MANY PEOPLE ARE OFTEN confused whether to buy a business or start their own.  However, with the recent economic downturn, many individuals have opted to purchase pre-existing businesses, as opposed to starting one from scratch.  When buying a business, individuals should keep a number of factors in mind and consider the commitment.  While people know what they enjoy, many people don’t know the types of businesses that they can best run.  Consequently, it is critical for the buyer to consider the type of business which he or she can best afford and run successfully.

The individual should also consider a number of factors; for starters, the individual should consider whether he or she is experienced to run the business.  Not own—run. Similarly, the individual should consider whether he or she has the time to give adequate attention to the business.  Other aspects that should be considered include the ability to work under pressure, the ability to work with different people, and the ability to anticipate significant financial losses that the business may face in the future.  

Furthermore, it is wise for the person to consider the reason for buying the business as individuals buy businesses for various reasons.  An individual may buy a business to earn a serious living, or a person may buy a business as a hobby. Whatever the reason of buying the business, it is imperative for the individual to purchase a business in an industry which he or she is interested in.  Another important aspect to consider when buying a business is the affordability.  One thing to keep in mind is that the sale price of the business is only the beginning. As opposed to business startups that might take a while to get off the ground, when you buy a currently existing business, you have to be ready to hit the ground running because once you sign the papers and turn the key, that business (and all of its expenses) now belong to you.

There are different payment options that are commonly found in business brokerage.  Consequently, the buyer should strive to buy a business with a flexible payment plan.  Similar to buying a home, the down payment amount and interest rate are considerable factors. Having a good credit score will increase the chances of buying the business.  Another important aspect arising in payment is the type of collateral to be used.  There are different types of collateral that the individual can use to buy the business.  Moreover, the buyer should consider whether he or she has other sources of income to help the business along, if need be.

Most importantly, before purchasing a business, the buyer should seriously evaluate the type of skills that he or she has.  These skills can go a long way in determining a suitable type of business.  Other aspects that the individual should consider about his or her skills include specific qualifications required, business sectors that match the individual’s skills, and the style of management that the person will use.  Considering the impact that the business will have on the owner’s lifestyle is vital.  To this end, the person buying a business should consider purchasing an outfit which will not drain his or her financial resources.  

The turnover of the business should also be taken into account.  Ask yourself: why is this business for sale? Maybe the seller is selling because they’ve realized that the market in that area will not bear the type of business that is required to stay in operation. If that’s the case, it’s best for you to walk away because if the market won’t bear it, there isn’t much you can do. If the current owner is retiring or you feel like they didn’t manage it well and it can still be profitable under your management, then feel free to proceed. However, a lot of hidden dangers can exist in a business that is for sale.