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中小企业海外投资专题(二)买卖生意基础

(2011-06-27 15:25:59)
标签:

生意买卖

海外投资

育儿

直接买下已经建立的生意是最常见的投资方式,海外投资和国内投资有相似之处,但我们在这里介绍一下不同之处。文章都是本人自行翻译加上个人点评,如转载请注明作者。

PS:翻译为意译,有不到位之处,敬请指正。

The basics of buying a business 买卖生意基础

— filed under: GrowingStart upBuying a business

Buying a business (as opposed to starting a business from scratch) can be daunting, especially if you have never been in business before. There are a number of steps you should follow to make sure you are making a sound investment.

买一个生意(与白手起家的生意完全不同的)可能让人觉得望而生畏,特别是如果你没有任何的做生意的经验。这里有一些步骤你可以照着跟进以确保你做了一个有效的投资。

Once you have found a suitable business, you'll need to verify the state of the business before you complete the purchase. This includes ensuring the sales are as good as the owner says they are, that employees will be happy with a new owner, and customers will remain loyal once you take over the business.

当你找到一个合适的生意,你应该在你完成购买手绪之前,核实这个生意的详细介绍。这将保证你的销售如卖家(拥有者)说的那么好,雇员很高兴和你合作以及客户们在你接手生意后会维持对原产品和服务的忠诚度。

PS:在有些区域性的生意中,客户对卖家本身的依附度较强,比如,如果卖家在同一区域里再开同样的一样店,现有的客户将自然被卖家带走。

The main reason most people buy a business is for the infrastructure and ongoing cash flow. Make sure you investigate these thoroughly. It is also one of the reasons people buy franchises; they usually come with supplier agreements and a proven system of what works and what doesn't.

人们去买一家现成的生意最重要的原因是,基础设施和已经开始运转的现金流。要确保你从头到尾研究了这个生意。人们买加盟生意的另一个原因是,往往与加盟商有供商合作协议和被实践证实有效的系统指导你做什么和不做什么。

 

On this page:

1)       The initial approach (初步接触)

A business owner will want to sell the business for as much money as possible, and as the buyer you want to pay as little as possible. Once you have identified a business you want to buy, your aim is to make the seller want to sell the business to you and on your terms and at your price.

卖家总是想把生意价格卖的越高越好,买家总是想花更少的钱去买下生意。只要你确定了一个你想要买的生意,你的目的就是在卖家愿意把这个生意卖给你的前提下花最少的钱。

Establish your credibility (建立你的信用)

Formally register your interest in buying the business. The owner will usually have instructed professional advisers, such as a business broker, lawyer or accountant, to sell the business. Approach the advisers, rather than the owner, to explain why you are interested. Your integrity and your future plans for the business are usually extremely important to the seller.

It is a good idea to get your own advisers to negotiate on your behalf. Often the buying and selling of businesses can get emotional, and your adviser will give you objective advice and negotiate on your behalf, without any personal stake in the outcome.

正式的提出你对买这个生意的兴趣。卖家通常会指定专业人士,比如生意经纪人、律师、会计师帮助他卖生意。去接触这些专业人士而不是直接去找卖家,向他们解释为什么你感兴趣,你的真诚和你对未来的计划这些通常对卖家来说很重要。

去找一位你自己的专业顾问,站你的角度为你谈价是一个非常好的办法。通常买卖生意有可能是感性的判断,你的顾问将给你一些理性的建议并且帮你去谈价,这样将避免个人感情对最终结果的影响。

PS: 在国外有非常完善的代理经纪人制度,大家都对这种制度严格遵守,很少有人桌下交易;经纪人的提成和佣金一般是由卖家出的,所以对于买家而言不必顾忌太多。有什么真实的想法和计划都要与经纪人沟通,曾经有一个国外的朋友跟我讲过,一个好的经纪人、银行经理、会计师和律师,都是你事业成功与否的关键。所以,真诚相待,不要只想自己的“小九九”。

Work out the seller's objectives (追寻卖家的目标)

For example:

§  Does the seller have to sell? If the answer is yes, what time pressures are they under?

§  Does the seller wish to sell the assets or a company that holds assets?

