Thursday, September 13, 2012

What To Know Before Buying A Small Business

Strawberry Ice Cream ConePhoto by TheCulinaryGeek
No, seriously, what should I know?

Today I'm going to be meeting with a realtor to get information about the local ice cream shop that is for sale. Why? Because it's an ice cream shop, duh, and who wouldn't want to own an ice cream shop? Well, maybe someone in a town of only 1,000 people. Or maybe someone who already has a full-time job and can't run the day-to-day operation themselves. Or maybe someone who knows nothing about the ice cream business, at least from the selling side. Anyone else beginning to think this might be a bad idea?

To see how bad exactly, I compiled just a few of the questions I thought I should be asking myself.

1. Is now the right time to start a business?
   - Um, sure, why not? Although Mrs. K and I both have full-time jobs that we aren't planning on leaving anytime soon. So probably more towards the not side of things, but is there ever really a right time? Hm, ending a question with a question probably isn't good.

2. Do you know anything about running your own business?
   - No, but I would say that having one would make me very motivated to learn quickly.

3. Who is going to run the business?
   - We're eyeing up a family member as our source of cheap, yet awesome management.

4. Why is the seller selling and do the numbers add up?
   - Hopefully going to find this out later today. I'm guessing that one of these is probably going to answer the other.

5. Who buys ice cream in the winter?
   - Probably only the crazies, but that's why we're already thinking we should expand into the coffee arena.

It appears that I have no business buying a business, see what I did there? However, I can't help but be curious as to what potential is there. Hopefully, after the meeting I will have some real numbers to determine just how unrealistic this purchase would be.

Any thoughts on other questions to ask the realtor? Anyone out there purchased a small business before?

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