Dec 142011

The alternatives to starting a small business from scratch

Ok, so you’re planning on leaving the world of working for someone else and you’re going to set up on your own. The next question is what are you going to do and how?

There are two main alternatives to starting a business from scratch and here they are.

Buying a business.

Very often forgotten as a way to start a small business, but buying one that someone else has already set up can be a very smart way of going about things. All the things that take a lot of time and energy such as the initial set up, systemising the business, getting customers, sorting out team members etc etc have already been done by the previous owner. Yes, you will have to pay for all the work they have done but you can then concentrate on making the business better.

Another great thing about buying a going concern is that you know a market exists so a lot of the risk of a new business is reduced.

The downside of buying a small business is the cost. The more successful and profitable the business is, then the more you will have to pay. Ideally, you should be on the lookout to buy a business which is struggling slightly but which has potential. That way it will be cheaper and will allow you to improve the profitability.

Buying a Franchise.

Buying a franchise is the second option. Again, often forgotten about as al alternative but a very good way to cut your teeth in the small business world. By buying into a franchise you are buying into a known, successful business model; couple that with the support and assistance you will receive from the franchisor and you have immediately improved your chances of the business becoming a success. In the same way as when you buy a going concern much of the hard work has been done and this allows you to concentrate on developing and improving your customer base and building the business.

The downside of buying a franchise is, of course, the cost plus the fact that you have to follow someone else’s system and business model. Some people don’t mind this but others find it a little constraining, it all depends upon how you look at it.

So before jumping in and start a business from scratch take a moment to think whether you’d be better off taking an alternative route to small business success.