HomeBlogChange ManagementBuying a Business – Checklist

Buying a Business – Checklist

Are you looking to buy a business? Well, you’re in luck. This is the blog for you. We have created a helpful checklist below with a list of useful things to consider when thinking about buying a business. It is really important to consider various factors when looking to acquire a company. You want to be smart about which business to go for. Ideally, it’s a great idea to work your way through the pointers below to ensure your business acquisition goes as smoothly as possible.

Do your research

It’s super important to make sure you do your research first before you invest in a business. Really get to know what options are available in your chosen sector or area. For this, Google and social media searches are definitely your friends. After understanding what’s out there, you can begin to create a shortlist of possible options and businesses you would potentially like to go with. Customer reviews are always helpful along with companies’ websites and social media pages. If the business wows you and seems impressive after this initial search, it’s a good place to start.   

Decide on the type of industry you want

When choosing an industry focus, it’s a good idea to choose one that matches your values and goals. Choose an industry you are passionate about and one which is likely to do well. To do this, have a think about the current market and which industries have potential. To use an example of this, businesses that involved home treats or home entertainment were extremely popular and successful during lockdowns.

Organise an initial viewing

Just like when purchasing a house, you want to view a place first to get a good sense of what it’s really like. Check out the business offices or company space, and listen to your gut during this process, it’s usually a good indicator of what options could be for you. Take a list of questions with you for the business owner at this point to help you to fully understand the day-to-day function of the business. Viewings are wonderful, as they really help you to get a vibe of the business.

Get a sense of the seller’s motives

It’s a great idea for you to understand the seller’s motives before buying a business. Asking questions such as why they are choosing to sell can help give a good indication of the state of the business. Asking these questions will help you understand if the reasons are genuine, such as retirement or to do with the success or lack of profit of the business.

Speak to your potential new staff

Why not meet with your potential new employees before you put in an offer for the business? This will help you to suss out current working relationships and the work ethic or culture of the company. Do the staff’s values or work ethic match those that you are looking for? This gives you the opportunity to also understand business structure and staff contracts.  

Look into financial milage

Financial milage is a great thing to focus on when deciding whether to invest in a business. A successful business will show an increase in profits. Ensure you fully explore past profit records to give a clear understanding of profits year by year. If a business has lost profits in the past, you need to be asking the questions as to why it has struggled with profits over the pas few years.

Look out for red flags

There will be certain factors about a business which could indicate red flags. It’s important that you pay attention to these, as they could give you an indication that the business may not be the best option to go for. Some potential red flags can include the owner seeming exhausted, financial records showing a sudden loss, or the business struggling to compete.

Involve experts

It’s a good idea to involve experts and seek out professional help when needed, to support you through your acquisition journey. Involve loved ones and your contacts for more informal opinions too if you feel this would be helpful. Your professional team can support you with checking over things like the business contracts, figures, and accounts. A good team of accountants, solicitors and change management consultants will go a long way in the buying process to ensure the right things are in place.

Yorkshire Change

At Yorkshire Change, we really want to make the process of buying a business as easy as possible for you. Our team of amazing consultants are all exceptionally knowledgeable and can assist you through your unique individual change process. We can support you with finding your dream business, along with many other exciting factors in your business journey. To find out more about the services we offer, please visit our website.


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