561-BROKERS

Starting Your Own Business: Is it the Right Choice for You?

Small Business Owner |Starting your own business in Florida or anywhere else  isn’t for everyone. From start to finish, entrepreneurs find starting a business stressful and demanding. On the other hand, it can also be a rewarding experience professionally and personally. You may, after reading this article, find that starting your own business is more work, time and money than you are prepared to invest.

Your other option is to buy an existing business in Florida. Florida Business Brokers invests their time and resources into getting to know you and your goals. They can help you find the perfect business for you.

Buying an existing business means all the hard start up work and growing pains are over. The right business should have a proven track record and cash flow so you can start off on the right track.

Call Florida Business Brokers to help ensure your success as an entrepreneur and new business owner.

Here are 50 Steps to Starting and Running a New Business:

1. Do a self-inventory.

Not everyone has what it takes to start their own business. That’s not to say that your idea is not brilliant. It just means that you may not have the personality traits to handle launching a business of your own.

Before investing any time or resources, evaluate yourself and see if you have some the typical traits of an entrepreneur. Are you motivated, able to adapt and confident? Are you resilient?

2. Develop an idea.

Don’t just start a business because something is in vogue and you think commercializing it will make money. Develop a business concept that you’re passionate about related to something that you have experience with. From there, come up with a product or service that you believe can enhance the people’s lives.

3. Test the plausibility.

Once you’ve settled on an idea, figure out how you can make it become a reality. Is the product or service something that people want or need? Can you make a profit selling it? Does the product work?

4. Write a business plan.

A solid business plan will guide you going forward. It’s also needed for presenting your idea to potential investors. Your business plan should include a mission statement, a company summary, an executive summary, a service or product offerings, a description of a target market, financial projections and the cost of the operation. Learn about how to write a business plan at SBA.gov.

5. Identify your market.

Even though you may have detected some interest in your business, you need to do more homework. Assess the market, targeting the customers most likely to make a purchase. Perform a competitive assessment.

6. Determine the costs.

Do additional research and find out the standard cost factors within this industry. Not only will this help you manage your business more effectively, investors will want to know this.

7. Establish a budget.

Once you determine how much money you’ll have to work with, figure out how much it will take to develop your product or service and create a marketing plan.

8. Find the right investors.

You’re going to need some sort of funding to start off, whether from your savings, credit cards, loans, grants or venture capitalists. Find an investor who shares your passion, someone you believe you can work with.

9. Listen to investors.

Whether you like it, investors do have a say in your company. And you need to listen to their advice or suggestion. But that doesn’t mean you have to do what they tell you.

10. Set up a great support system.

You’re going to be investing a lot of time and resources into your new business venture. Be certain that your family is on board. They must be aware that this process will be challenging financially and emotionally.

11. Determine the legal structure.

Settle on which form of ownership is best for you: a sole proprietorship, a partnership, a limited liability company, a corporation, an S corporation, a nonprofit or a cooperative. Find out more at SBA.gov.

12. Select a business name.

Decide on a name that best suits your business. Then check to see if the domain name is available online, as well as if it’s free to use in your county, state and in the country.

13. Register your business name.

If your proposed business name is available, register it with the county clerk, have it trademarked at the state and federal levels and secure a domain name.

14. Take advantage of free resources.

Numerous free resources can offer advice, training and assistance. SBA.gov is a great place to look at to find local resources.

15. Determine tax obligations.

Now it’s time to wrestle with the tax obligations. In the United States, four basic types of business taxes arise: income, self-employment, taxes for employees and excise taxes.

16. Secure permits and licenses.

According to NOLO, you’ll have to pick up a federal employment identification number (unless the company is a sole proprietorship or a limited liability company without employees.) Apply for state licenses. Pick up a local tax registration certificate. File for local permits, if required, such as a conditional use permit or zoning variance.

17. Buy insurance.

Make sure that you arrange for the proper insurance for your business. This will vary according to the type of business. If you’re working from home be sure that your homeowner’s insurance covers theft or damage to business assets, as well as liability for any business-related injuries.

18. Set up the books.

Figure out if you’re using a cash or accrual system, determine the fiscal year for the business and set up a recordkeeping system.

