Post by Richard Parker, President of The Business For Sale Buyer Resource Center™ and author of How To Buy A Good Business At A Great Price©
It’s amazing how we see an immediate increase in our business right after the December holidays and the day after every long weekend. The former may be many “New Year’s Resolutioners” as I call them, and the latter is because most people dread the thought of going back to their job after an extended weekend. So, let’s pretend it’s the holidays right now, and sing to yourself: “All I want for Christmas is a…. business of my own…”
If you have any desire to be in business for yourself, then now’s the time to make your move! In fact, there has never been a better time to take that step. So this year, buy yourself the greatest gift of all – a business of your own!
Over the past year, I’ve met and spoken with thousands of people worldwide who have reached the point where they’ve said: “enough is enough!” Most hate their jobs. They are terribly uncertain about the future. They’re tired of busting their butt with little or no thanks and they’ve finally realized that controlling their own destiny is what they truly want from their career.
The market itself for would-be entrepreneurs is exploding, regardless of what the so-called “experts” may say about the economy. In prior times, when mass layoffs took place, displaced workers simply adopted the strategy of looking for another job. Unfortunately, jobs are not plentiful today. If you’ve spent anytime looking for a job, you know how frustrating, humiliating and time-consuming the process can be, with no results.
If you are one of the lucky ones to still be employed, instead of waiting around for your company to let you go because they had one bad quarter and now want to save their way ahead at your expense, take control of your future and fire your boss!! This is going to be YOUR year!
I can assure you from my own personal experience that, if you have the desire to be your own boss, it’s something that is within your reach. Moreover, with a few right moves, you’ll accomplish your goal within six months or so.
The Best Investment You Will Ever Make
When buying a business, you can and should expect to make at least 25%-33% return on your cash investment. Plus, you will have the opportunity to produce a steady personal cash flow, and you’ll be building value that will pay you handsomely when the day arrives to sell the business.
Many people wrongly believe that acquiring a business is a risky investment. Personally, I think that putting your fate in someone else’s hands has a heck of a lot more risk to it. While there is some inherent risk buying a business, much, if not all, can be eliminated simply by doing your research beforehand on any business you consider purchasing.
It’s funny, but “The New Year’s Resolutioners” are typically people who said the same thing last year and most probably will do so again next holiday season. My father-in-law has a better name for them: he calls them: “gonnas”… they’re ‘gonna‘ do this, they’re ‘gonna‘ do that, yet another year passes and they do nothing.
Don’t join that crowd; it’s a one-way ticket nowhere. You can set everything in place to right now and with a few simple steps, you’ll be on your way:
Step One: Educate Yourself – no matter what type of career you have, nothing you’ve ever done has prepared you for this process. Even if you’re in charge of corporate acquisitions, you’re now playing with your money and future and it’s a whole different mindset. Many people wrongly confuse their confidence to run a business with their inexperience to buy a good business. As such, devour as much information as possible about buying a business. Personally, I am biased about how you can become a business-buying expert so please excuse this shameless plug for my course How To Buy A Good Business At A Great Price© which you can review at http://www.diomo.com . Truthfully, it’s an incredible tool, so check it out. Regardless, you must get educated!
Step Two: Take the time to properly assess your strengths and weaknesses. Take an honest inventory of yourself. Your goal is to buy the right business. The guiding principal is this: “whatever it is that you do best must be the single most important driving factor of any business you consider purchasing.” Don’t try to be something you’re not. It’s fine to learn a new skill when you’re working for someone, on their dime, but not at your expense.
Step Three: Put together your “laundry list” of what you want in a business. Be specific. Don’t say: “I want it to make a lot of money.” Rather, identify the characteristics it must have. For me it’s simple. Any business I buy must be: sales/marketing-driven, contain an element of exclusivity (either in product or territory), have high margins as I don’t want/like to sell a product or service based on price,) and there must be demand for the product or service the business offers (creating demand is way too expensive). Assemble your five-point list, and do not stray from it. This must be the litmus test that you put every business through. If any business does not subscribe to your rules – don’t buy it!
Step Four: Get the word out – you may not want to tell your boss, but let everyone else in your circle know your plans. This serves two purposes: it will generate leads, and it will put a little pressure on you to make it happen.
Step Five: Set a timeline: sticking to a timeline is critical. Each year seems to go faster than the last one. Don’t allow yourself to be in the same position next year. Six months from today you should be in your own business. Take a blank sheet of paper and write on it with a big black marker, “I’m buying a business within 12 months of ____ (today’s date). Post it in a place where you will see it every morning, and, if possible, throughout each day. I would even suggest that you make it the personalized message on your cellular phone, PDA or daily agenda.
Step Six: Above all, get into the game. Search businesses-for-sale listings. The BizBuySell website is an ideal place to conduct your search. Don’t get overly analytical in the early stages. Arrange meetings at potential businesses. Don’t be afraid to make offers.
Step Seven: Enjoy your success!
Richard Parker is President of Diomo Corporation – The Business Buyer Resource Center™ (www.diomo.com) and has personally purchased eleven businesses since 1990. He is the author of the most widely used reference resources and strategy guides for buying a business for sale – the How To Buy A Good Business At A Great Price© series. His materials are used by prospective business buyers in over 80 countries.