On March 14, 2014, I was given the opportunity to purchase Creative Printing. My uncle’s family had owned the business for 25 years, and they decided it was time to move on to new ventures. The date was July 1, 2014, the day my family signed the paperwork to finalize the transaction … and we were off and running. The process of purchasing Creative Printing was not easy, but I was very fortunate to have a team of experts.
It takes a banker, one in a quality financial organization that believes in the direction you are going. The largest mistake you can make is not having a good partner in your lending institution. I needed to be able to walk into their office and talk about a very private matter and feel confident they have my back. I can honestly say I have walked into that office with my head down feeling like the train has left the tracks and walked out with a renewed attitude to reach our goals. Remember your banker has seen and experienced everything you are going though, better and worse, so lean on that expertise. If you don’t have that with your financial institution, find a different one. That doesn’t mean find one that will loan you more money, find one that believes in you and can help you structure a successful plan.
You’ll need an accountant that has your business and personal goals laid out in front of them. They need to know where you are going. You cannot hit a target if you don’t have one. Similar to my banking partner, I can walk into my accountant’s office yell, scream and cuss about what is happening. She looks at me while telling me of a similar situation she just handled for someone else, and it all works out. If you don’t have that with your accountant, find a new one. You will want your accountant to be honest with you about how things are going in your business. Great, good, or bad, they have to be able to look you in the eye and say this is working or this isn’t working and we need to fix this.
The question that needs a strong answer when purchasing an existing business is “Why is the seller selling?” I was certainly fortunate that I knew the seller. They were selling because they reached a different stage in their life; they weren’t trying to jump out of a sinking ship. If I was not purchasing from family and known the business, I would have had to have a solid answer to that question. Do your homework with your accountant and banker. Let your experts help you be honest with the answer. It is easy to let the emotion and excitement of a new business drive your decision, so trust your experts’ advice.
I could go on for pages about the team it takes to make our business work. My uncle’s family helping us avoid pit falls, employees with 30+ years’ experience, vendors bringing new ideas, equipment repairmen that understand how important it is to keep things running. The list feels endless.
Our staff at Creative Printing has years of experience in the printing business. I am a third generation print shop owner. We have the best of the best working here. Some of them, since before I was in high school. We are great at the printing business. We are not great at the banking business. We are not great at the accounting business. That is why we hire others in those areas. Our philosophy is do what we do well, and trust the experts to do what they do well. It allows us to focus on our products and customers instead of being bogged down by something we are not equipped to handle. Good luck!