Advantages of Buying a Business• Buying an existing business will enable you to go around a lot of problems likely to crop up in opening a business.• The existing business would have already got some licenses and government approvals which would be otherwise difficult to get.• Land is scarce and it is difficult to find an appropriate location. An existing business is likely to come bundled with the land.• The plant and machinery have already been bought and have been installed and tested.• Employees are experienced.• A supplier base has already been established.
Advantages of Buying a Business• There is a readymade market.• A distribution network has been set up and money and effort has already been invested in establishing a rapport with retailers and wholesalers.• Goodwill and reputation would have been built up.• Cash flow is going to start immediately.• Banks may be more willing to lend to a business with running operations, an established customer base and a steady cash flow.• It might be cheaper than setting up new operations.• The former owner may be persuaded to guide you in the early days. This free advice may prove to be invaluable.
Disadvantages• The industry as a whole is not doing well and the situation is not likely to improve in the near future.• The owner may not have been truthful about the business.• The equipment could be old and outdated.• The location is bad or is likely to become bad.• Employees may be unproductive or incapable of meeting the standards required of them.
Disadvantages• Any bad reputation that the business had acquired amongst suppliers, distributors and other people in the industry is likely to pass on to you.• The previous owner may have got into some unfavourable long term contractual obligations• The inventory lying in stores could be obsolete or unfit for use.• If the company’s products have not been received well by the market it will be harder to gain market share than it would have been for a new product.
Buying a Business• Preliminary information collection• Site visit• Scrutiny• Additional information collection• Negotiation• Transition
Getting Information• The industry• Accountants, lawyers• Bankers• Advertisements• Others
Scrutiny• Financial statements• Other statutory documentation• Valuation of capital equipment• Inventory• Licenses and permits• Contracts with customers and suppliers• Debt and accounts payable• Accounts receivable• Reputation of the firm
Valuation• Value of assets – Book value – Replacement value – Market value• Return on investment• Payback period• Discounted cash flow
NegotiationsElements other than cash:• Combination of stock and cash• Accounts receivable• Lease; with option to buy• Non-compete clause
Common Mistakes While Buying• Scrutunise claims• Risk vs returns• Further investment• Valuation of receivables• Antagonising the seller
McDonalds • Arguably the most successful franchise chain • Operates 30,000 outlets in over 100 countries • Became a success after Ray Croc bought it from the McDonald Brothers
Advantages of a Franchise• By taking a franchise, you get a proven system of operation.• The franchisor allows you the use of an established brand name.• The franchisees can also use professionally designed point of sale advertising materials, packaging material, posters and print and TV ads.• This brand recognition is driven by national and regional advertising programmes.• The franchisor will often train the franchisee and the franchisee’s employees before letting a new franchisee start the business.
Advantages of a Franchise• Ongoing product development and research is another advantage of being with a franchise chain.• Large companies can gain from economies of scale but that would not be possible for individual entrepreneurs.• The cost of starting up the franchise operations and the ongoing operating costs are very well documented by the franchisor and the details are shared with all prospective franchisees.• A franchisor can add value by putting a quality program in place.• The franchisor often does market research to find out if the market is big enough to support an outlet.
Choosing a Franchisor• It is good to get into an industry that is growing and shows signs of sustaining a rate of high growth over the next few years.• It is also important to take into account, the performance of the franchisor’s products in the market.• It is better to choose a franchisor, which has been in this business for a long time.• It is disadvantageous to become one of the initial franchisees in a chain.• The reputation of the franchisor counts for a lot.
Choosing a Franchisor• The franchisor’s relationship with other franchisees is also a very important factor to consider.• Take a close look at the profitability indicated in the figures shared by the franchisor. Some of the assumptions made while arriving at those figures may need to be changed.• It might need a good amount of investigation to come up with accurate estimates of the success rate of franchisees.
The Franchise Agreement• The size and location of space needed• The franchise fee including down payment and continuing royalties• Refundable deposits• A franchisee’s allotted territory• The range of products and services which are offered by the franchisor
The Franchise Agreement• Training and who pays for it• Advertising and who pays for it• Any other assistance• No-compete clauses• Dispute resolution and legal recourse