Buying an existing business can be cheaper, easier, and less stressful than starting a limousine business from scratch. But finding the right investment isn’t always easy. When you come across a company that happens to be the perfect fit for your business plans – even if that company is not for sale – it might be worth approaching the owner about a possible acquisition or merger. However, it can be a fine line between piquing an owner’s interest and scaring them away.
Nothing puts an owner on the defensive quicker than being confronted with an out-of-the-blue offer. Put yourself in the owner’s shoes. How do they know you’re not a competitor hoping to access and exploit some sensitive information about their limo company? How can they be sure you aren’t trying to pressure them into agreeing to a lowball offer? It’s very possible that the owner has already considered selling at one time or another. But by surprising him or her with your interest, you’re automatically giving yourself the upper hand. As a result, it’s up to you to use enough sensitivity, tact, and restraint to assure the owner you are serious about making a fair, confidential, and no-pressure deal.
Your offer may be clear and fair, but your prospective seller deserves time to mull it over. If the owner wasn’t planning on exiting the market, it’s important to give them time to consider income needs, tax implications, and their expectations of the sale. It can be easy to unintentionally pile on the pressure because you’re excited about the possibility of buying a limousine business. Having an independent industry broker act as a middleman can stabilize the process and give both parties time to get their ducks in a row.
Involving a third party in negotiations is always helpful, but it becomes even more useful when power is initially unbalanced. An impartial broker can remove pressure from the business owner, provide credibility to your offer, and, most importantly, show the owner that your intentions are serious. Additionally, a broker can ensure you are valuing a limo business correctly. Not only will a business valuation help you make certain that acquiring the company is a wise investment, it can also allow the owner to better understand where you are coming from. Finally, a broker can provide both parties with advice on how to sweeten the deal, such as offering seller financing. You don’t want to miss the opportunity of your career simply because of approaching a deal incorrectly. An industry specialist has the experience to represent your intentions in the best possible light.