561-BROKERS

Selling Florida Music Store

You own a small music store in Florida with a recording studio attached.

The store is completely stocked and operational with internet sales to augment your good walk in traffic.

Your personnel are high caliber, better than the mega stores. Knowledgeable, low key, many experienced players themselves wait on your customers. Well made inventory that presents good value for the dollar spent in all price points. Quality, up to date recording equipment and pros that know how to run it operate the recording studio. They have a list of local musicians and singers that can be called upon to come in and record tracks if necessary.

In spite of a tough 2011 economy, the store had an increase in sales and profits.

It has a lot to offer a buyer, and you are now ready to sell your music store to someone else. Maybe, you have a combination of medical issues and a desire to retire from the day and night rat race that has finally won you over.

Now what?

Prepare a worksheet that details your profit and loss statements over the last three years. This should include tax returns, interest expense, lease arrangements, everything of a financial matter that will help a potential buyer make a decision in your favor. These should also include arrangements with manufacturers detailing inventory financing be it consigned or purchased.

Time to Find Qualified Buyers

Once that is done, it is time to find qualified buyers, folks that can afford your price and have the finances to weather the storm of new ownership.

Your vendors may have prospects in your area that have inquired about selling their product direct. Most large distributors protect their dealers, to a greater or lesser degree by pricing structure and other means. They may already have some information on these folks that will save you some time.

Potential buyers will contact you should they hear of your impending sale by word of mouth, print media, or on the ever more popular internet. You will need to rate the financial viability of these prospects and try to find out as much as possible about their true ability to buy and run your business.

If you offer owner financing, you do not want a  “wannabe” running it into the ground, going belly up, and signing it back to you in terrible shape. You built it. You do not want to see it fail.

Of course, you will provide training and support for 60 days or so after closing.

Getting Help from Florida Business Brokers

Another option is to contract a Florida Business Brokers to help you sell your business at the best price. They will process all the paperwork and do all the preparation to present your business in the best possible light to make it sell fast, and at the highest possible price.

They will pre-qualify potential buyers and guide them through the process of buying your business including building lease, vendor agreements, tax responsibilities, licenses and permits, and all the other steps necessary for a successful transfer of ownership.

Business brokers will charge fees for their services. This can be a good investment as they can deliver peace of mind and a complete legal closure in the sale of your Florida music store.

Getting Into the Auto Repair Business

So, you want to “wrench” in the Florida market…

Maybe you have been working as a mechanic in a commission based dealership and want to spread your wings. Perhaps you are ending a career and want to be a hands-on owner of your own business. Maybe your kid has moved back in after completing an expensive master’s degree and can’t find a job.

For whatever the reason, getting into the auto repair business in Florida can be fun and profitable.

Starting out on your own is daunting. There are tons of government (federal, state and local) rules, regulations, taxes, and requirements that all require various sums of your operations budget. Some equipment, depending on what facet of auto repair you embark in, needs to be updated constantly as cars and laws change.

An option is a national franchise. You still pay all the above, but with the leadership and experience of a large chain, you know going in what these fees will be. Established companies can guide you around the pitfalls that may sink you if you go it alone.

Of course, there is the franchise fee to contend with. Nothing is free. All the benefits such as training, marketing and brand recognition, all has a price.

Auto and light truck transmissions have gotten extremely complicated over the years. What once was a gear box with 3 forward speeds (first went backwards for reverse), a simple clutch plate assembly, and a throw out bearing, has morphed into a computer controlled often 6 speed monster that often runs at high temperatures and is extremely expensive to repair. Many shops will not even try. They sell you a remanufactured unit, send their supplier back your core, and charge you to remove and replace.

A nationally known franchise for such repair available in Miami-Dade is available.

It is established, with all the equipment on hand with employees in place.

There are financing options, including a 401K rollover for someone who has spent years working, and now wants a change or to make an investment.  Or you have a sharp kid at home that is under-employed with a large student loan to repay.

This company is ranked number 1 in entrepreneur magazine in the category of automotive repair.

They offer training, on-going technical and operational support, and both national and local advertising campaigns.

Buying a major national transmission shop in Miami could be very profitable. Florida is often a destination for older folks that can afford to pull up their roots and move to a sunny climate after years of bad winters. These customers are often in a better financial place than younger folks and can afford major automotive repair.

A reason to go with a nationally known franchise is that it makes it easier to do your due diligence.

As you evaluate such a business, actual cash flow is critical information. Operating a mechanical shop is very expensive in comparison to other businesses.

Evaluating a small family owned operation is difficult as often cash deals are segregated for check and credit card purchases to shield them from income and tax repercussions. Often, this is income directly to the owner.

National franchises are generally cleaner, profit and loss statement-wise. You know more clearly what you are considering getting into.