19. Choose a business location.

Select a location that best fits the needs of your business, one that offers an opportunity for growth, the right level of competition and proximity to suppliers. It should also be accessible to customers.

20. Don’t worry about an office.

If you’re not making any revenue, then don’t concern yourself with an office or warehouse ust yet.

21. A patent can wait.

Patents can cost thousands of dollars. Wait to pursue this route until you have a few customers paying the bills. A patent is less useful if you can’t enforce it or have the money to see it through.

22. Be flexible.

Chances are that your original idea will have to be modified. Being able to pivot and adapt to create what customers want will determine if your business will fail or succeed.

23. Share your ideas with friends and family.

Your nearest and dearest will most likely be the most honest with you about your business. Don’t hesitate to seek their advice and suggestions.

24. Ignore the naysayers.

At the same time, there’s a difference between constructive criticism and someone’s quick jab projecting that your business will fail. Follow the example of French Internet mogul Xavier Niel and ignore them.

25. Don’t become angry.

If your idea is rejected by customers or investors, don’t just succumb to anger. Find out what they didn’t like, make adjustments and go back to them when you’ve made the changes. There’s the possibility that the timing was wrong as well.

26. Deliver the product or service fast.

Your business is a work in progress and if you launch your product or service quickly, you will be able to build a community of customers who can provide valuable feedback that can help you improve the offerings. In the words of LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, “If you’re not embarrassed by your first product release, you’ve released too late

27. Offer new products or services.

If you already have customers, be sure to hold on to them by providing new products or services.

28. Be patient.

Always keep in mind that success won’t happen overnight. It’s going to take some time before you make a profit.

29. Overdeliver at first.

Once you land a new client, be sure to go above and beyond the call of duty for at least the first month. You’ll have this customer hooked from then on.

30. Blog all the time.

Don’t be ashamed to share both your triumphs and struggles. Customers will enjoy your honesty.

31. Avoid fights with partners

If you have disagreements with partners, then sever ties as soon as possible. In-house bickering will prevent you from focusing on growing the business.

32. Don’t worry about dilution.

So an investor has required a stake in the company. Recognize the fact that eventually at one point or another you’ll have to give up some control of the business. Accept it and move on.

33. Hire a copywriter.

Unless you’re an excellent writer, hire a copywriter to compose emails for highly targeted customers. A copywriter will also prove handy for press releases and other pieces to spread brand awareness or provide business updates.

34. Prepare for meetings.

When preparing for a meeting with a client, read up on everything that’s available, steeping yourself in information about the industry, that firm’s employees and its competition.

35. Don’t fear the competition.

Don’t bad-mouth the competition when talking to investors or customers. There’s no need to become an object of pity. In fact, talking in this manner might even point customers to a competitor who may offer a product or service that you don’t. Remember, when competition exists, there’s a market for your business. Use that knowledge as inspiration to outperform a rival.

36. Benefit from word-of-mouth.

Nothing beats some good old-fashioned word-of-mouth marketing. Let friends, family members and influencers in your field spread the word about your product or service.

37. Network.

Don’t be afraid to get out there and show your face to the public, whether at a conference or just being out and about with friend on a Friday night. But try to stay local because travel can dwindle your budget.

38. Provide outstanding customer service.

Interacting with people is a big part of the job. Your business may gain new customers because you made them feel important. For example, Zappos wasn’t the first online store to sell shoes, but the company perfected its customer-service department and won over shoppers.

39. Be sure your website functions.

Potential customers want to know as much about your business as possible and they should be able to quickly access that kind of information on your website.

40. Don’t be overly concerned by the economy.

Some of the best businesses have launched during a recession. In fact, half of the Fortune 500 companies listed in 2009 were founded during such times, according to the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

41. Make sure clients pay their bills.

Always be certain to receive payment for your products or services. Instead of being taken advantage of of, establish a time frame for payment. It also wouldn’t hurt to accept credit cards and have an online payment system set up.

42. Find the right employees.

Hire the right people for the job. Even though it’s your business, you won’t be skilled at every task, which is why you need qualified people to complete the work.

43. Assign responsibilities.

Eelegate attainable tasks to employees. This is all about effective management.

