Buying or Selling a Business: The External View

If you are considering buying a New Mexico business, the nearly mythical story of McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc may have some important lessons.

Before he approached the McDonald brothers at their California hamburger restaurant, he spent several days sitting in his car watching the business. Only when he was convinced that the business and concept worked did he make an offer. The brothers could not refuse and the rest is history.

The point for both the New Mexico business buyer and seller is this: sit across the street – whether proverbial or real – and watch the business. Your time will be well spent and you can glean a lot of useful information.  How many customers does the business serve? How often? When are customers served? What is the make-up of the customer base? What are the busy days and times?

The business owner can also gain insights into his or her business by taking a look at the business from the perspective of a potential “mystery shopper” taking up post across the street.

If you are the owner, consider having a friend or family member visit the business and report back on the quality of customer interaction, timeliness of service, and their general impressions. Now how did their experience at your store or restaurant compare to the competition?

Interestingly, these methods are now being used by business owners, franchisors and others. If you are looking to sell a business, you might consider following the lead of these national franchise companies.