If you’re hoping to break into the world of business, there are two ways in which to get started: either starting one from scratch or buying a business from another owner. By no means are either of the two options a simple choice to make - any savvy entrepreneur will need to weigh the pros and cons of each before making a formal decision. However, buying a business can often be slightly easier than fostering a start-up, purely due to the risks involved in setting up your own company right from the very beginning.
Research and knowledge are key regardless of the route you choose to take, and if you are vying to be a successful business owner someday, it is imperative that you are knowledgeable about the industry and business arena that you are looking to enter.
Below, we explore some of the reasons as to why we think buying a business is a better option to starting one, regardless of which path of becoming a business owner you may follow.
The customers are already there
A business would cease to exist if it weren’t for its customers, and one of the biggest perks of acquiring an existing business is that it will come with its own customer list and industry contacts - already well established. Taking over an already-running company will allow you to tap into its customer base and build relationships with individuals within the industry who are already familiar with the enterprise you have taken on. No doubt, this will give you the opportunity to forge stronger relationships, and expand your reach to markets that haven’t yet been explored.
Making sure that the company’s existing customers and clients are well looked after will ensure that business continues as normal and generates expected revenues, while you explore further options for growth and expansion.
The staff come, too
Yet again, a business is nothing if not for the people who keep it running. And with an existing set of employees acquired as part of the business deal, you can rest assured that it will be business as usual without any disruptions unless you, as the new owner, choose to make changes.
Not only are staff experienced and know the ins and outs of the company, but they also come armed with knowledge and industry insights - invaluable insight - that can help you formulate a new business strategy and fresh goals. With a staff already established, you can push the business forward without any interruptions and take advantage of their experience, whilst also assessing where training and education may be required to facilitate new growth.
The financial situation
Securing finance is significantly easier when an existing business is concerned, as opposed to a business plan and idea. Banks and lenders will view start-ups as higher risk, whilst an established company with a working business model will attract more favourable attention in turn.
This is fundamentally due to the fact that an existing business will tangibly demonstrate that it can generate an income, giving lenders enough proof that money can be paid back when required. Investment can also be put towards growth and new resources right from the get-go, as a result.
In addition to this, taking over a business will ensure that you are given an immediate income, whilst a start-up will require a buffer period before really taking off to start seeing returns.
As mentioned previously, the risk attached to start-up companies is significantly higher than it is for an established business. We said that a business is nothing without its customers, and with a running company, it’s tried and tested that you will have access to a customer base. Whereas, with a new company, your clients are largely unknown, consequently putting your financial position in a precarious state.
With an up-and-running firm, branding, reputation, customers and finances are already there for you to work with; the risk is merely with what you choose to do next as a business owner, and not with what you have taken as a result of the acquisition process.
Starting a business may be your ultimate goal and passion, but if you do not have an original idea or business support, a start-up may not be a viable option. However, with websites like BizSale and Business Sale Report, there are thousands of businesses listed for sale and ready for purchase - the research you are therefore required to do is merely to see which one suits your needs and strategies going forward. The foundation work has already been done for you, and choosing the right business to take on is down to you and the kind of business owner you aspire to be going forward.