Florida Business Brokers can help you decide if buying an existing auto repair shop or a franchise is right for you. Don’t forget to get your accountant and attorney on board before you make a serious decision about buying any business.

Buying a Landscaping Business in Florida

There is Money to be made in landscaping.

Being your own boss can be nerve wracking. But, if the entrepreneurial spirit pulses through your veins, it is hard to resist. There will be a time when you perceive a market opening in an area which you have some expertise, and off you go.

If your interest is buying a business in Florida, a landscaping business in Palm Beach may be an option.

Florida’s climate itself softens the biggest downside of such a business. According to Tagg Hamilton, who has been in the landscaping business over seven years, the biggest downside is that in most parts of the country, it is seasonal. For several months, the snow and inclement weather put your business on ice.

Sunny Florida would soften the brunt of this issue. Although there is a storm season (as everywhere else) it does not shut you down for several months every year.

Target customers are folks with larger than average lawn with no teenagers at home assigned the task. Older, more affluent couples just do not want to deal with starting up the old Lawn mower on Saturday morning. Florida has long been a Mecca for older folks retiring into the sunshine and would have more prospects in this category than many parts of the country.

Tagg also mentions that 2 income homes are good prospects as they have more income, but less time to do weekly chores. After the kids move out, often Moms go back to work to make some extra money and to stave off boredom.

According to a survey by International Communications Research for the Buyer Lawn Care Institute, “ The average homeowner spends nearly eight hours each week on lawn care and landscaping tasks around their home and would consider hiring a professional service in order to acquire more free time.”

Many communities in Florida are managed by Home Owners Associations and they are very stringent about yard appearance. Not keeping your lawn and bushes presentable can lead to warnings and fines.

Once you make a decision to test the landscaping business water in Florida, the next step is to see what is available.

For example, you can buy a landscaping business in Palm Beach, Florida. It has been operational for several years. The largest part of its customer base is 114 homes in a golf/country club setting. The good part of this is that travel time is minimal. You want to do as much as possible in the smallest geographical area possible to keep your crews productive and spend less on gas and vehicle maintenance.

Two crews, a dump truck, “good mower equipment” and recently renewed small engines (trimmers and blower motors) are included.

Having such a large part of your business mix in one pot is a blessing and a curse. Hopefully, you can build the kind of relationship with the country club folks that will endure and deflect competitor’s offers. However, if a “low baller” comes to town and the property manager sees nothing but dollar signs, you could be out in a hurry.

Being your own boss by buying a landscaping business in Florida can be your part of the American dream. Be sure of your research, get your accountant and attorney on board, be prepared to ride out some economic storms, and contact Florida Business Brokers.

Sell Your Small Trucking Company in Florida

It is time to sell your small trucking company in Florida

It is well documented that the last people to get paid in the transportation of goods is the small trucking company.

Before that happens, the business has to pay for the equipment, insurances, permits, wages, fuel, tires, and employee benefits. Then hope that when and if the checks come in a timely manner, there is a little left for the owner’s pocket.

The transportation industry is among the highest regulated and taxed forms of business operating today. There are layers upon layers of economic burden passed on in fuel pricing and government, state and local permit requirements to just be able to run a few states.

You have several tractors with refrigerated trailers that go to the Midwest steadily from Hillsborough County, Florida. This is an independent business with no expensive ties to national carriers or long term freight agreements of questionable profits.

Your business has been operating continuously and profitably for many years and is well known. Lots of good aspects here and in the transportation business, that is very valuable.

However, after so many years of being on call constantly, solving problems on the road ranging from truck breakdowns to drivers quitting in the middle of the night 2 states away, you have had enough. It is time to cash it in and leave the cell phone at home when you take your wife to dinner. Take a vacation. Not have that pit in your stomach that burns when you think of what might happen next…

What to do next?

You own, manage and maintain a small trucking company in Florida. You are not up to date in what is required in the arena of business sales- or even how to start.

Firstly, you need to prepare an honest profit and loss statement that covers the last three years. This includes income (tax return verifiable) liabilities such as equipment leased or financed, real property and shop space costs and arrangements, tools and equipment used to maintain your fleet and every other item causing you to write a check. And there are plenty of them.

In this economy, there are large carriers that are constantly purchasing smaller trucking companies and absorbing them into their system. The advantage of this is that you need not worry about getting your negotiated purchase price in full. The bad part is that they may not be willing to pay what you think it is worth.

Dealing with prospects on your own can be daunting. There is no 100% sure thing in selling a business. If you finance it yourself, you can sometimes end up with it back in your lap in a short period of time with angry customers, c.o.d. arrangements with suppliers, and run down equipment.

Another option is to contact Florida Business Brokers. These sales pros know the territory and can pre-qualify your prospects to keep financial headaches to a minimum. They will prepare all the documentation necessary including the insurances, permits, and titles necessary for the clean transfer of your business. Also, you have a say in who your small trucking company in Florida is sold to. After all these years you may feel an obligation to your employees and want to leave their futures in good hands as well as get paid.

