How to Buy a Charleston Business That Weathers All Hurricanes

As a Charleston Business Acquisition Consultant, I help buyers with the business purchasing process in Charleston, South Carolina. It could be  a Restaurant, especially seafood themes.  But transportation and shipping, Commercial Fishing and distribution, certainly anything maritime, and everything imaginable in the tourist and guest visitor line of retail and entertainment would be attractive targets for a New Business Acquisition

You may ask, so I’ll address it early, Pro Biz always uses a simple flat fee, reasonable to help buyers.

In first point of contact most Buyers ask me for help in an initial search and then find themselves in deep water navigating the convoluted “system” built around commissioned brokers.

They find me and smile because they have tried and failed to find anybody who be more interest in helping them than a Huge Sales Success Commission.  You may rely on us to quote a fee upfront and to remain professional.  I love to represent the wonderful folks in Charleston, South Carolina.  It is one of the loveliest and, may I say, LIVIEST place in the entire state of beautiful and economically profitable, South Carolina. And I’ll even add, of the Eastern Seaboard. Wouldn’t it be nice own a business there?  You know what else? Charleston is the home, the original Plantation of Sunbelt Business Brokers. I use the term ‘Plantation” with respect, meaning, the Franchise Business of Business Brokerage was planted there.  I know.  I went to one of the original 3-Day franchise School/Classes and got to know the owner and founder, Ed Pendarvis, personally. Wonderful, caring and giving man!

Now let’s talk about buying a business in a town that gets plummeted by a Hurricane a few times too often!

Are there Business Acquisition Opportunities in Charleston?

Ed, in our Franchise classes, loved to use the real-life example of a certain Gift Shop, which I will not specify by name.  He walked us through the financials and it was clearly a profitable little niche.  More importantly, as I read through last ten years, (not just three years as others might do) I made note of how many storms, some on the National News, had occurred during that period. I made note that the “storm years’ were more profitable, bottom line.  That is our first point in considering buying a business in Charleston. Who survives?  Who goes out of business, and who has a longer track record of “hanging in there.”

The Long View

We are Business Consultants here at Pro Biz. As a Buyer’s Rep, that is, the Agent contracted and engaged by the Buyer, not by the Seller who lists with a commissioned Broker, and for which we use the term, Buyer’s Representative, I am focused on the Long Term. In a hurricane-prone marketplace, like Charleston, so dependent on the tourist trade, you would be amazed at the sheer number of new businesses that spring up!  Many come up for sale. Some are really wonderful opportunities – especially if you have a dream of being your own boss, owning your own shop, managing your own company. There is manufacturing, retail, transportation, maritime, service and so many possibilities to choose from.

How to Choose the Right Business to Buy?

The decision starts with a Buyer Profile. What do you want?  What do you like? What lights your fire?

Then, that gets audited. What are your skills and talents? You may say, for instance, that owning and running a restaurant is your dream. Maybe you are a very good cook.  And restaurants are certainly a main stay in wonderful, touristy Charleston. But there is more to ownership than kitchen skills and Chefly talent.  If you worked for UPS, a better fit might be something in transportation. If you come out of the construction industry, something related to that line may be the opportunity of a lifetime, based on your skills and knowledge.  One of the ways we assist as your Buyer’s Rep is to help you “self-qualify”. 

You see, it all comes down to financing. You have to convince the bank that you will make it in the class and type of business. If you managed a COSCO and want to buy a Subway, they will be reticent to make the loan unless you can convince them that the Subway franchise school and training will supplement the excellent general management skills you have already honed. 

Why You Need a Business Consultant

This is mostly general information and may or may not be applicable to your situation so let me share a few helpful tips.

(1.) The Selling Broker works for the Owner. He is under an obligation to obtain the highest price and best terms.  You will have to go through him and he is more than just a Gatekeeper. He is a Pro.  This may be your first time, but not his.  You need someone on your side of the table to bring balance and fairness.

(2.) The Broker is only going to go too far to help you. And, believe me, there is a lot to take in.  If you have bought and sold a few times, I’d say, “Okay, you got this.”  But please don’t go it alone the first time, or even the second or third. It’s like they say about a lawyer representing himself in court. Two heads are better than one, especially when you are risking your family savings and signing on to a new business loan that must be repaid, whether the business fails or not.

(3.) Financials, due diligence, negotiations, Letters of Intent and Offers to Purchase. You will almost certainly save double the cost of the Retainer for our Consulting Services by having our help on these important issues.  One mistake can be expensive. Two can be catastrophic. Three can tank the deal and lose all the time and money you are already out of pocket. Our goal is your success, not disappointment and lose.

Final Thought:

ProBiz Takes the Consultative Approach

You may have noted? Our Firm has a long corporate name, For good reason and the three underscored words tell our story. ProBiz Consulting, Appraisal and M&A Advisers, INC.

Nothing written here is going to be exactly what you need personally. Hurricanes notwithstanding, there is every reason to believe in your dream and that it can come to pass. With a little outside help! Our help is not free, but it’s cheaper than a mistake, a misstep just because you’ve never done this before.

Worst of all would be a “near-miss”.  You were so close! Then it fell apart. All because you tried to go it alone.

Call or text or email.  We won’t charge you just to call and ask a few question or two. I’m here to help.

Note; While we only represent Buyers, and we don’t list and sell businesses, but we do help Business owners prepare their businesses for sale.  The #1, Number One, need is a business evaluation report. (Business Eval Report). Whether for a Buyer or for an Owner, we are providing the best services with regard to a Certified Business Appraisal. Pro Biz always takes the “Consultive Approach.”  And we are One Hundred Percent (100%) Pro Business