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Use the following criteria to separate the serious buyers from window-shoppers. (Add up plus points, subtract minus points. The serious buyer will rate a 6 or above.)

Minus Point Factors

  • -4 needs outside financing (excluding home equity)
  • -4 been looking for 6 months or more
  • -3 no available cash
  • -3 still working in corporate world
  • -2 spouse not supportive of buying a business
  • -2 uses a legal pad or clipboard and takes too many notes
  • -2 feels leisurely about finding the “just-right” business
  • -1 now renting (although has lived in area for some time)
  • -1 under 25 or over 62

Plus Point Factors

  • +3 does not have a job or has just resigned
  • +3 understands that books and records are not the only indicators of value
  • +2 has enough money to buy a business
  • +2 no dependents
  • +2 family member or close relative has been a business owner
  • +2 willing to take the time to look without a lot of notice
  • +1 location is not a prime consideration
  • +1 age 25 to 62
  • +1 skilled worker or professional

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