Buying a Business is “In” and You Should Be Part of It

May 20, 2013

One thing that successful and happy business attorneys do is keep on time of economic and social trends that might impact their clients or open up new opportunities to broaden the scope of their practices.  Even just a few minutes looking at the news these days reminds us that several interesting factors are converging in the US economy.  One unfortunate trend has been the escalating rate of long-term unemployment among seasoned workers, including many former senior managers who lost their jobs during the Great Recession and have been unable to find new work in spite of often herculean efforts.  Another development has been the steady and impressive growth in the purchase of small businesses in the US.  While researching for a new book, Buying a Business: What You Need to Know, that was just released by Aspatore my colleague Robert Brown and I learned that while US GDP grew 1.7% in 2011 the number of small businesses that were purchased grew 3.3% over that same period.  Maybe the best move for long-term seasoned executives and managers is to stop beating their heads against the wall trying to get others to notice them and start taking a hard look at business ownership as a viable and exciting new path.

Sure, there are good and real reasons for pining for a return to Corporate America.  These senior managers used to enjoy great pay and benefits and status in their industry and communities and many of them probably gave little or no thought to giving that up and going out on their own.  In fact, they were usually too busy to think about anything other than the project that their bosses had put in front of them.  But, all that has changed—probably for good—and now these unemployed senior managers are becoming anxious to get going once again.  In most cases they’ve run a small business already, albeit as part of a larger enterprise, and all they need is the confidence to take on the challenge and guidance on how to make the deal happen.  Moreover, the timing has never been better as business owners unable to find buyers willing to pay fair value during bad times are now realizing that they can make a sale on terms they can live with as the economy begins to turn up.

What does this mean to you?  Well, as a business counselor you can make an invaluable contribution to the process of locating, evaluating and purchasing a new business including assisting with due diligence, negotiating the purchase and sale documents and assisting the purchase after the deal is done to get any loose ends in order and set the company in a way that increases its chances of success.  Not sure how to make this all happen?  No problem.  Just start with the Beyond the Bar video program aptly named The Purchase or Sale of a Business Doesn’t Have to be a Bumpy Ride.  You’ll learn the basics about how to manage all the elements of buying a business and the information that your clients will need to collect and analyze in order to get started.  Other programs in the series will help you feel more confident about assisting clients with letters of intent, due diligence and closing the deal!