Being a business owner is a great opportunity. What kind of industries do you have experience in? You may prefer to stay in a sector you know well, or start in a completely different sector.

How can you apply your skills to other fields? Which of these skills can be used in business generally? What were your best and worst performing sectors and why?

Some sectors are more lucrative than others in terms of money and risk. On the other hand, there are also some sectors that are more risky.

A business like a dry cleaners is usually a safe investment but only ever generates a modest income. This is more of a lifestyle business. Restaurant ownership, on the other hand, is a riskier venture, so you will be more likely to pursue it only if you are truly passionate about it.

Do you aim to become extremely wealthy or are you more concerned with job satisfaction?

Would you rather take risks or play it safe?

You should also pay attention to commercial trends. Future growth is projected in healthcare, tech, construction, and education and training.

What is the amount of money you are willing to invest? Sectors above a certain threshold will be filtered out by your budget – with hotels and manufacturing typically being among the most expensive.

The next step is to draw up a shortlist of prospects based on your chosen sector. The following suggestions will help you.

The next step is to make a shortlist of prospects once you’ve decided which industry you want to join – though you may want to keep your options open. You must carefully choose the business that is right for you when you are buying an existing one.

How to choose the right business for you – we show you how to drill down the businesses that suit your needs based on price, location and owner-financed opportunities.

The owners of the business you’re interested in can answer your questions once you’ve found it.

In case you have already decided what sector you wish to purchase a business in – or if you are still open to ideas – you can now narrow down your search further. Searching for a business can be overwhelming since there are thousands of businesses for sale.

Some business premises include accommodation. A business owner saves time and money by eliminating commuting costs. Additionally, it increases the price significantly – however, if you sell your existing home first, it usually gives you more spending power. Especially prevalent in B&Bs, farms, and retailers.

Do not give up if you cannot find what you are looking for immediately. Keep checking regularly to make sure you don’t miss out on your dream opportunity as new businesses come to market every day. You can also sign up to be notified when something matching your criteria becomes available. This feature will be available from most agents and listing sites, so be sure to take full advantage of it.

When making inquiries, you should have two objectives in mind. You can start by finding out more about the business to determine if you want to take it further. Additionally, if you want a formal negotiation, then you must convince the seller of your credibility and sincerity.

Even after selling up, the seller may be attached to the business. If you demonstrate to the seller that you are qualified – in terms of skills, experience, and attitude – he is more likely to choose you over other interested parties.

How long has the company been in business?

What’s the company history?

What made you decide to sell the business now?

Could you please describe the business model in more detail?

How much has the company earned in net profits or gross revenues over the last 2-3 years?

When valuing the business, what factors did you consider? How was the value determined? Was a qualified, independent expert used?

What is your price flexibility?

What is the value of the business’ goodwill?

How is the asking price based on assets and liabilities (debts)?

If the sale is to be structured, how would you like it to be structured?

What are the terms and rates for seller financing, and if it’s available? Usually 10-25% of the purchase price is covered by seller financing, which shows the seller’s confidence in both the business and the buyer.

Are you willing to wait until I secure external financing?

You need to show them the money so that they can consider you as a serious and genuine buyer.

Sellers will want to make sure that you can afford the business, most likely through a bank loan and with enough personal funds for a down payment. They’ll also look for someone who has a passion for the business and a sincere interest in it.

Debt financing includes commercial loans provided by building societies and credit unions. Businesses or individuals borrow money from a lender, then repay it with interest over a specified period of time.

You’ll find different interest rates, repayment terms, and other terms depending on the lender and how risky your proposal is seen to be. If you own any assets, typically a house, you can secure the loan with favourable terms.

You can probably borrow more from personal savings if you have more money to contribute.

Depending on your circumstances, you may also be able to deduct your loan’s interest and charges.

The negotiation process – a confrontational approach rarely builds trust, and since many sellers don’t want to give up their business, they’ll probably avoid a close relationship with someone they dislike.

To be too eager to please the seller, however, will allow the seller to control everything, putting you at risk of being ripped off and ultimately unhappy. Do not be aggressive, but be assertive. Be friendly without being submissive.

It is important to conduct due diligence once a provisional agreement is reached.

To ensure you are getting yourself into the right kind of business when you buy one, you need to conduct due diligence.

Due diligence occurs after the terms of the transaction have been agreed, and it gives you the opportunity to examine the business closely to check whether the seller’s claims are true. It may be in your best interests to renegotiate or walk away from the deal if previously undisclosed problems are discovered.

A business acquisition is a complicated process that you should not attempt without assistance from an accountant, solicitor, and/or business broker.

If you aren’t thorough at the start, you may only discover hidden problems after it’s too late and the sale will be already complete.