§  Is money the prime motivation for selling?

§  Does the existing management aim to stay involved in the business?

If you know the seller's objective, then you have an advantage in the negotiation process. For example, if they have to sell within a certain time period then you are more likely to be able to negotiate a lower price.

A question always to ask is: If the business is as wonderful as they make out, why are they selling?

如果你明白卖家的目的,你在谈判过程中就掌握了先机和优势。比如,他必需在短时间内卖掉这个生意,你就有可能拿到一个更合适的价格。

这个问题总是被人问到,如果这个生意真的那么的完美,他们为什么还卖掉这个生意?

PS: 选择怎样的生意是一个复杂的过程,个人因素的判断难免会在其中体现,以选取Motel这种简单的生意类型为例,有人注重location, 有人则注重房间数量,还有人注重turnover, 这些因素都是我们自己要考虑的,专家能给出一些建议,但作为投资者最后的决策还是要自己把握。操之过急的决策都是不成功的,在了解生意的情况后再给出最后的决定,各项数据指标、指标的真实程度、卖家的心理状况、以及对市场的预期都需要有一个清醒的认识。天下不会掉馅饼,结合你的经验和专业人士的建议做一个最理性的决策。

§  Initial due diligence (初步、大体调查)

A preliminary due diligence needs to be completed, to ensure the business has no major problems, before you make a firm offer. The seller will often gloss over the weak areas of the business, or put effort into creating short-term gains to give a favorable impression of the business. For example, lowering stock levels to artificially inflate profit before stock needs to be re-ordered can make the business seem more profitable.

在你做一个决策之前,初期调查的准备工作需要及时完成以保证生意没有大的问题。卖家通常会将生意的劣势和不足轻描淡写、一笔带过或者为了给买家一个好的印象,过分强调生意的短期收益。比如,在进货之前做财务报告,降低库存数量,在纸面上加大收益率。

Stories of key facts coming to light after a business sale is signed abound: employees claiming ideas are their intellectual property and not those of the past owner, new zoning laws are passed, and a larger competitor opens a store nearby... Often, these are the real reasons the business owner is looking to sell. Investigate the business thoroughly before you even hint at being interested in buying it.

故事的真像往往暴露在生意买卖的签约之后:雇员可能认为对之前的想法和工作不属于之前的拥有者,对其进行知识产权的申请;新的分区规则产生,另一个规模更大的竞争者在离你不远的地方新开了一家门店。通常,这些才是卖家出售生意的根本原因。所以,在你表示对某生意感兴趣之前,请从头到尾的调研一下此生意的基本状况。

Get a feel for the business (对此生意产生感觉)

§  Research its market and its main competitors. (研究市场和主要的竞争者)

§  Assess the key risks associated with the business's future trading and with the industry as a whole. (评估主要的商业风险以及行业的风险)

§  Talk to their customers, and anyone else involved, such as suppliers.

(和他们的客户、任何与其生意相关的人比如供应商聊一聊他们的生意状况)

§  Try to have as much access to a business as you can before you indicate any interest. (在你表达出对此生意感兴趣之前,试图更多地去了解和接触这个生意)

§  If the business has a location, stand outside (out of view) and estimate the sales activity. Visit the business at different times, both announced and unannounced. A buyer of a restaurant was fooled into believing the business they were considering was doing well because the seller invited friends around for a free meal every time he knew the buyer was appraising the business.

如果这个生意有固定的地点进行经营,评估其经营的状况。不同时段不同形式(提前通知和不通知地)去探访这个生意的经营情况。以餐馆为例,当卖家知道买家来评估这个生意的时候,卖家可能会愚弄买家,邀请一些朋友要店里吃免费餐,生意看上去还挺红火。

Ask industry experts for their views (向行业内的专家询问他们的建议)

§  What is the prospective demand for the business's products or services?     (这个生意的产品与服务预期的需求是什么?)

§  Are prices (and margins) rising or falling?                     

(产品与服务的价格或者边际价格是上涨中还是下降中?)

§  How is the competition in that market changing? For example, which new competitors are entering or who else is looking to exit?

