Purchasing a Small Business - Introduction

Hold on just a cotton pickin’ second..

Are you sure you want to be buying someone else’s small business and not just start your own small business from scratch? After all, no matter how good that small business you are considering buying might appear to be, nobody’s perfect. There’s got to be things they do that will have to be changed; methods that just do not make any sense, except to the guy who put them in place probably a hundred years ago; and things that are a big waste of time, or money or both and that you are going to have to remedy by creating all sorts of new, improved and up-to-date procedures and methods that will streamline the entire operation. And, just when you get it all sorted out and perfect, you’ll be ready to retire yourself and let some other hot-shot entrepreneur take it over so that they can fix all the things you fixed their way.

There is wisdom in both approaches. Starting a business enterprise from scratch could probably be compared step-for-step and dollar-for-dollar and there would be pluses and minuses on both sides of the ledger. Which ever way you choose to go, a hundred years from now, ask yourself, will it make a difference? Perhaps it will not. But, right now, a lot of what you are weighing and trying to sort out as “the way to go” for you is going to be very much dependant on your personality, your ability to learn new things and facility with numbers and rules. Probably the most important courses you can take to prepare yourself for owning a business, no matter which way you come to own it, are accounting and a course in salesmanship.

Every business eventually is reduced to accounting procedures for both compliance requirements and in order to be able to discern whether the business is making the progress the owners are expecting it to be making over a certain period of time. The salesmanship is not just for interfacing with potential customers. It is for dealing with everyone; customers, vendors, employees, officials, friends and even family members. Sure, the boss can say, “Do it this way.” But, how much more effective one can be in bringing about things being done the way you want them to be done if the person doing them “buys into” the way you want them to be done instead of doing them in a certain way just because you said to do them that way? It can make all the difference in the world.

SBNS Advertisement Column