When borrowers ask, “What does it take to get a bank loan?” my first answer is “telling a good story”. Most small businesses – including most bowling centers – have had at least one unusual event that needs to be explained. Understanding the event, and its impact on cash flow, often makes the difference between a loan approval or decline.
A change of ownership may involve a transfer from one family member to another, a buyout of a shareholder, or finding an unrelated new owner. All of these transactions have the potential for emotional issues as well as tax and legal problems. Most proprietors will go through a change of ownership once or twice in a lifetime, which leaves very little margin for error. Knowing how to value the business and how to negotiate the terms of the sale can make or break the transaction.
A small business owner must wear many hats: marketing, operations, accountant, human resources, and maintenance among others. There are few people available who can provide impartial advice based on an owner’s experience as well as from an outsider’s view. When an issue comes up that needs a discussion with someone independent comes up, it’s nice to know that such a person is available.
A ground up construction project or a major remodeling requires hundreds of decisions, from the size of the project to the choice of equipment and selecting paint colors. There are times when having an advisor who has gone through the process and is independent of the architect and contractor can make the project more successful and less stressful.