44. Know that honesty is the best policy.

If any issues with employees emerge, be sure that they are addressed. No one enjoys being talked about behind their back.

45. Remember that opposites attract.

Hire people with skills and personalities that are the opposite to yours. They’ll challenge you and will bring different skills and talents to the business that you don’t.

46. Say goodbye to your social life.

You’re going to spend a lot of time devoted to the business. Even if you plan a night out, you may leave early because a lightbulb just went off. Hopefully those closest in your life will understand.

47. Recognize that you’ll be the final person to be paid.

As the CEO, you’re the last to collect a check. That’s just how it works until there’s adequate revenue.

48. Arrive at a useful definition of success.

Just because your business hasn’t made you a millionaire (yet) doesn’t mean that your enterprise is a failure. If you’re able to make some sort of profit doing something that you’re passionate about, isn’t that a success story?

49. Realize when it’s time to move on.

Failure is inevitable. If things aren’t working out and you’ve done all you can, then put aside your pride and close up shop. Something like this is not easy to accept. But it’s for the best.

50. Don’t just rely on the advice of others.

Despite my offering up all of these tips for you, perhaps the most important piece of advice is something learned the hard way: While many people may offer a startup assiistance, recognize that in the end you’re the person running the show and the one responsible for the company’s success and failure. If you understand what worked and what didn’t, you’ll burnish the skills and knowledge to run your business.

How to Find the Right Buyer for Your Business

Finding the right “fit,” is quite possibly the single most important factor in successfully selling a business in Florida. While finding the right fit between buyer and seller, there are other factors that can contribute to a successful merger or acquisition.

DUE DILIGENCE

Don’t rush into a deal with the first potential buyer that comes your way. You need several things in place first: a mutual non-disclosure agreement, business valuation, letter of intent and a financial and demographic review.

There are lots of potential deals out there. “The current buyer/seller ratio is something like 50:1, so remember that there are other possible buyers. Those who feel it’s important to buy or sell immediately are probably wrong.

After determining the right fit, it’s best to work on other details in a potential deal. A negotiation that leaves both sides happy is crucial. Transition for the buyer and seller goes smoothly when both parties leave the closing table and friends and working partners.

Florida Business Brokers can provide a business valuation that is fair to both sides. A proper business valuation should consider: cash flow, risk, demographics, expenses and the sustainability of the business’s compensation structure.

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

Seller and buyer should both consider transition risk.

As the buyer, you should consider how many of the clients will transfer to the new entity. That number could be as low as 65 to 70 percent, which could wreck the economics of the purchase. In a well-matched purchase, the numbers should be around 97 to 98 percent.

Market place demand should be examined. A business built in a wealthy area and filled with financially well-off clients is worth more than one in a less-wealthy area that serves clients with moderate incomes.

If a business occupies a market niche, is it a market niche that contains many other planners, some of whom might be interested in purchasing the firm. Or is the list of potential buyers limited, because so few other planners understand and can work in that market niche?

Once both sides of a deal are satisfied, bank financing, including loans backed by the Small Business Administration, are often a financing option when businesses change hands.

As a business seller, you should maintain a client database, typically via a customer relationship management (CRM) system. The database should contain your clients contact details and record of sales. Transferring this database to the new owner will give your business a higher valuation and the buyer an assurance of profitability.

Allow potential buyers to visit the business to do research on market value, the premises and business trend. Make sure all equipment used in the business are maintained and you have a current valuation on machinery.

Business brokers can offer a great deal of help to buyers and sellers and often cater to popularly neglected issues. Brokers also make sure that all legal aspects are addressed. Florida Business Brokers understand that the value of a business is reflective of the owner’s value in the market. Working with Florida Business Brokers gives you insights into increasing the value of your business before you list it for sale. This increases your profit potential and less risk for the buyer.

Buy These Profitable Florida Businesses Cheap

Yogurt Smoothie Shop for Sale FloridaAbsentee-Owned Frozen Yogurt/Smoothie Café – Incredible Value!

