Can your dream business actually make you happy?
Daydreams are fun, but daydreams about business ownership can turn into a nightmare when first-time business buyers try to force an unrealistic dream into reality.
What’s the most common daydream turned nightmare? Food service. Sure, you may have always thought it would be fun to run your own cafe or sit at the end of your own bar – but if you’ve ever watched the plethora of reality TV shows about restaurants or bars on the brink of failure – you may have noticed a common theme. The food service businesses in the most trouble were bought by people who had no idea what they were doing because they had never worked a day in the industry.
This is where it is important to confront your daydream with reality. Would you know what you were doing if you took over a bar tomorrow? What are you hoping to get from owning a cafe?
More financial freedom? A break from the 9 to 5 work schedule? The ability to love what you do for work? Probably, but here’s what you may not have considered.
Financial freedom is only going to come from a good deal of success in any industry, and that good deal of success is going to more than likely mean (at least initially) long hours for you as the owner. You will probably have to be at your bar or restaurant every day, and the hours will be long and likely run late into the night. These long hours and inconsistent (if any) days off can make even the most dedicated new owner burn out, meaning you will once again hate what you do for work.
How can you avoid having your dream turn into a nightmare? Be realistic and focus on your goals instead.
If you’ve never worked a single day in the industry you’re considering, then it’s probably a bad idea to buy into that industry. Business ownership has a sharp learning curve on it’s own, you don’t want to turn that learning curve into a cliff by trying an industry where you have no practical experience to fall back on.
You should choose a business based on the goals you have for owning a business. Do you need nights and weekends off because spending time with your kids is important? What would your ideal work schedule be? How much money will you need to make in order to sustain your lifestyle? What is a realistic amount of money you could invest in a business right now? Are you looking at owning a business for the long-haul or are you thinking more along the lines of serial entrepreneurship? These types of questions are going to very quickly narrow your focus to just those businesses that will fit with the life you’d like to have.
We aren’t saying no one should by a food service business. Perhaps the life you’d like to have totally matches with the life of a bar owner – what we are saying it’s incredibly important to figure that out long before you write a big check and someone hands you the keys.
Need help figuring out what businesses would fit with your entrepreneurial goals? Ask an experienced and qualified business broker. A discussion about what you’d like to get out of owning your own business is an all-important first step.
Have you always wanted to buy your own bar or restaurant, but now aren’t sure if that’s the right business for you? Would you like to know what types of businesses would fit your goals? Please ask us! Leave any questions or comments, we would be happy to help.