Purchasing the Perfect Business is Worth the Wait
Reinhart invests in Man's best friend
When purchasing your own business, determining what type is the first step and sometimes the most difficult. But for Derrick and Kaitlyn Reinhart, that was the easy part. Both have a passion for animals and knew they wanted to someday own a dog day care and grooming business. Derrick grew up in Atkinson, NE surrounded by livestock and wanted to combine that love with owning a business. In fact, Derrick wrote a business plan for a dog day care after graduating from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. However, finding a location proved difficult and much too costly to do a start-up. So when Dogtopia Boarding, Daycare, & Spa in Omaha went up for sale, the Reinhart’s called right away.
They began the process in November 2015 hoping for a quick, two or three month close. Unfortunately a number of obstacles came up. The franchise was undergoing a change in ownership itself, creating additional documents that needed to be submitted and approved, which added months onto the process. The structure of the loan also took some time since the business didn’t have a lot of liquid assets. Additionally, after submitting fingerprints for the background check, which take up to a month to have approved, one of Derrick’s prints was smudged, adding another month of waiting on top of it all. “It was a waiting game,” he said. “But worth it.”
"This is a business based on trust. Pets are family members, so they want to know they're in good hands."
The Reinharts finally closed on their dream business in May 2016. They spent a week in Phoenix training with the franchise, then spent another several weeks just working at the front of the store meeting the families and their pets. “Clients knew the business had been sold, so we wanted to reassure them that nothing was going to change,” Derrick said. “This is a business based on trust. Pets are family members, so they want to know they’re in good hands.”
All staff remained in place, with a majority of the changes simply being transitional, such as informing vendors of the new ownership. Kaitlyn also works a full time job at Con Agra but spends all of her extra time helping at Dogtopia. Both she and Derrick put in 80 hours a week each to ensure the new business is running smoothly. And now that they’re a couple months into it, they’re feeling settled in and very pleased with its progress.
Even better is the fact that the new franchise owners share the same vision for the business as the Reinhart’s. “We’ve met with them numerous times, and their plans for the future aligns with what we envisioned for the business,” Derrick said. “It’s even the same as what I had included in my original business plan out of college.” Their goal is to improve the existing business the best they can while earning and retaining customers’ trust and loyalty, which is why Derrick and Kaitlyn spend so much time at the front of the store, rather than just in the back office.
"Make sure it's a business you love. It might be appealing at first, but six months down the road when the newness wears off, you still have to love it,:
They also want to learn as much as possible as business owners so they could potentially apply it to growing the current business or even expand to additional business opportunities. But Derrick’s favorite aspect of being a business owner is seeing the pets every day. “They’re always happy, and no matter what kind of day you’re having, they will put a smile on your face,” he said. “It’s what made the long purchase process worth the wait.”
His advice to other business owners looking to purchase is to make sure it’s a business you can love, and not just to make a purchase for the cash flow it can bring in. “It might be appealing at first, but six months down the road when the newness wears off, you still have to love it,” he said. Working with The Firm made that long process easier for the Reinhart’s. They felt The Firm helped to keep things moving forward as quickly as possible, with good communication all along the way. And in the end, they are very happy with where they’re at. Derrick’s favorite quote sums up his experience perfectly: “If you don’t go after your own dreams, somebody will gladly pay you to go after theirs.”
The Firm Deal Review
Offer to Closing: Over 6 months
Customer Base: Over 3,200
Loan Type: SBA
Lender: Mutual First Credit Union, Randy Bauer