Ready to become an entrepreneur and work for yourself? How do you start the process of buying a business and decide what business would be right for you?
First, let’s look at how you SHOULDN’T start.
The majority of would-be entrepreneurs start their business search by perusing various online business listing sites for that dream businesses they’ve always seen themselves owning. While it may seem counter-intuitive at first, this is absolutely the wrong way to start.
How SHOULD you start?
Do some soul searching and talk to the people who care about you first. Trust us when we say that owning your own business is a life-encompassing affair. Those dream-state visions of running a business from the beach with a cold drink in your hand are extremely far-fetched. When you work for yourself, you work all the time. Nights, weekends, early mornings, few if any vacations – and you need to be ready to make that kind of commitment. If you think that type of life is the one for you because it allows you to fulfill your own destiny and make all of your blood, sweat and tears work for you instead of for someone else, that’s great. Now you need to clear this semi-extreme lifestyle with your spouse, your kids – anyone who you have a commitment with. If you are becoming a one-man shop and you used to work 9 to 5, it can be hard to balance your longer hours with your loved ones – especially if they are used to having you home for dinner and used to having you coach their little league team every spring.
Once you have the support of those you are closest to, you need to figure out what your goals for entrepreneurship are. Do you just want to make as much money as possible? Do you want to work in a specific industry that’s always been your dream and passion? Do you want a flexible schedule? Do you want to be home for dinner every night? Is it important to have weekends off? What financial goals do you have to meet in order to support yourself and your family? These questions will be pivotal in choosing what business will be right, both for your entrepreneurial goals and for your life.
Now that you have these basic questions answered, you need to get some professional help. Find and talk to a good business broker. A good broker will immediately ask you many of the same questions we just outlined above, and then they will use that information to help guide you to businesses that will meet those goals. Notice that we didn’t say a good broker will just ask you what type of business you are interested in and show you only that. As brokers who care about the success of our clients, it is in our best interest (and yours) if you succeed, as a healthy local small business market is our bread and butter. We will use the classic bar example. If a new buyer comes to us and says “I want to buy a bar“, we should be asking questions instead of just emailing every bar listing in the area. Has this new buyer ever worked in the restaurant industry? If not, then buying a bar will likely be a huge mistake. Starting off as a new business owner and trying to learn an entirely new industry at the same time is setting yourself up for an epic failure. Does this buyer have a family that wants or needs them home in the evenings? If so, then working every afternoon and into the night is going to cause more family upheaval then it’s worth.
Deciding on a small business is a very big decision, and will need to take into account a variety of factors. The best way to weed through the choices that are currently on the market is to first do some soul searching and then figure out what your business ownership goals are. You will also need to use the assistance of a business broker. A good broker will not only help you find businesses that would be right for you, they can help you narrow the field to those businesses that will help you fulfill your goals.
Have you always had a dream business in mind but aren’t sure it would fit your goals for business ownership? Would you like to know what businesses are available that would work with your family schedule? Ask us! Leave questions or comments here and we would be happy to help.