- Understand your current financial situation and resources thoroughly.
- Be prepared to move through the process at a good pace but without skipping steps. For instance, don't plan a 2 week vacation in the middle of the process.
- Understand that being in business has risks, few of which are as risky as having a job, but risks none the less. You will not buy a quality business without some risk.
- Be prepared to spend money for good advice from people who are experts (not your buddy at the country club who once bought a margarita machine to rent).
- Look at businesses that need skills you have, not just businesses that "seem like they'd be fun to own". Your skills will determine the biz future, match your skills with the right business.
- Don't assume everyone is out to cheat you. You can find reputable people to deal with.
- Don't let your emotions run wild. This is a arduous process that rewards discipline and a stick to it attitude.
- Don't fail to listen, you night actually learn something.
- Don't be afraid to admit what you don't know.
- Don't assume the seller is your adversary. Experience has proven that the buyers who get the best price and terms on a deal are the buyers who treated sellers with respect and courtesy. You can say no in a good way or a bad way, choose the good way.