Moving you or a business in a business-for-sale transaction?

January 14, 2010

As you are buying a business perhaps it is not exactly top on your mind but managing a move can break your back, figuratively or literally.

If a business owner really wants to sell the business, the fewer perceived obstacles for perspective buyers to over come increases the chances that an offer will be forthcoming.  Not forcing a new owner to move a business, at least in the short term, is best.  Not having to move at all or having moving as merely an option is better.

A buyer, in most cases, is better off not having to divert attention from learning and operating the business in the first period of owning the business.  A move can be complicated, time consuming, and draining.  Try not to have an immediate move as part of the purchase package.

Obviously there are exceptions.  Home-based businesses may require a move.  Internet based businesses with little equipment are simple.

And, a move of a business is not the only thing that can make a new owner crazy.  A home move at the same time as the purchase of a business can make life more difficult as well.

A short story as an example:  In a purchase of a business some years ago, I had some challenges.  The first was that the business I purchased was in shared space, my business leasing from the condo owner and other tenant.   The owner did not welcome me as a new lessee.  I was given 60 days to move the business.  In the meantime I could not be present in the space without supervision.  (This decision by the master-lessee was based on a concern for security with an unknown person, me.)  This all played out with me scrambling to learn the business and finding a new rental space, replace all of the furniture and much equipment, at a same or better price, in a new town.

It kept me hopping for sure.  The thing that kept me sane was that my husband and I had elected to NOT move our household immediately.  I was living alone in a rental unit with no home responsibilities.  It all turned out okay in the end but it was a challenge.

Considering your business buying and selling experiences, what moving challenges have you had or perhaps advice?

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