Don’t set yourself up to hate your new business.
This one happens more than it should. A prospective buyer calls a business broker and asks for “any business that makes money” – a colossal mistake.
Business ownership is tough. It usually requires long hours, a fair amount of grit, resilience and enough passion for what you’re doing to sustain you long term. Sure, entrepreneurs own businesses so they can make money, but the making money part can’t be the only thing keeping you in the game. You have to have a business you won’t hate that allows you to maintain a life you don’t hate or there’s no way this path will be sustainable.
If you call a good broker and ask for any business that makes money they should immediately tell you you’re approaching the process from the wrong direction.
Here’s a better approach:
Why do you want to own your own business? Is it because you have a deep passion for something? Is it because you’re tired of working for someone else and want to be your own boss? Do you want your own business so you can be more in control of your schedule? Are you looking to incorporate members of your family into the business so you can work together? These broad, sweeping questions about your motivation for business ownership are very important. If you are buying a business because you want to have more control over your schedule (so you can spend more time with your kids) a large restaurant that requires you to work 7 days a week isn’t going to give you the flexibility to be the soccer coach for your kid’s team. A different type of business could. This initial soul-searching of sorts is critical for deciding what your most important goals for business ownership are and then focusing only on businesses that will fit those goals.
Once you have some goals and priorities in place – what are you good at? What kinds of practical experience do you have that could help you with your new business? Going back to the restaurant example above – if you’ve never worked so much as a minute in the restaurant industry you are going to have an almost impossibly hard time owning and running a large restaurant. The learning curve for an entrepreneur is a steep one, and if you add learning a whole new industry to the mix you are setting yourself up to to fail in spectacular fashion. Tell your broker about your education and experience. When combined with your goals information about your experience can be used to find great businesses that will set you up for success.
Have you always wanted to own your own business but aren’t sure what type would meet your goals and fit with your experience? Do you have questions about businesses currently on the market? Ask us! Leave any questions or comments here and we would be happy to help.