竞争在市场变化下是怎么的?比如,哪些新的竞争对手进入市场?哪些想要退出竞争?

§  Contact the local industry association if there is one (for example, if you were looking at a tourism business you could talk to the  Tourism Industry Association). 联系你当地的行业联盟组织。比如你打算投资旅游行业,那你可以和旅游行业联盟谈谈。

If the business is not making a profit, try to uncover the 'fatal flaw'. For example, it is not a good investment to set up a cafe in a location where three other food and beverage businesses have gone bust.

如果你的生意不能赢利,试图找到“致命原因”。比如,在一个已经有三个小食品和饮料店已经破产了的地方,建立一个咖啡店。这是一个不良的投资。

§  Detailed due diligence (细节调查)

Once you have indicated that you're interested in buying the business, you can usually get access to more detailed information after signing a Heads of Agreement, or confidentiality statement. For detailed due diligence, we recommend you do the following.

一旦你明确了你感兴趣的生意后,在签属完保密协议之后,你将有机会看到关于此生意更细节的信息和材料,对于细节调查,建议您做下面的工作:

Contact some customers and ask them (联系客户并向他们提问)

§  Who is their main contact at the business? If their main contact turns out to be the owner, his continued involvement will be more valuable.

谁是他们在此生意上主要的联系人,如果是卖家本人,卖家在未来的生意中还将扮演有价值的角色。

§  What is good and bad about the business's products or services?

产品和服务最大的优点和缺点各是什么?

§  Do they use competitors? If so, what are their comparative advantages?

他们是否也在使用其它同类产品,如果是的,这个生意中的产品和服务的比较优势是什么?

§  What will the customer's future demand be for the business's products or services?

客户在产品和服务上,未来的需求是什么?

Ask suppliers for their views (向供应商询问他们的建议)

§  Does the business pay on time? (这个店按时缴费吗?)

§  How does it compare with competitors? (这个店跟其它店相比怎么样?)

Analyse historical information and trends (分析历史的数据和趋势)

§  Look at sales growth, profit margins, overheads and working capital (debtors, creditors, stock and work-in-progress).

看一下销售成长记录、边际收益、日常管理费用、运营成本 (应收、应付、库存、半成品)

§  Is there scope for improvement? 还有什么改进的空间吗?

Check for inconsistencies (检查不一致的地方)

§  Has the business recently changed its accounting policy (for example, on stock valuation) to show better profits? 这个店在最近有没有改变过作帐习惯,比如,对在库商品的价值评估上有没有想展示出更好的收益这种情况?

§  Compare the business's financial projections with other evidence you have. Do they tally with the historical trends? For example, are the debtor payment periods and the bad debt provisions realistic?

把这个生意的财务状况预期与你所掌握的资料做个比较。看看他们是否符合历史发展趋势?比如,支付期限和坏账准备金(坏账费用)是否真实?

§  Is the sales forecast achievable, given the current order book and the customer statements? 销售预期可达到吗? 看一看现在的预定本和客户表单。

§  Does it reflect the outlook for the industry and the whole economy? 这个生意是否可以反映出此行业的前景以及整个经济的前景。

You may need to revise any projections that are out-of-step with these indicators.

你可能需要根据这些不合拍的表像去修改你的那些规划。

Check up on major balance sheet items (仔细查看财务报表)

§  When was the last full audit? If it was over six months ago, do another one.

上一次全面审计是什么时候?如果已超过半年请重新做一个。

§  What are stock levels? Rising stock levels may be a dangerous sign, especially in manufacturing, seasonal or fashion industries.

库存级别是怎样的?库存数量的上升是可怕的事,特别是在生产加工行业,季节性行业和时尚市场。

§  How large are the bad debts? 坏账有多大?

Employee audit (员工审计)

Consider an employee audit if you are allowed access to the business. 如果你被允许深入进入到这个生意,你可以考虑员工审计。

§  Identify the key employees so you can plan how to run the business.

认清谁是核心的雇员,你可以因此计划你如何去接管这个生意。

§  Assess the general skill levels, employee turnover and pay, compared with industry averages. 评估一下技能水平,员工流动情况和薪金;同行业的平均水平进行比较。

§  How do the employees feel about a change of ownership? 换雇主,员工会有怎么的影响和想法?

