How many attorneys have you seen that have successfully represented themselves in court?
How many doctors have you seen successfully conduct an operation on themselves?
Just as with doctors and lawyers, doing a business review or audit by yourself, in order to save a buck, does not work.
There is an old saying that applies here, "There is nothing more expensive than cheap."
When doing due diligence alone, without any assistance, you're allowing emotions to play a big part, eventually leading to a bad decision. I have actually seen buyers not hire someone to help them entirely because they didn't want to have their dream killed by the truth. Of course, later they wished they had gotten help, because that dream business they imagined in their head turned out to be nothing like the business they purchased.
You can do a large portion of the due diligence yourself, depending on your background, but you should never try to do it solely on your own. Let's go over a few of the reasons:
1. People hire a CPA or other qualified person because they need an expert opinion, and the more experience the expert has (not knowledge, but experience), the more valuable he is to you.
2. Everyone needs someone to bounce ideas off of. And everyone looks at the same information from a different perspective. Life experiences and different educations give us multiple points of view. If you are in a partnership where you and your partners always agree, you have one partner too many.
3. You always end up with a better deal when the final approval is subject to a second person's approval. When I bought businesses for myself, and had my Vice President approve my actions, I always found things about the business that allowed me to make a better deal.
Due Diligence for a small business can cost between $350 to $5,000. If the purchase price is $500,000 that is just one percent of the purchase price. And you're using it to give you some assurance that you are getting what you think you are paying for.
Can you buy any type of business insurance for only 1% of the face on the policy?
About The Author: Willard Michlin, CPA, offers business buyers Due Diligence Services (Second Opinion, Offer Assistance, Final Due Diligence) throughout California when they are thinking of making an offer on a business or in the process of investigating a business purchase. He has written numerous articles on the due diligence process and can be reached direct at 805-428-2063 for more information and an appointment.
|Helpful Resources To Assist In Selling And Buying California Businesses|
|Shalonda Chappel-Pilgram: Escrow Services - Southern CA
Escrow services to brokers & agents, owner/sellers, & buyers. Established 43 years. Extraordinary service. Experienced with handling difficult transactions. One stop for all your escrow needs: Bulk sales, lien searches, UCC searches, liquor license transfers, publishing & recording services.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|Joe Ranieri, Business Broker, Orange & LA County Areas
Having owned retail/restaurant businesses for over 20 years, my interest turned to listing and selling businesses rather than owning them. I specialize tend to specialize in Orange County high volume restaurants, fast food independents and chains, bars and liquor stores. Call 714-292-5448.
|Joe Sandbank, Esq. - Legal Services
I have provided legal counsel to business buyers, sellers and brokers for over 17 years. With prior experience as a business broker and SBA loan officer, Joe brings both a practical and legal approach to all aspects of the business acquisition process.
|Elizabeth McGovern: Escrow Services - SF Bay Area
McGovern Escrow Services, Inc., is a leading independent escrow company. We are a trusted partner with our clients, assisting them through the tangled bulk sale & liquor license transfer process. We provide attentive, quality & innovative customer service. Phone Elizabeth McGovern at 415-735-3645.
|Peter Siegel, MBA - SBA Loans, Non SBA Financing Assistance
For over 25 years I have provided niche business purchase financial advisory and loan placement services with SBA and Non-SBA Loans, Retirement Plan Conversions, Private Investors, etc. Financing amounts available: $20K to $7MM. Call today to get pre-qualified or receive financing: 866-270-6278.
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