to buy a business because you must be ready to pay for these services.  But what about before you reach that point? What about when you are asked to make an offer even before the financial information has turned over to you to have an advisor study? What do you do then?  These are hard questions for even a seasoned buyer to answer, and impossible for a novice.  What is needed is a mentor to help guide the way. The word mentor is defined--in a business setting: as the act or process of helping someone younger or less experienced to learn the ropes.



When buying a business today, one needs to be educated in the whole process.  Each prospect that examined and evaluated can and should increase the knowledge and understanding of the buyer.  Only in this way, can a buyer truly know a good business deal when he finds it.



By mentoring buyers instead of just offering only due diligence, I have found that when you lose a client, after you educate them, you may still had a lifelong friend.



About The Author:  Serving all of California, Willard Michlin, CPA offers business buyers Due Diligence Services (Second Opinion, Offer Assistance, Final Due Diligence) when they are thinking of making an offer on a business or in the process of investigating a business purchase. Mr. Michlin has written numerous articles on the due diligence process and can be reached direct at 805-428-2063 for more information and an appointment.


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Helpful Resources To Assist In Selling And Buying California Businesses
William F. Ziprick, Attorney: Legal Services For Buyers And Sellers

Through creative problem solving, attention to detail, accessibility, & understanding that unnecessary delay is often a deal killer, I work closely with my clients and other professionals to consistently achieve a high rate of closings. Office: 909-255-8353, Cell: 509-951-7230.

Shalonda Chappel: Escrow & Bulk Sale Services - Southern California

Escrow services to brokers/agents, sellers, & buyers. Established 43 years. Extraordinary service. Experienced with handling difficult transactions. One stop for all your escrow needs: Bulk sales, lien searches, UCC searches, liquor license transfers, publishing & recording services. 951-808-3972.

Helen Yoo, New Century Escrow - Escrow Services In Southern California

New Century Escrow, Inc. is a fully licensed & bonded independent escrow company. Over 20 years combined experience in handling bulk escrow transactions. Multi-lingual staff that speaks your language, including Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese. Call Helen Yoo direct at 626-890-1151.

Diane Boudreau-Tschetter: Escrow & Bulk Sale Services - CA

California Business Escrow, Inc. is a full service independent escrow company serving all of California and has expertise in a wide range of escrows. Our team prides itself on providing an exceptional escrow experience. For more info phone Diane Boudreau-Tschetter at 888-383-3331 or 209-838-1100.

Lee Petsas, Business Broker - Southern California Area

Lee Petsas has been selling businesses with UBI Business Brokers in Southern CA since 1981. In 1999 he became the Owner and Broker for UBI. He has been approved multiple times by Courts as an Expert Witness in the area of Business Valuations.

Ryan Clark, Business Broker: Southern California

The Veld Group provides a refreshing approach to Business Brokerage, Mergers & Acquisitions and Business Consulting and Valuations. From Your Street to Wall Street, we cater to Main Street Businesses as well as more complex Strategic Firms and Start-Ups. Phone Ryan, Business Broker at 310-652-8353.

Christina Lazuric CBI CBB, Business Broker: Orange County

Premier Brokerage for selling Orange County Service based businesses since 2005! CBB provides a step by step approach to Business Brokerage, M&A Services, Business Consulting & Valuations. Contact me about selling or buying service based businesses: 949-257-7823 Cell.

Joanne Weber, Broker: Preschool Specialist, Southern California

The Ryan Craig Company is in its 35th year as the recognized expert in Southern California, dealing exclusively in the sale of preschools, Montessori schools, day care centers, and private schools. Our extensive list of references speaks for itself. Phone Joanne at 818-760-3684 for more info.


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