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How To Make Your Business More Saleable

If you are thinking about putting your business on the market or you currently have it on the market, here are a few tips that can help to get someone to see your business as more attractive than other businesses in the market. The key is putting your business in the best possible position to have someone “buy it”. In order to do that you need to look at the transaction from the Buyers perspective. Put yourself in their shoes and say: “If I was buying a business, what is it that I would want to get out of it?” Among other things, there are 3 questions that the buyer wants answered:

1. Is the business making any money?

2. What is the likelihood of that continuing if I buy the business?

3. How can I grow it to make a capital gain?

If you can answer these questions, you can put your business ahead of hundreds of businesses in the market. The first question is answered by looking at the history of the business. If your business is making money make sure you can prove it with your accountants prepared Profit & Loss Statements (3 years statements is a minimum requirement). Don’t think that a buyer will take MYOB, or other accounting software, figures because they won’t.

As far as the second question goes, the Buyer will have a concern that after buying the business, you will walk away with all the information required to ensure the success of the business, in your head. You can eliminate this by putting in place systems and Procedure Manuals for all areas of your business. These are the “how to” and step by step instructions to successfully run the business without you. The history also plays a role in answering this question. Although there are no guarantees, by looking at the past we can get a good idea of the future. For example, has the revenue or net profit been declining or increasing over the last 3 years? What are the factors contributing to these events?

The third question is a little bit harder to answer as it may depend on the Buyers ability and skill level to grow the business. However, if you have a good, well structured and easy to follow Business Plan, this can be the road map to growing the business. The more detailed the Business Plan the better, i.e. a one year, three year and five year plan. If the Buyer can see your own personal plans and goals for the growth of the business, it will instil in them the confidence to take the reigns and continue on with your plans.

So take the time to step away from your business as the Director or CEO and put on those Buyers shoes. You may find that there are areas that can be improved and will add value to your business or at least make it more appealing to more Buyers.

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Jean-Pierre de Mezieres

Real Estate Investment Tips of the Trade

Real Estate Investment can be a very fortuitous career path, providing you know what to do. Too many people think that investing is easy and requires no skills at all. While this is true in some cases it is very often not. More and more people are investing badly because they’re not doing what they should be. Knowing a little about the trade always helps, and there are actually a wide variety of tips and tricks out there that can make Real Estate Investment a lot easier and profitable.

One of these tips has to be simply to network. Networking simply means just to get talking to people. It sounds stupid, but this is often the first step to finding a real investment gold mine. Getting involved with your community can gain you some fantastic contacts, as well as good gossip on places that might soon be coming up for sale, or areas that are on the rise when it comes to housing prices. Talking to people and actually listening often is one of the easiest ways you can gain knowledge on the area you’re considering investing in, which leads me on to the next essential tip you need to know.

Know the market, and know it well, spend some time getting to know the area or areas in which you’re looking to invest. As well as getting to know the locals, try going to a few open houses and get talking to the agents to find out as much about the area as possible. It would also be beneficial to drive the area looking for houses for sale by owner, or houses that appear vacant or in disrepair. Then learn how much homes are selling for in the area, so you can give yourself a good idea of how much profit you would be likely to make. Find out about crime within the area, if there is any, and if the area is growing? This information is vital when it comes to investing, so it’s important that you learn as much about it as possible.

Another tip is to never buy a property without at least one exit strategy. What I mean is that with every offer you make you should know exactly how much you’re going to make back from it. Whether it’s going to give you more as a rental or a re-sale, or whether you want to renovate it and how much the expense would add up to, and overall, whether it would be worth it. Always run your numbers and if they don’t add up to a decent profit, do not do the deal, no matter how much you like the property, the numbers don’t lie!

And finally, get yourself a good real estate agent. Agents can often make or break your investment business, and a good one is definitely worth tracking down. A good real estate agent will often do a lot of the leg work and bring you some good potential deals. They will often have experience with the area and can help you stay away from potential bad investments. They can even find you good, reliable buyers for your investments, and can show them around whilst you’re out taking care of other investments. They will often work only on commissions based on the sale price of the properties that they sell on your behalf.

Real Estate Investment is one of the most fortuitous businesses in the world, so it’s obvious that you’ll want to do it right. Making the right investments isn’t difficult, and as long as you follow these tips, you’re sure to be bagging some real property gems in no time.

Copyright (c) 2010 Brad Hess