Should You Buy a Business? Is Entrepreneurship Right For You?
If you’re thinking about buying a business in Tucson or Southern Arizona, then you’re basically talking about becoming an entrepreneur. When you’re an entrepreneur, the buck stops with you, and you’re getting into a commitment that is much akin to adopting a baby in the sense that you have to be prepared not only emotionally and financially to meet your new baby’s needs, but you have to be ready to make the time commitment to provide for its every need until it is able to stand on its own. Even when your business is mature and can largely take care of itself, there will still be times when it needs something from you, just as a child would, no matter its age.
Before you buy a business in Tucson, here are a couple of important questions to contemplate:
1. Do you feel a strong passion for the business you plan to buy? No matter which way you slice it or dice it, acquiring a new business is a challenge. For almost every business buyer, the time will inevitably come when you will question whether or not you made the right decision. Even the thorough due diligence that your business broker will assist you in performing can not anticipate the types of challenges you will face, which could include long nights, struggles with customers and staff, and lower profits than you may have expected. Since you would be become the chief salesperson for any business you buy, it’s important to ask yourself whether you feel a strong enthusiasm for the products / services the business offers. Whether you’re sellling handmade artisanal products, operating a franchise, or providing a service that you personally perform, your enthusiasm can and will make an important difference when it comes to attracting customers, partners and investors. Why get into a business that you don’t feel that passion for, when a genuine and lasting interest in a business can make all the difference and be what gets you through the tough times long after the initial enthusiasm of buying a business has faded.
2. How much risk are you comfortable with? For some would-be entrepreneurs, quitting their day job is challenging enough. Signing a lease, drawing down savings and wading deeper and deeper into the commitment to run a business means a steadily increasing diet of risk. How much risk are you ready to take? Think of all the successful Tucson restaurants that started small, in a single location, and have grown into househould names over the years. Eegees, Baggins, Guadalajara Grill, El Guero Canelo are just a few that come to mind in a tough business. Their founders had to be willing to take the leap and figure it out day after day as they launched a new concept in a tough market. Any number of circumstances could have, and probably have, arisen along the way that could have caused them to fail: picking a location ended up to not be ideal, problems with city liquor licenses or food inspectors, insufficient parking, theft or embezzlement by staff, unexpected supplier price increases, and the list of potential risks could go on and on. If you’re not willing to take on risk, much less in unforeseeble amounts, buying or starting a business in Tucson may not be the best path for you.
3. Do you make good decisions? After buying a business in Tucson, nobody else is going to make the tough calls for you. You can seek advice from advisors and employees, but there still will be countless decisions that you’ll need to make on your own as business owner. Do you trust your own track record of making decisions? Here are few you might run into: Buy vs lease your space? Hire a manager or run the business yourself? How much time to spend working in the business? Work from home or on-premise? How many employees to hire, and what level? How to position your business in the market, high-end or low-end, etc? What legal structure to use? Whether or how much to advertise? How to raise capital and from what sources? How much of your savings to wager? While some of these early decisions can appear daunting enough, the number and complexity of such decisions will only increase over time as the business grows and more and more customers and employees depend on you. The quality of your own decision making can spell the difference between success and failure. Do you trust yourself to make the right call?
4. Can you multi-task? If your background includes working for a large corporation, then you likely were lead down a path of specialization and developed strong skills in certain areas while remaining, perhaps unbeknownst to you, less strong in other areas. As business owner, you have to be comfortable and conversant and every area of expertise as it relates to your business, or at least know when and where you’re out of your depth and need to bring in professional advice. Depending on the size of the Tucson business you buy, you might end up being the chief salesperson, bookkeeper, marketer, accounts receivable collections clerk, and chief cook and bottle watcher. If multi-tasking doesn’t suit you well, chances are entrepreneurship may not end up being a good fit for you. The more areas of expertise you’re comfortable with and can perform yourself, the better off you’re likely to fare, particularly in these times of challenge and economic uncertainty.
5. Do you know how to achieve work-life balance? You may have concluded that buying a business in Tucson is something you’re well-suited for, and have the skills and risk orientation to give it a go. But how will you fare over time? After a few years of working the seven day weeks that may be necessary, falling out of contact with friends, not spending enough time with your family, dropping enjoyable hobbies and interests, neglecting physical fitness, you could find that your life has fallen out of balance and feel burnt out. Burnout is one of the leading causes of small business failure. As you consider buying a business, and evaluate all the many other considerations that implies, make sure to include a work-life balance plan into your calculations that could include rules like not working on Sundays, scheduling gym time and time for hobbies, developing a network of business associates and advisors to reduce isolation, and prioritizing family and social time, as well.
Take some time to mull over these questions, do some soul-searching, and then if you think you have what it takes, go for it. If you’ve reflected on these points, and have concluded that buying a business in Tucson may still be for you, then you may well be ready to take the next step. Review our listings, or scehdule a free buyer consultation. We’ll talk over some of these very points with you, and if there’s a good fit, help you start focusing in on finding the ideal business for you.
If you’d like more information on this subject, please Contact Us.