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How to buy a business

If you want to be a business owner and manage your own business but don't want to go through the stress and demands of setting up your own business, then you may want to look at buying a business. Buying an existing business can be a great way to enter the field of business management after someone else has gone to the trouble of setting up the business. If you are willing to take the time to research and plan you can end up running a successful business and bypassing the challenges of getting a business up and running. However, there is note of caution that you should be aware of. Most likely buying an existing business will be a lot more expensive then setting up your own business so you need to be prepared financially. Here is what you need to know about how to buy a business-

- Start by looking at yourself-Many prospective business owners' start by looking at the businesses that are for sale and then try to decide if they can run that business. A far more efficient way to buy a business is to take a close look at the skills and experience that you already have. Capitalizing on your skills and experience will help to make the business you buy a success. While it is not impossible to run a business that you are not familiar with it can be a lot harder then if you choose a business that you already have the skill set for. Keep in mind that this lack of experience gets to be more of a determent the older the business is. Once you have decided what skills, experience, and interest you bring to the table it will be a lot easier to choose a business to buy that you have a better chance of making even more successful.
- Look at all of the details-Do not be fooled into thinking that just because you like a particular business for its product or the people that run it, that it will be a good business to buy. You need to take the time to look closely at all of the details. You want to examine all of the aspects of a business before you make any sort of purchase decision. One of the first things to do is to ask the current owner to see their business plan. This will give you valuable insight into the state of the business. Keep in mind that if the business plan appears to be well researched and well written you can feel more assured that the business is on the right track. If for any reason the owner refuses to show you the business plan you should take this as a red flag and move on to consider another business. In addition, you should especially look closely at the financials of the business. Do not think that you can look at current sales to determine the true state of the business finances. Again, if the owner refuses to show you the financials you should consider that this is a sign that the business is not doing well. This also should cause you to carefully consider if you should buy the business.
- Take your time-Often times potential business owners allow the excitement of purchasing a business to push them through the process. You should take your time to look at several different businesses so that you can end up with the business that is right for you and best meets your needs. You should never consider buying the first business that you look at. Most importantly until you are totally satisfied with the research that you have done and feel completely comfortable you should never allow money to change hands. The bottom line is that you need to make sure that the business has the value that you think that it does, has very little debt, and has the potential to be profitable for a long time to come.

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