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Have a hard time deciding which business is right for me even though I saw several which I liked. What to do?

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Answers (8)
Steven St
World Business Partners, Inc
Los Angeles County, CA


There are some really good answers here. I would just like to add, look at what your experience, skills, education, background, needs, wants and goals are and match them to the business.

Many first time business buyers believe there are "lots" of businesses out there that they could make work and could work for them. But the truth is buying a business is a lot like buying a marriage. You will most likely, be at your business longer then you will be at home and you will have a new long term relationship with the previous owner (if seller financing is involved).

Try this, if you could do anything in the world for the rest of your life what would you do? Find THAT business and you will have a really good start.

Apr 24, 2009
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A really important consideration is "what can you afford?" You will find that the reality of purchasing something compelling may well be limited by your pocketbook. Lenders seemingly want to lend but only to "qualified" buyers. Qualified means different things to different people so beware. The SBA guarantee program has been temporarily enhanced so that can help if your credit is clean. Beware, if you own a home, they will take a lien on your house. Brokers just want to get a deal done (that's how they eat) so you cannot rely completely on what they say. Stick to the facts and inquire about several businesses of the same type you are interested in. That quick education will help you make a smart purchase.

Apr 24, 2009
Andrew Cagnetta
Transworld Business Brokers, LLC.
Premium Broker

All great advice. If that doesn't work, use enie meanie miney moe.

Apr 13, 2009
Eddie Holford
Clackamas County, OR

The first thing you should do to find out if a business is right for you is to consider what you like and what you don't like. Get a piece of paper and write out what your goals are, how much time you want to invest, how much money you want to invest, etc. Most importantly you need to find out if the business aligns with your core values. (Ex. If you value time with your family then it wouldn't be a good business to pick that won't allow you to be with them in the evenings. Businesses such as restaurants, janitorial franchise companies, etc would not fit to your core value of family first because of the hours that they operate.) To make sure that you choose the best business for you. I would suggest subscribing to a service that has mini courses on choosing the best business for you. You can find these courses at

Apr 12, 2009
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Franchise Advisory Group

Alex, there are basically 3 types of businesses, retail, home based and office. All 3 have things in common and of course differences. Besides all the other answers below (which are great), you also need to think about how much time you want to spend on the business, if you want to deal with employees, hours of operation and your experience and expertise. You also need to consider how much you want to invest, the growth potential of the business, along with an exit strategy.

Apr 5, 2009
Leon Parker
New Hampshire Business Sales, Inc.
President - co-owner
Merrimack County, NH

In addition to the other answers that have been offered I suggest that you talk to the sellers about what they really do all day in running the business, and think about whether or not what they say sounds like how you want to spend your time. You have to be enthusiastic about what you see yourself doing to get thru the process of buying a business. Pick the one that sounds the most interesting and rewarding to you.

Apr 2, 2009
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Business Alliance Affiliate
Tulsa County, OK

My answer is simple, make sure it is something you enjoy doing. I work with people everyday such as yourself who ask the same question. If it something you end up not liking, it then just becomes work. Basic questions to ask, can I see myself doing this later down the road. What attracted you to the business originally? Of those that you liked, what do they have in common?

Set a list of priorities! Is it profitability? Location? Hours of operation? Employees? Home based or store front? Then apply them to those that interest you!

Apr 2, 2009
Kathryne Pusch
ConsultKAP Inc./Business Brokers Network

Alex-- You are smart to consider this. Successful small business transactions have always involved a good "match" between the buyer's skills, resources, and goals and the business purchased. Now that more businesses are under stress, we see those "mismatches" all the more clearly. Long term success after that initial transition is heavily reliant on the buyer having made a good choice, after honest consideration on his real needs, strengths and financial resources. As in taking a life partner, "marry in haste, repent in leisure." Use and listen to your professional advisors who actually have experience with small business. Now IS a good time to bet on yourself. If you are realistic and prepared to take responsibility for your decisions, you can feel that gratification of saying "I built this successful business."

Apr 2, 2009

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