Want a Small Business? Read Up on Buying One

From Reuters

Will 1995 be the year you finally tell your boss what he--or she--can do with your job and strike out on your own?

Or will you cash in on years of hard work in your own business, sell out, maybe to retire and enjoy the fruits of your labor or to launch a new venture?

Whichever side of the deal you're on, buying a business or selling one, it will likely be the most important financial transaction of your life.

"Both buyer and seller will need to consider a number of new ideas--and consider them from each other's point of view," writes Ira Nottonson, author of "The Secrets to Buying and Selling a Business," published by The Oasis Press.

"Your ability to work together toward a mutually acceptable result, coupled with your ability to adjust your expectations about what that result will be, will determine your success or failure," writes Nottonson, a lawyer who specializes in franchising and the buying and selling of small businesses.

If you're considering striking out on your own, buying an existing business offers the quickest way to replace that regular paycheck. But obviously, there's much more to it than asking your local banker for a loan, or forking over your life savings, in exchange for the keys to the door.

Buyers' concerns range from analyzing the potential market, evaluating the assets of a business, considering investors and partners, weighing a franchise versus an independent business and choosing the proper professional help, to preventing your emotions from having too much influence on your decision-making.

For sellers, Nottonson discusses how to prepare the business for sale, set an appropriate value, find the right buyer, negotiate the sale of a troubled business and how to value and sell a professional practice.

The key to a successful transaction, Nottonson insists, is that "if it doesn't work for the buyer, it doesn't work for the seller."

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