Thursday, March 8, 2012

How to Find a Business to Buy

One of the first lessons any savvy business person learns is that you’ve got to spend money to make money. The question then becomes how can you effectively spend your money or the money of your investors? This is where the issue of buying an established business comes into play. There are many advantages with finding a business that is already up any running because a staff and management structure might already be in place. The same can be said for any equipment required to run the business whether it’s a salon, gym or real estate agency. Having these elements in place can limit your initial expenditures but that doesn’t mean every turnkey business is going to be a perfect fit for your specific entrepreneurship interests. Consider these questions to ask yourself when looking for the best business to buy.

1.      What Are Your Viable Skill Sets?

The restaurant landscape is littered with dozens, if not hundreds, of failed restaurants that have collapsed merely because the new owner had no clue what they were getting into. Just because you have always fancied owning a place where “everybody knows your name” doesn’t mean you are suited for the restaurant business. On the other hand, a small fast food franchise could be the perfect business if you have a knack for management and bookkeeping. Those franchises are ready made with a textbook of valuable instructions to follow that will insure you can meet the obligations of the brand. There is no need for “out of the box” thinking to drum up business with a national franchise.

If you have strong “people” skills then you might benefit from buying a business that requires a lot of customer service and/or sales calls. If your talents are more of the “back office” sort then clearly you don’t want to have a business where you’ll need to become the face of the company. Always lead with your strength.

2.      What Effect Will This Business Have On Your Home Life?

Starting a new family might not be the best time to start a new business. The pressures on both sides of that equation could create fault lines that result in too much stress. Buying a new business means you’ll have to devote a serious amount of time and effort, especially in the start up phase. Entrepreneurship goes hand in hand with sacrifice. You might have to forgo a vacation or hanging out with the boys for poker night while you get things running. If you’re not willing to devote that time, you might not be ready to invest in a new business.

3.      Where to Find the Right Business?

Throughout the year, there are many franchise trade conventions held all around the country. These expos are a great place to find many potential business opportunities gathered in once place. Not only will you be able to meet franchise owners, but you can enter into some serious discussions with the franchise entities themselves. This is also the perfect environment to survey many options over the course of a single weekend. You might not leave with a business contract, but you’ll certainly leave with plenty of information to process.