I'm not sure if I want to buy an existing facility, or start my own?
Buying an existing animal care facility with a strong track record is far less risky than starting your own. When you buy an existing business, not only do you get an instant paycheck, but you gain immediate client base, market share, goodwill, staff, equipment, zoning and licenses in place, etc. No struggling for a few years, no entering a saturated market, no fighting for zoning and building permits. Another important reason for buying an existing business is the availability of financing. It's considerably more difficult to obtain financing for a start-up and will require a higher downpayment and that you provide collateral (ie. residence or other assets you might have).
What should I look for when reviewing a business for sale?
You should review the financials very carefully and ask the seller (or broker) to justify the asking price. If you are not comfortable reviewing financial statements, or do not know what's typical for this industry, have a professional do the valuation for you. The financial analysis is the most important aspect when purchasing an animal care facility; does the business generate enough revenue to provide a decent salary after all expenses have been paid (including the mortgage), have revenues been growing steadily, are the expenses aligned with industry averages, etc. Other issues to consider are: does the philosophy of the business match yours? Is there room for improvement / growth in the business? How well trained is the staff? How important is the seller to the business; will the business survive a transition of ownership? Is the location in full compliance with zoning and licensing requirements? Why has the owner decided to sell? Will the owner sign a Non Competition Agreement? Is financing available for the purchase?
How hard is it to finance an animal care facility?
There are lenders who are eager to finance animal care facilities.To qualify for financing, both the business and the buyer are analyzed. The business has to generate enough income to cover debt service (after owner compensation), the buyer has to be credit worthy and have relevant experience (business, management, pet industry, etc.) If the business is strong, and the buyer meets the qualifications, a purchase can easily be financed. We have established relationships with several lenders and will assist a buyer through the loan application process. Please click here to read more about financing and what the requirements are.
Why do you require a Non Disclosure Agreement before I can get details on any of your listings?
Confidentiality is a major concern for most sellers. They do not want news about an impending sale to affect their staff, clients or community. It is also in the buyer's best interest that rumors are not flying prior to them purchasing a facility. Additionally, this industry attracts a lot of "tire kickers" with no intentions or abilities to buy a facility. Our agreement with the sellers requires us to weed out the "shoppers" and only work with legitimate buyers. We also know how much money it takes to get into one our listings and need to make sure that a prospective buyer has the financial resources to purchase the facility they are inquiring about. We have found that serious buyers appreciate our professional approach to the process.
Is this a good time to buy a facility?
Yes! The pet industry is growing strong and if the pet care industry is a passion of your's, it's an excellent time to make the investment!