Starting Buying Selling a Business: What Are They Thinking?

Want to start a business?  Want to Buy a Business?  Want to Sell your business?  These interest are very different but there is one common element among these significant business decisions.  Money- .  While working with business owners and individuals with the process of buying and selling businesses, I consistently come across a common element that I believe would be surprising to most that are ” looking from the outside in”.

Money is always a determinant factor in the process, but so very often it is the other factors that create the motivation that steers the process.  As a  small business owner or one that recently started a business one wonders if the thoughts, trepidations, or concerns that you have are shared by others. It is common to wonder if others struggle with decisions such as you.  What are some of the thoughts others have regarding these important decisions.

Motives Behind Buying/Selling A Business

Buying A Business

Photo (c)

Currently I am working with business owners that are selling their businesses and it may be somewhat surprising that money is not the primary reason they have decided to sell their business.  But make no mistake all business owners want the maximum amount they can attain for their business but the reasons for selling  are varied and different.

I am also working with several individuals looking to buy businesses and they as well generally are looking for some sort of change.  Again they are looking  for value in the business they are seeking to buy, but the reasons they are looking to get into something different are also varied and diverse.

Many  people out there, and readers of business articles such as this are contemplating change.  So many of tomorrows business buyers are employees that are working for someone else today.  They are seeking change.  Many of the business owners  looking to sell their business are seeking change. Most all starting a business, buying a business, selling  a business are seeking change.  When talking with seller of businesses and potential buyers of businesses one learns the “why” is varied, and comprises similar thought processes I experienced as one that both started a business, bought several businesses and sold my own business as well.

Perspective very often if the difference maker in what drives this business decision. The excitement and energy that comes along with doing something new where the roads ahead are full of unknowns and optimism  can certainly provide different perspective than the business owner that has experienced the challenges and sees the roads behind him. The reasoning behind the decision to buy start or sell a business may look very similar but it really is the perspective that provides the different “take” on that reasoning.

I want to Buy a Business, I want to Start a Business because…” –

1)MONEY– want to make lots
2)PASSION– I love making widgets
3)ACCOMPLISHMENT– It just feels good
4)OBLIGATION– It was my families business
5)EXCITEMENT– I love working 24/7
6)CONTROL– I control my own destiny
7)OPPORTUNITY– I’m young-limitless
8) CHANGE– I want to do something different

“I want to sell my Business because “-

1)MONEY-Not making enough, money is less important
2)PASSION– I used to love making widgets
3)ACCOMPLISHMENT– The feeling of accomplishment is gone
4)OBLIGATION– My family is no longer around
5)EXCITEMENT– after working 24/7 I am now Burned out
6)CONTROL-Insurance Companies,employees,IRS,State,control my destiny
7)OPPORTUNITY– I feel old- exceeded my limit
8) CHANGE– I want to do something different

While the list could go on and on, Contrary to common belief—– Its not always JUST about the money.


Need a Job? Buy a Job – Buy a Business

Consider the various routes successful entrepreneurs business owners take when building a successful operation.  It is important to consider that the path taken is varied, and success need not necessarily follow one specific path.  Bill Gates did not invent the MS-DOS program that became the Windows operating system we know today.  Entrepreneurs can start with an idea, and turn it into a successful business venture.  Entrepreneurs can buy a business, step in and continue that operation and grow it.  Entrepreneurs can “buy a job.”

“You Are Not Buying a Business You Are Buying a Job”

This statement has been attributed to certain business opportunities that potential business buyers or entrepreneurs are evaluating.  Is it wrong to buy a business, when what you are doing is” buying a job”?  Firstly what the statement is intended to denote is that, you will be an integral part of the daily operation, the business may not operate properly without your daily workload, you will not necessarily be in a fixed overhead or supervisory role but rather part of the variable cost of running an operation.  You will be buying a business that you be working at in the day to day operations.

Buy A JobFor example if your spouse and you buy an existing business that is a 2 man Sandwich shop- you may be “buying a job.”  At times the prospects of “buying a job” in lieu of buying a business is viewed as a negative.  Is it wrong to “buy a job.”  Personally I dont think so.  Consider the scenario of the employee that worked for the same company for 15 years, walks in his office one Monday morning to learn that he has been let go, downsized, fired, or  laid-off.  When YOU buy your own business or buy your own job,  WHO is going to walk in your office and fire you? Nobody.  You have control of your destiny not always offered when working for others.  When you own your own business you know how the company is doing.  You don’t spend a minute of your time concerning yourself on how your superiors view your performance.

Do you ever wonder where the largest source of buyers of business comes from.  Most future buyers of business are employees right now, or were employees and have been let go and are ready to sieze more control over their destiny.  Currently I am working with a few people of which are both the combination of currently employed and recently let go. Whether you buy a business or look to start your own business, your should be prepared for some hard work. You will probably work harder and stress more than when working for others but does the trade off of control and working for yourself make it worth it?  Today one is buying a business in a buyers market.  More sellers are offering seller financing when selling their business.  Maybe it is a good time to buy a job