Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Buyer’s... take an honest inventory of skills

I’ve written a few times about the benefits of buying an existing business rather than starting a new one. 

By purchasing an existing business you can dramatically minimize the risks associated with starting one from scratch.   Existing businesses have a proven track record of profits, they may have a well-known brand, name, location, product mix, etc, and an established customer base for immediate cash flow.  Many new start-up businesses don’t make it through their first birthday and fewer make it to their 5th anniversary. 

Whether your decision is to buy or start a business, I can suggest a few things that will help to ensure that you will be happy with your decision.

First, get a solid understanding of your financial situation.  While financing may be available, it is imperative that all aspiring entrepreneurs know how much money they are prepared to invest.  Plus, and perhaps more importantly, how much they expect to make. 

Second, take an honest inventory of your skills, knowledge and interests.  Things such as, do you enjoy interacting with people or are you more comfortable behind a desk?  Do you like being the leader, making decisions and managing people?  Do you have some technical expertise or talents that you can leverage?

Finally, one of the keys to a successful business is finding the right business for your personality. Adapted from Rhonda Abrams’ book, What Business Should I Start?  The E-Type Test will show you what of nine E-Type personality traits and working styles you identify with. Answer all the questions and your E-Type will be displayed in a pie chart. More information will be displayed as you mouse over the results.

Once you complete steps 1-3 start your search by scheduling an appointment with a business broker.  They can show a buyer a variety of businesses that are legitimately interested in selling and help them through the purchase process.  With plenty of businesses to choose from in today’s market, it is more important than ever to make sure that their efforts remain focused on choosing the right business for them.

Do you have small business questions you would like answered about this article or others?  Please visit www.VRWindsor.com or call 519-903-7807. 
William Sivell is a sales representative of VR Windsor Inc., Business Brokerage; his blog appears every Tuesday.


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