§  Would you expect any to leave? If so, would the key people stay?

是不是有雇员计划离开,如果是这样,你有什么办法可以留住人。

Complete a legal due diligence (完成合法性调查)

§  Confirm legal ownership of all key assets. This might include property, equipment, vehicles and intellectual property (such as registered patents, designs and trade marks).

确认所有要购买资产的合法归属性。可能包括房产、设备、汽车、知识产权、专利和注册商标。

§  Check for any past, current or pending lawsuits. 查一下过去、现在或者正在等待的法律诉讼。

§  Examine all contractual obligations. This includes employment agreements (including any superannuation), and contracts with third parties such as customers and suppliers. Look for contingent liabilities.

检查所有的合同义务。这个可能包括,雇佣协议(包括任何形式的退休金)、与第三方的协议,比如客户、供应商。查一下或有债务。

§  Consider what effect a change of ownership will have. Some contracts may be lost as a result.

考虑一下换企业法人会带来其它的影响。有些合同可能会失效。

§  Making an initial offer

Before you make an offer, get professional advice to help you value the business (especially if there are any tax implications). Make your own sales and profit projections rather than relying on supplied figures. If you can't identify where savings can be made, and where there is scope to increase profits, then you shouldn't be buying the business. The fact that you have ideas on how to increase profits is your good fortune, so don't inflate the price you offer because of opportunities you have identified.

在你出价之前,从专业人士那里得来的建议将帮助你评估生意的商业价值(特别地,是否有任何的税收影响)。做一份你自己的销售和收益规划,而不是用别人提供的数据。事实上你了解如何增加利润是你的财运使然,因此不要因为看到机遇所在便肆意涨价、压价。

Consider your level of risk. Risk is higher if the target business:

考虑一下你的风险级别,如果有你的目标生意有以下情况,风险可能会更高:

§  Has an asset (stock and equipment) worth less than your offer price.

资产价值低于你的出价

§  Relies on one or two major customers (or contracts, or suppliers, or key employees). 依靠固定的一到两个主要客户(或者是合同,供应商或者是主要的雇员)

§  Is currently unprofitable, or has a history of losses. In this case, you may have to fund losses for some time to come. 现在就在赔钱,或者历史上赔过钱,这种情况,你可能需要花钱去弥补。

Though it sounds obvious, starting with a lower offer and increasing it if required is always a better strategy than going in high at the start.

Ultimately, the business is only worth what someone will pay for it. The seller might have to lower their expectations.

尽管看上去很明显,在起初,开始一个低价的生意,比起开一个高价的生意,是一个更好的发展战略。但是,最终,这个生意就是值人们愿意支付的那么多钱。卖家可能不得不降低他们的期望值。

Goodwill

Goodwill is an amount you might be expected to pay in recognition of the value of the business's intangible assets like loyal customers, high profit, great staff, good location, long lease, and supportive suppliers. Try to negotiate goodwill down to zero if you can. Paying for goodwill is not always required and it is better to agree to pay more for assets than pay goodwill because assets can be depreciated over time.

Goodwill是你要向卖家支付一定数额的钱,用于这个生意无形的资产,比如忠实的客户、高回报率、出色的伙计、好的地理位置、长期的租约、还有支持的供应商。试图去把goodwill谈到0,如果你可以的话。支付goodwill并不是总是必需的。最好还是多支付一些实物资产给卖家,因为有些资产随着时间的发展会有折旧产生。

Buy now, pay later (先买,后付)

You might want to ask the seller if they will consider 'buy now, pay later' options. Instead of paying a once-off lump sum, you'll pay them off over a couple of months or years. This arrangement allows you to pay using cash generated from the business itself, and hints at the confidence of the seller that their business will be able to fund repayments.

你可以向卖家要求,如果他们考虑先买,后付款这种选择。取代一次付全款,你在数月后或数年后付清所有的费用。 这种安排,允许你用生意本身产生的价值去支付,这也暗示了卖家对自己出售的生意有十足的信心。

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