Do your due diligence all the way around- spend the time and get the best information from the best sources. Then, carry on with your sale.

Generate Funds for Buying a Florida Business

Financing Your Business

Planning on buying a business in Florida? You’ll need funds to buy a Florida business. Knowing the most efficient and cost-effective way to generate funding can make or break your revenue stream.

Savings, Credit Cards, Home Equity 
If you aren’t confident enough to put your own money on the line to finance your business, who will? Be prepared to tap into your savings or money market accounts, cash out your stocks, sell your boat, even secure a home equity loan, if necessary.  Many small businesses charge their way through the first year or two of operation. If you choose this path, tread carefully: use only cards with favorable interest rates, read all terms and conditions up front, monitor due dates and make every payment on time. Many credit card companies will lower your interest rate for a limited time if you just call and ask them to.

Investors

Look for groups that work with investors, such as the University of Central Florida Venture Lab. Network with friends and business associates and industry insiders in your specific field. For example, if you are launching a landscape or nursery business, consider joining the Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association to meet with like-minded people; some of them might share your vision and be willing to invest your business plan.

SBA Loan Programs 

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loans are made by commercial lenders (banks or credit unions); in return, these institutions receive a federal-government guarantee for part of the loan.

When a financial institution reviews a loan application, regardless of whether that loan is guaranteed by the SBA, the primary deciding factor is an applicant’s ability to repay the loan. While good character, proven management ability, collateral and significant owner equity in a business are all important considerations, they carry less weight than demonstrated ability to pay the money back.

7(A) Loan Program Includes financial help for businesses with special requirements, such as those involved in exporting to foreign countries or operating in small communities and rural areas, and for other very specific purposes.

CDC/504 Loan Program Provides long-term, fixed-rate financing to acquire fixed assets for expansion or modernization by for-profit businesses with a tangible net worth of less than $15 million and an average net income of $5 million or less after federal income taxes for the preceding two years. The money may be used for fixed assets such as land, buildings, machinery and equipment. Funds cannot be used for working capital, inventory, debt consolidation, repayment or refinancing. 

Microloan Program Provides small, short-term loans to small business concerns and certain types of not-for-profit childcare centers. The SBA makes funds available to specially designated intermediary lenders, which, in turn, make loans to eligible borrowers. These intermediaries are nonprofit, community-based organizations with experience in lending as well as management and technical assistance. The average microloan is about $13,000; the maximum is $50,000. Microloans may be used for working capital and to purchase inventory, supplies, furniture, fixtures and machinery or equipment. Proceeds from a microloan may not be used to pay existing debts or to purchase real estate.

Resources

Florida Business Brokers Leverage Your Buying Power with an SPE. An SPE is a Special Purpose Entity that is set up as a limited partnership in order to acquire an existing business with the use of investment money. Typically, a prospective buyer only needs to put in 5-10% of the cash needed to complete the acquisition. The buyer may also receive a larger percentage of ownership in the company and a position in management, which may also draw a salary and a management fee. 

Florida Business Brokers

(561) 234-5678

http://floridabizmls.com

SBA Lenders
The U.S. Small Business Administration does not make loans directly to small business owners; however, many local lenders can assist with the application process for an SBA-backed loan. For information, contact one of the SBA district offices in Florida.

• Miami District Office (South Florida)
(305) 536-5521
www.sba.gov/about-offices-content/2/3109

• Jacksonville District Office (North Florida)
(904) 443-1900
www.sba.gov/about-offices-content/2/3108

Certified Development Companies
These nonprofit corporations work with the SBA and private-sector lenders to provide financing to small businesses.

• Business Development Corporation of Northeast Florida
(904) 724-7455

• Coastal Area District Development Authority
(912) 261-2500
www.cadda.com

• Essential Capital Inc.
(904) 398-9411
www.essentialcapital.net

• Florida Business Development Corp.
(561) 433-0233
www.fbdc.net

• Florida First Capital Finance Corp.
(850) 681-3601 or (888) 320-5504
www.ffcfc.com

• Independent Development Services Corp. (IDS)
(239) 652-5588
www.idscorp.org

• St. Petersburg Certified Development Corp. (dba Gulfcoast Business Finance Inc.)
(727) 895-2504 or (800) 850-2504
www.gulfcoastbiz.com

• Tampa Bay Economic Development Corp. (TEDCO)
(813) 831-8600
www.tedcoloans.com

Industrial Revenue Bonds
Industrial Revenue Bonds, issued by the Florida Development Finance Corporation (FDFC), offer tax-exempt, low-interest bond financing to qualified, financially sound manufacturing and 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations.

Enterprise Florida Inc.
(407) 956-5695
www.eflorida.com