Top tips to buying a business online

There are many different mechanisms in order to review business for sale and for you to place your business up for sale however the online option seems to be the most popular.  Whether it’s a bakery, pub, sweet shop or fashion shop you are looking to buy – it can all be done from the comfort of your own home on your computer.  Clearly online you are privy to a lot of information on the particular business and you can even pull documents on the specific company you are investigating.  Here are some things to bear in mind:

Buying / Selling Website

You can use websites such as Hilton Smythe where you can engage in simple searches which include the type of establishment you are looking for but also the location.  The search will come back to you with all sorts of options and prices which will include photographs of the building.  There will be options for you to mail the company in order to get more information of even a viewing.  These types of websites will also offer you the option of getting a valuation on your company if it is one you are selling and then help advertise the actual sale of it if that’s what you choose to do.

Financial History

It’s important to ensure that to get the data integrity correct when looking to buy a company and although valuations will be completed by independent sources it would be worth pulling the financial history from the company.  You can use sources like Company House to pull the profit and loss accounts for as far back as you would like.  There are also additional options such as pulling the credit scoring report for the company from places such as Experian.  Both of these reports will tell you different things.  The report from Company House will let you know about the current financial position and allow you to make a judgement based on the recently history but the credit report scoring will allow you to make a judgement as to how the company has been running its recent finances in respect to paying rent and managing its current credit (and how if they have too much credit outstanding).

Review website

The voice of the people can be extremely powerful and leave a footprint on the company reputation.  If you are looking to purchase a business then it would be a good idea to take a look at some review sites to see what feedback has been left as negative feedback and overall performance could be difficult to overcome.  If a company is consistently hitting below 3 stars rating then this would be something to dig a little deeper into. There is one point of caution here though that sometimes there is data integrity issues where people may put in false reviews and comments (either positive or negative) which would skew the overall results and perception however as a whole the overall reviews and rating should be reliable.

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