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When Seemingly Smart Buyers Make Fatally Not So Smart Decisions!


Buying A Business StrategiesI once closed a deal where the seller was like any other seller, wearing 6 hats at once and doing his best to survive. For any of us who have owned our own businesses that had employees, rent to pay, fussy clients to appease, books to deal with, accounts to balance, checks to write, suppliers to pay, etc, you get the picture. We learn early on that rocking the boat means having to deal with the ramifications. I'm not saying that sometimes it isn't necessary but not on the first day you take over a business.

If you are buying a business, you probably have really good ideas about changes you would like to implement and ideas to sell more, be more efficient and more organized. All great, except that I caution you to be careful about the toes you are stepping on today they will be attached to the feet that will walk out on you tomorrow.

This is exactly what happened to my buyers. On the first day they took over they were so critical of the previous owner and the way the business was set up and being run, they managed to offend almost everyone in the business on the first day. As a new owner of an existing business your primary job on day one is to observe and silently note the changes you would like to see over a reasonable period of time.

In this case, the buyer thought she was criticize the seller but in fact it was a key employee that had organized much of the front office and this employee is critical in the success of this business and well known in the industry for being very good in her field. If you take over a business and you aren't happy with one or some of the employees, please exercise some common sense! You will need to fully understand the business you just took over and find a suitable replacement, this takes time!

These buyers displayed intelligence throughout the deal but something went very wrong when they took over and they felt that they had to show everyone "who's boss". They insulted the manager who is an excellent sales person and drives most of the business, decided to change the contract of another key person who now doesn't want to be associated with them and reduced the pay of another skilled key employee who performs one of the most popular services.

The bottom line is it's very easy to criticize people from an ivory tower but until you walk a few miles in their shoes I suggest you keep your attitude friendly, your ears open and your mouth closed until your ready to deal with the ramifications.

Christina Lazuric, CBIAbout The Author:  Christina Lazuric is an Orange County Business Broker who shares her broker experiences with BizBen readers and has had varied direct small business experience in the past but now assists small business owners sell their business and offers business buyers find their dream business to operate. Phone Christina direct at 949-257-7823.


Categories: BizBen Blog Contributor, Buying A Business, How To Buy A Business


Comments Regarding This Blog Post


I had a similar situation with buyers who bought a cafe on the first floor of an office building. The cafe essentially had a captive audience of the occupants of the building, as little traffic from the street wandered into the cafe. The new buyers immediately raised all the prices, and even started telling customers that they would charge them extra if they took too many napkins (seriously). Anyways, I got a call from the buyers saying the business had really gone down hill, and after talking with them realized what they had done. My advice to new buyers is to keep the business as it was before, you can clean it up, but don't make too many drastic changes, and always remember customer service, because people have options, and once they leave, they are difficult to get back.


  Helpful Resources To Assist In Selling And Buying California Businesses
Mark Chatow, Esq.: Legal Services For Buying, Selling Businesses

Mark has a broad range of small business purchase & sale experience from analyzing potential acquisition targets to successfully guiding buyers and sellers through the purchase & sale of small businesses. Mark can assist with contracts, negotiations, legal matters, etc. Reach Mark at 949-478-8393.

Willard Michlin, CPA, Certified Fraud Examiner, Due Diligence Services

Willard Michlin, CPA #106752, offers buyers step by step training & assistance in doing Due Diligence Services when they are thinking of making an offer, or are in process of investigating a business purchase. He helps to determine the actual net profit even when there is cash. Call 805-428-2063.

Diane Boudreau-Tschetter: Escrow And Bulk Sale Services

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.

Helen Yoo: Escrow & Bulk Sale Services - 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.

Larry Larsen, Broker, Laundry Specialist - Orange, LA Counties

I have over forty years of experience in the sales, ownership, management, and construction of coin laundries. He is a licensed broker active in the sale of coin laundries, a licensed insurance agent specializing in coin laundry insurance.

Michael Davidson, Business Broker - Southern California

Los Angeles Business Broker providing M&A quality services for Small Business Owners. We leverage our technology and expertise to Simplify & Expedite the Business Sales Process. Matching the right buyer with the right business is how we define success.

Bob Baumgarten, Business Broker: Orange, LA Counties

National Business Brokerage is a full service brokerage company that has been serving buyers and sellers of Southern California businesses since 1994. We are dedicated to providing the highest standards of professional service for our clients. Phone Bob direct at 949-588-8727.

Ralph Santos, Business Broker Specialist - Health Care Related Businesses

Using my MBA and my perseverance I will make things happen! I provide business brokerage niche services specializing in the hospice and home health care agency industry in the Los Angeles County or Ventura County areas. For either buying or selling assistance please phone or email me today.


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