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Buying A Business Via WIWO (Walk In Walk Out)

Garry Stephensen

Article Author: Garry Stephensen
Position: Managing Director
Read time: 5 mins

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What is WIWO? (Walk in Walk Out)

The Walk in Walk out (WIWO) method is a popular approach to buying a business in Australia, especially with retail SMEs in the food service industry. In a WIWO transaction, the buyer purchases a business and takes over its operations immediately, "walking in" to an established business and "walking out" with the keys to continued operation. This method simplifies the transition process by allowing the buyer to assume control of the business with its existing assets, inventory, and often, trained staff.

WIWO has gained significant traction in the Australian business broker market due to its streamlined nature. It appeals to both sellers looking for a quick exit and buyers seeking a straightforward transition into business ownership. The WIWO method offers a balance of convenience and immediacy, making it an attractive option for many entrepreneurs and investors.


How Does WIWO Work?

Understanding the Concept of Walk in Walk out
The WIWO method involves the sale of a business where the buyer acquires everything needed to continue operations immediately. This includes tangible assets like inventory, equipment, and furniture, as well as intangible assets like business licenses, customer databases, and goodwill.

Key Components of a WIWO Business Deal

  • Assets Included: Full range of business assets required for operation.
  • Transition Period: Immediate handover and training (if required).
  • Financial Settlement: Payment terms and conditions agreed upon by both parties.

View our track record of business sales.


Differences Between WIWO and Traditional Business Acquisitions

Unlike traditional business acquisitions, WIWO transactions bypass lengthy negotiations and due diligence processes. While this offers speed and convenience, it also requires buyers to be vigilant and thorough in their assessment of the business to mitigate risks.

Advantages of Buying a Business via WIWO

  • Immediate Business Operations
    One of the primary benefits of WIWO is the immediate commencement of business operations. This allows buyers to generate revenue from day one, reducing the downtime typically associated with starting a new venture.

  • Simplified Transition Process
    WIWO eliminates the complexities often associated with business acquisitions. With everything in place, buyers can focus on running the business rather than navigating the intricacies of transition and setup.

  • Potential Cost Savings
    By purchasing a business "as is," buyers can avoid additional expenses related to setting up a new business from scratch, such as leasing a space, purchasing equipment, and recruiting staff.

  • Reduced Due Diligence Time
    While due diligence is essential, WIWO can expedite the process since the business is sold with its existing operations, financials, and customer base, reducing the time and effort required for evaluation.

Challenges and Risks

  • Lack of Comprehensive Due Diligence
    The expedited nature of WIWO can sometimes result in inadequate due diligence. Buyers must ensure they conduct thorough investigations to identify any hidden liabilities or issues that could impact the business's viability. If the seller is selling the business with an existing lease in place, the terms and conditions of the lease must be taken into consideration.

  • Hidden Liabilities and Risks
    Without proper scrutiny, buyers may inherit undisclosed liabilities, such as outstanding debts, legal disputes, or operational challenges, which can significantly affect the business's profitability and sustainability.

  • Overvaluation Concerns
    Given the convenience of WIWO, sellers may sometimes overvalue their businesses. Buyers should be cautious and seek professional valuation to ensure they are paying a fair price for the business.


Tips and Tricks

  • Conducting Thorough Due Diligence
    Prioritize due diligence to assess the business's financial health, market position, and operational efficiency. Engage professionals, such as accountants and legal advisors, to assist in the evaluation process.

  • Negotiating the Best Deal
    Negotiate terms that are favourable to your interests, including price, payment terms, and transitional support from the seller. Being prepared and informed can give you a stronger position in negotiations.

  • Seeking Professional Advice
    Engage experienced business brokers and advisors familiar with the Australian market to guide you through the WIWO process. Their expertise can help you navigate complexities and make informed decisions.

  • Understanding the Business Operations and Financials
    Gain a clear understanding of the business's operations, customer base, and financial performance. This insight will enable you to identify growth opportunities and potential challenges, ensuring a smoother transition post acquisition.


WIWO Example

Business Profile: Sydney Café

A popular café located in Sydney's bustling CBD was recently sold via WIWO. The café had a loyal customer base, a prime location, and a well established brand in the local market.

The owner decided to sell due to personal reasons and approached a reputable business broker to facilitate the WIWO transaction. The seller had successfully operated the café for five years, establishing a strong reputation for quality and service.

The WIWO deal included the café's assets, inventory, customer database, and existing staff. The buyer took over the business immediately, benefiting from a seamless transition and ongoing support from the seller during the handover period.

The successful sale of the Sydney café via WIWO highlighted the importance of thorough due diligence, transparent communication between parties, and professional guidance from experienced business brokers. Both the seller and buyer expressed satisfaction with the transaction, underscoring the effectiveness and benefits of the WIWO method when executed correctly.


Buying a Business via WIWO (Walk in Walk Out) Method: A Guide for the Australian Market


Recap

WIWO offers a convenient and efficient way to acquire a business in Australia, providing immediate access to established operations and potential cost savings. However, buyers must exercise caution and diligence to mitigate risks and ensure a successful transition.

For aspiring entrepreneurs and investors in the Australian market, the WIWO method can be an attractive option for acquiring a business. By understanding its workings, benefits, and challenges, and by seeking professional guidance, buyers can navigate the WIWO process effectively and embark on a rewarding business ownership journey.

View our track record of business sales.


FAQs

  • What types of businesses are suitable for WIWO?
    WIWO is suitable for various types of businesses, including retail shops, cafes, restaurants, and small service based businesses where immediate takeover and continuity are feasible.

  • How to verify the legitimacy of a WIWO sale?
    Verify the legitimacy of a WIWO sale by conducting thorough due diligence, reviewing financial records, assessing business operations, and seeking references from the seller's customers and suppliers.

  • Can WIWO be combined with other acquisition methods?
    Yes, WIWO can be combined with other acquisition methods, such as asset purchase or stock purchase, depending on the specific terms and conditions agreed upon by the parties involved.


For further information on buying a business via WIWO in Australia, consult reputable Sydney business brokers such as Lloyds, industry associations, accountants and professional advisors specializing in business acquisitions.


Business Broker - Garry Stephensen

Garry
Managing Director
Business Broker - Karen Dado

Karen
Director NSW
Business Broker - Geoffrey Tulett

Geoffrey
Lloyds Corporate Partner - Mergers & Acquisition Specialist
Business Broker - Edward Alder

Edward
Director Victoria
Business Broker - Kevin L Sutherland

Kevin
Director International Business Sales
Business Broker - Dianne Reynolds

Dianne
Research Director and Corporate Broker

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