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5 Key Components Of A Small Business Acquisition Loan

Major Challenges To Securing A Business Acquisition Loan Qualifying for a small business acquisition loan can be quite an ordeal to say the least. If the business being sold is very profitable, the selling price will likely reflect a significant amount of goodwill which can be very difficult to finance.

If the business being sold is not making money, lenders can be difficult to find even if the underlying assets being acquired are worth substantially more than the purchase price. Business acquisition loans, or change of control financing situations, can be extremely varied from case to case. That being said, here are the major challenges you’ll typically have to overcome to secure a small business acquisition loan.

1. Financing Goodwill
The definition of goodwill is the sale price minus the resale or liquidation value of business assets after any debts owing on the assets are paid off. It represents the future profit the business is expected to generate beyond the current value of the assets. Most lenders have no interest in financing goodwill. This effectively increases the amount of the down payment required to complete the sale and/or the acquisition of some financing from the vendor in the form of a vendor loan.

Vendor support and Vendor loans are a very common elements in the sale of a small business. If they are not initially present in the conditions of sale, you may want to ask the vendor if they would consider providing support and financing. There are some excellent reasons why asking the question could be well worth your time. In order to receive the maximum possible sale price, which likely involves some amount of goodwill, the vendor will agree to finance part of the sale by allowing the buyer to pay a portion of the sale price over a defined period of time within a structured payment schedule. The vendor may also offer transition assistance for a period of time to make sure the transition period is seamless.

The combination of support and financing by the vendor creates a positive vested interest whereby it is in the vendor’s best interest to help the buyer successfully transition all aspects of ownership and operations. Failure to do so could result in the vendor not getting all the proceeds of sale in the future in the event the business were to suffer or fail under new ownership. This is usually a very appealing aspect to potential lenders as the risk of loss due to transition is greatly reduced. This speaks directly to the next financing challenge.

2. Business Transition Risk
Will the new owner be able to run the business as well as the previous owner? Will the customers still do business with the new owner? Did the previous owner possess a specific skill set that will be difficult to replicate or replace? Will the key employees remain with the company after the sale?

A lender must be confident that the business can successfully continue at no worse than the current level of performance. There usually needs to be a buffer built into the financial projections for changeover lags that can occur. At the same time, many buyers will purchase a business because they believe there is substantial growth available which they think they can take advantage of. The key is convincing the lender of the growth potential and your ability to achieve superior results.

3. Asset Sale Versus Share Sale
For tax purposes, many sellers want to sell the shares of their business. However, by doing so, any outstanding and potential future liability related to the going concern business will fall at the feet of the buyer unless othewise indicated in the purchase and sale agreement. Because potential business liability is a difficult thing to evaluate, there can be a higher perceived risk when considering a small business acquisition loan application related to a share purchase.

4. Market Risk
Is the business in a growing, mature, or declining market segment? How does the business fit into the competitive dynamics of the market and will a change in control strengthen or weaken its competitive position?

A lender needs to be confident that the business can be successful for at least the period the business acquisition loan will be outstanding. This is important for two reasons. First, a sustained cash flow will obviously allow a smoother process of repayment. Second, a strong going concern business has a higher probability of resale.

If an unforeseen event causes the owner to no longer be able to carry on the business, the lender will have confidence that the business can still generate enough profit from resale to retire the outstanding debt. Localized markets are much easier for a lender or investor to assess than a business selling to a broader geographic reach. Area based lenders may also have some working knowledge of the particular business and how prominent it is in the local market.

5. Personal Net Worth
Most business acquisition loans require the buyer to be able to invest at least a third of the total purchase price in cash with a remaining tangible net worth at least equal to the remaining value of the loan. Statistics show that over leveraged companies are more prone to suffer financial duress and default on their business acquisition loan commitments. The larger the amount of the business acquisition loan required, the more likely the probability of default.
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3 Components What it Takes to Succeed in Business

Business if tough in today's world! Most small businesses go bankrupt or are closed abruptly in the first five years. Over the course of the next five years many of the remainders also "pack up" shop and lock their doors. Why do so many businesses fail?

The reasons lie in three main spheres. Those spheres of influence can be labeled personal, customer, and operations.