This is a great opportunity to own a start-up franchise without the start-up costs for a business rated #1 by ZAGAT for Best Smoothie/Frozen Yogurt-Healthy Options Café in USA! Owner has invested over $400,000 in the leasehold build-out and customization of retail space, machinery/equipment and initial advertising costs for a one-of-a-kind Healthy Café serving healthy high quality frozen yogurt, smoothies, coffee and snacks. The healthy frozen yogurt/smoothie café is located in a plaza with all like-minded high-end establishments surrounding the café in the Davie/Ft. Lauderdale, FL area. Buyer needs to focus on his efforts on other ongoing business ventures, hence must sacrifice this business for only $200,000 – Buyer’s Opportunity! Turn-Key Operation – Only need to qualify for franchise/lease assumption and reasonable budget for marketing higher sales which are targeted for $400,000/year at full operation and profitability. Call 561-234-5678


Detailed Information

Furniture, Fixtures, & Equipment (FF&E):
Included in asking price
Support & Training:
2 Weeks
Reason for Selling:
Focusing on other business projects.

 

nightclub for sale FloridaBusiness Description

Colombian Restaurant/ Bar / Night Club

Property has been in business for over 9 Years and has great appeal with the growing local latin american customers. 3 different business along with improvements: Full service restaurant, Night Club and small tavern.
Please call 561-234-5678


Attached Documents


Detailed Information

Facilities:
Stand alone building with plenty of customer parking and security. please refer to the images to get an initial of
Competition:
Only club with a full liquor license until 4am in the area.
Growth & Expansion:
Growing hispanic population in the area.
Financing:
Possible owner financing
Support & Training:
Owner is willing to support and train new owner.

Restaurant_for_Sale_FloridaBusiness Description

RESTAURANT, BAR & NIGHTCLUB

Spectacular Spanish Restaurant in great location near beaches,nightlife & more.Surrounded by many restaurant & clubs which cater to locals & tourism. Restaurant can be used during the day as restaurant & then turned into a nightclub nightly due to having a full liquor license up to 4 A.M. Spectacular high end sound system & light show & projector valued at $180,000. Seating inside for about 200 people & 8 tables outside. Finest equipment in the kitchen, walk in cooler & bar equipment. OWNER VERY MOTIVATED.  Call 561-234-5678


Detailed Information

Inventory:
Included in asking price
Real Estate:
Not included in asking price
Furniture, Fixtures, & Equipment (FF&E):
Included in asking price
Facilities:
Completely Remodeled Restaurant, Bar, Nightclub, Furniture, Equipment, POS, Security System & Cameras, $180,000 light and sound system and Goodwill.
Competition:
1 Mile to Hollywood Beach, heavy traffic.
Growth & Expansion:
Continue to promote with locals and tourist.
Support & Training:
1 Week
Reason for Selling:
Other business interest.

How to Verify Tax Status of a Business

Verify Tax Status Before Buying or Selling a Business in Florida

Before buying an existing business in Florida, the buyer should ask the seller for documentation of any tax, penalty or interest due to the IRS, since the purchaser could be liable for any tax, penalty, and interest owed by the seller. The buyer can then withhold enough of the purchase money to cover the tax liability until the seller pays the amount due. While the sale is pending, the purchaser should have the seller hold an amount in escrow equal to any potential tax liability.

How to Get a Clearance Letter

A seller can ask the IRS for a certificate of compliance or clearance letter as proof that the IRS has not issued a Notice of Intent to Audit Books and Records and there are no outstanding tax liabilities on the seller’s account. The seller can provide this certificate to the buyer as proof of good standing when selling a business or business interest.

A buyer can also request a clearance letter (status of account) to be used when applying for certain federal grants or loans. While this letter provides the status of an account, it does not exempt the business from future IRS audits that may cover periods before the business was sold.

Both documents represent a snapshot in time and show that the seller does not currently have outstanding audit assessment notices, tax delinquencies and/or bills. If a significant amount of time lapses between issuance of the certificate and the sale, the buyer may wish to request a new certificate. Your Florida Business Broker can assist you with requesting a clearance letter from the IRS.

The request must include all of the following information:

  • The business name, name of the requester (including signature), business address, telephone number, fax number and email address.
  • An identification number (such as Business Partner Number, Federal Employer Identification Number or Certificate of Registration Number, etc.)
  • A copy of the driver license for the Power of Attorney or authorized agent registered with the Department of State. The picture ID must be readable or processing will be delayed.
  • A properly executed Power of Attorney (Form DR-835), if you want a qualified party to represent you.

