Buying a business? Congratulations on your start in the world of entrepreneurship! It’s hard work, but the benefits of owning your own business can absolutely outweigh the challenges – as long as you’ve set yourself up for success.
How can you get yourself off to the best start as a business owner?
Choose Something You Know
One of the most common mistakes new entrepreneurs make is they buy a business they know absolutely nothing about. For instance, if you’ve spent your whole career as a pharmaceutical salesman – you definitely shouldn’t buy a bar. Why not? Although it might seem like slinging a few beers isn’t that hard – the restaurant industry (or any industry where you have zero experience) can be impossibly tough. Do you know what your food and beverage costs should be to keep you in the black? Do you know enough about what it takes to be a good bartender so you can vet and hire the right staff or fill in when needed? Would you be able to tell if your current vendors are giving you the right stock and the best price? Probably not, and these are just a few points in the restaurant industry that can mean the difference between success and bankruptcy. Choose a business in an industry where you already know the ropes. Adding a brand-new industry to the already precipitously steep learning curve of business ownership is almost always a mistake.
Don’t Change Everything Right Away
Many entrepreneurs who buy an existing business walk into their new business on day one and decide they want to focus on something physical – like changing the color of the upholstery, buying new furniture or even a full renovation so they can make the space feel like their own. This a huge mistake and a big waste of resources. Why? You bought an existing business. That business has an already existing set of customers. Your mission in the first few months is twofold. One, don’t drive away your existing customers. Two, get as many new customers as you can. One surefire way to keep from accomplishing those two goals is to focus on physical things like aesthetics. Maybe the reason your new café is so popular is the regular clientele love the existing quaint atmosphere – redecorating to your sleek modern style might run them off. Instead, focus on building that customer base and take some time to learn why your current customers are there – before you make any changes.
Get yourself on the right path by buying a business you already know and don’t make any immediate changes.
Are you thinking about buying a business in an industry where you have no experience and want to know what other industries would fit with your specific skill set? Would you like to know more about how a new business owner can get new customers in the door? Ask us! Leave questions or comments here and we would be happy to help.