The Personal Sphere deals with the owner’s personal motivation to start a business. For example, if an owner wants to start their own business, but isn’t willing to make the sacrifices necessary to make it thrive, then they are at a disadvantage when compared to other motivated businesspeople. When a business starts for the first time often it doesn’t have a lot of money. Owners are required to sacrifice time, money, and happiness to succeed. If you can’t do that, it is unlikely that such a business will flourish. Many times owners thought they could handle the hardship but once the novelty of “being your own boss” wears off they close the door.

The Customer Sphere is one of the most important components of your business. Without customers you do not have sales, without sales you do not have money and without money you do not have a business. Many factors go into generating a good customer base. In the beginning you must have a cost effective marketing strategy that targets your intended buyers. This can be done by developing a psychological profile of your customer and then advertising in those places that they frequent. Because it is more expensive to get a new customer than it is to keep one you must make sure they are satisfied with your business and product. Keep in touch with them by sending them a follow-up letter with a survey.

The Operations Sphere is only second to the Customer Sphere. In operations you must have an appropriate method of reducing costs, keeping track of paperwork, and maintaining improvement. Operations can also take into effect the tax paperwork, accounting, scheduling of workers, benefits or any non-producing functions.

If all of these three components are well thought out and are appropriately designed you will increases your chances of survival. Failure to understand the integral details of your business and what it takes to succeed may mean failure in the long run. If you are having difficulty putting all the pieces together then consider a small business consultant.
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5 New Product Ideas

Here are some new product ideas for things yet to be invented, or innovations yet to be tried. Why don’t you be the inventor or innovator? Help yourself. There are no patents on the following ideas as far as I know - but do your patent research, of course.

1. A pavlovian dog calling device
The scientist Ivan Pavlov trained dogs to salivate when a bell rang - simply by ringing a bell whenever they ate. Imagine a small beeper on your dog’s collar. Each time you feed him you first start the beeper with a radio-control device. Soon all you have to do to get him to come running for the kitchen is push that button and make the device beep.

A range of up to a mile would be nice for calling the dog home. The technology for this is already here, waiting to be put together, but would people buy it? I think so. It’s interesting, useful, and new product ideas for pets are always in high demand lately.

2. The Innovation Game
This is a competitive innovation teaching-game, to help develop the players creative skills. Cards challenge players to invent something (on paper) based on certain criteria. For example, a card might require players to combine two concepts in the most innovative way. All the various problem solving techniques would be exercised using these cards.

One problem to overcome in developing this game is the competitive aspect. How would results be judged to determine a winner? Perhaps the game would have to have a volunteer sit out during each round, to function as a “judge” and award the points.

3. Better pedal boats
The pedal boats you see at many parks are designed so that two people can pedal them around a pond or lake. However, if you have ever tried one, you realize that they are less fun than they appear. This is mostly because they are slow.

A better pedal boat would be in the shape of a torpedo. The point is to create something that glides through the water more easily. Even if it is to hold more than one person, the users could be in a line, instead of next to each other, for better streamlining. Make one that can actually hydroplane and everyone at the beach will want to try it out.

4. Underwater treasure hunting camera
With all the new interest in metal detectors and treasure hunting, this is a natural. Years ago there was a treasure hunter who regularly found guns, money and more in murky rivers, using a tube with a plexiglass glued over one end, and a light strapped to the outside. He held the device near the bottom of the river and was able to see what was there.

What could be better than this? A small camera, especially now that the technology has developed smaller components. It could be lowered to great depths from any boat or dock. A motorized “claw” at the bottom might make it especially useful and interesting to those of us who like “toys.”

5. Glue-on soles (Some of you who don’t hike might not relate to this one)
Blisters are caused by the friction of your feet sliding and rubbing on the inside of your shoes. A good non-heat-conducting sole, glued to your foot, could slide in that shoe all day while your feet were prevented from getting blisters, since the bottom of the foot itself wouldn’t rub against anything. That is the essence of “New Soles,” the newest in foot protection.

Before writing this new product idea off as too weird, remember that we glue fake teeth into our mouths. A similar glue might do the trick, and these glue-on soles would be for very specific markets - like long distance hikers and runners. Of course, there will have to be a simple way to remove them too.
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