How to Request a Transferee Liability Audit

When a business is sold, the unpaid sales tax liability (if any) of the former owner may transfer to the buyer, unless the IRS issues a certificate of compliance or conducts a transferee liability audit.

Either the buyer or the seller can ask for the audit.

  • The seller can submit Form DR-842Seller’s Application for Transferee Liability Certificate.
  • The purchaser can submit Form DR-843Purchaser’s Application for Transferee Liability Certificate. Attach a signed sales agreement to the request. Because tax information is confidential, the Department will provide only the seller with the audit results and transferee liability certificate.

Generally, the Department of Revenue conducts the audit. However, for sales tax, you can hire a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) who is qualified to conduct sales and use tax audits for the Department.

Hiring a CPA for Sales Tax Audits

You can hire a qualified CPA to conduct your transferee liability audit. Qualified CPA practitioners are certified in sales and use tax through the Certified Audit Program.

The Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants has a list of CPA practitioners who are certified to conduct sales and use tax audits for the Department of Revenue. When you select a CPA, he or she will tell you what information is needed to conduct the audit. You are responsible for negotiating and paying the fee to the auditor you select.

When the audit is complete, the Department will notify the current owner of the business of tax, penalty and interest due (if any). If there is a delay in the sale of the business, you may want to request a certificate of compliance for the periods not covered by the audit.

Note: Sales tax is the only tax for which a Certified Audit may be completed.

Start a Business for $5000

dollar-storeStarting a dollar store in Florida can be lucrative, as many people enjoy shopping in discount stores that offer rock-bottom prices. Opening a dollar store with less that $5,000 can be a challenge, however, being cautious with your start-up spending, seeking out a low-rent location for your business and starting with a small inventory, you can open a dollar store for only $5000. Here’s how:

Step 1Search for a low-rent optimal location for your dollar store. Ideally, the location should be close to main roads and highways for drive-by traffic, get a good deal of foot traffic and be close to public transportation. Keep your rent to 10% or less of your start-up budget. Florida Business Brokers can help you find the perfect low-rent location for your dollar store.

Step 2Negotiate with the property owner for a low security deposit, such as one month’s rent. Once you’ve paid the rent and security deposit, put one month’s additional rent in your business bank account. Doing so will keep you out of financial trouble long enough to launch your business and generate cash flow.

Step 3Estimate your utility bills for the dollar store for the first two months. Do this by asking your new landlord how much the average utility bills are. Put three months’ worth of utility bill money into your business bank account.

Step 4Obtain a business license by contacting your county clerk or the department of licenses and inspections in your area. You may also need a resale permit to conduct retail sales and collect taxes. Business licensing will likely amount to less than 10 percent of your start-up budget, though fees vary per location.

Step 5Visit other dollar and convenience stores to learn what items are in high demand so you can decide what to order for your store. Typically, dollar stores sell a good deal of toys, health and beauty aids, snacks, household cleaners and tools.

Step 6Spend 40% or less of your start-up budget on inventory for your dollar store. To do this, you’ll have to compare vendors to get the best possible prices and start with fewer items than you would with a larger budget. Make deals to purchase in-demand merchandise from stores that have purchased too much inventory or are closing. You may even team up with another business owner to purchase items in bulk and then split the shipment. This will help you save money on your initial order. Surplus and salvage distributors can be good sources for cheap dollar store items as well.

Step 7Buy used store fixtures, display counters and cash registers.You can often find these at low prices when other stores are closing their doors. Leasing equipment also keeps your initial expenses low.

Step 8Purchase shopping baskets for your dollar store. They can be cheaper than shopping carts. Buying them used may help you stay within your budget.

Step 9Work in your dollar store yourself instead of hiring employees. This way, you can avoid payroll costs until you start to make a profit.

Step 10

Find cheap ways to advertise your business’s grand opening, such as passing out fliers and posting them in public places. Create advertisements and hang them on door knobs in the surrounding neighborhoods. Ask friends and family members to help spread the word about your business. Hang balloons and a grand-opening sign outside your store on opening day.