1. Know Your Options
Before you make a purchase, know your options. Do you want to grow a firm organically? Or do you want to purchase an existing firm? If keeping your current job and growing a practice on the side is appealing and feasible for you, then that could be a good option for you. It may take time but you can grow along with your business. However, if you are ready to jump in with both feet and want to own an existing business, purchasing a practice with an immediate income stream could be the right choice for you. Knowing what you are looking for and what will work with your current situation is the first step in purchasing a practice.
2. Know What You Want
So you know you want to own your own business but you still have lots of questions to answer that can only be answered by you. What size of a practice are you seeking? What gross revenues and net revenues do you want? Will the practice have current employees? What mix of revenues interests you: personal income tax, business income tax, payroll, bookkeeping, attest, etc.? Are you looking for a practice in your current area or are you willing to relocate? Each practice has its own culture, personality, and mode of operation so determining what you are specifically looking for in a practice will help you narrow your search and hone in on exactly what it is that you are seeking.
3. Evaluate Resources
Evaluating resources doesn’t just mean money. But it often does start with money. Determine what financial resources you have at your disposal –personal assets, family assets, line of credit, etc. Financing is also often available with a good credit score and some collateral. There are different ways to fund a purchase but you have to start with accessible resources. Other resources to consider include your management skills and entrepreneurial spirit. Are you ready to manage other people or do you want to be the only one in the office? Administrative skills are key to owning your own business so whether you have employees or not, you will need to be able to manage the everyday tasks of owning a business. Entrepreneurial spirit comprises more than just “wanting to be your own boss”. Having the drive and willingness to own your own business and doing whatever it takes to make it succeed is foundational to being an entrepreneur.
4. Search for the Right Practice
Ok. You’ve determined that yes, you want to own your own business. You’ve figured out what you want and what your practice should look like. You’ve decided how you can fund it and that you have the skills necessary to own your own business. Now to FIND that business. Accounting Biz Brokers lists accounting businesses for sale all year long. We list practices with a variety of sizes and varied mix of revenues across the nation. New listings come along every month. Sometimes what you think you want changes so being open to what is available can be key to successfully finding the practice for you.
5. Negotiate to Win
It takes a specific skill set to successfully negotiate a deal. At Accounting Biz Brokers, we strive for a win-win deal for our sellers and buyers. The deal structure and terms must be fair and reasonable for all parties as this is the basis for a smooth transition from seller to buyer. There are many facets to the terms of a deal but you must stay flexible. There will be some give and take on both sides but if the parties focus on the end result, both buyer and seller can be pleased and excited about the deal.
You’ve bought the practice of your dreams so it’s time to get to work, right? Yes, of course. But one of your first priorities should be working to establish lasting relationships with your employees and clients. While you’ve just embarked on an exciting journey for yourself, your new employees and clients will need to be reassured that you are the right person for the job. Continuing to provide the same service that they are all accustomed to will be vital for your success. Going above and beyond can ensure happy and loyal employees and clients. Remember, without them you have no business. You are in the people business and doing the best job for them makes more money for you.