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Should You Buy A Business? A Brief Self Test


One option for the those who have, or fear they will join the ranks of the unemployed, is to buy a business for sale.

That might be a great plan, or a prescription for trouble, depending on the person's ability as a business owner.

The "hero" who performs so well in a company position, might not have what it takes to be successful at owning and running a business. And some traits thought to be assets for one who is self employed, may actually be liabilities in today's economic environment.

If you think business ownership may be the solution to your economic needs, ask yourself if you possess these three characteristics, needed for business success. But first, consider what are thought to be key ingredients for success as an entrepreneur. Prospective business owners who think they need to have a high tolerance for risk might be advised that it actually can be riskier these days to sign on as an employee than to have your own company. And the idea that the best self-employed people are independent thinkers does not coincide with a description of successful franchise owners. The top performing franchisees are usually the people who run their operation according to the parent company's plan.

So, what are three important traits of someone who has a good chance to achieve success as a small business owner?

1. Broad Perspective: In many companies, employees are encouraged to focus on their particular jobs and not think too much about how their functions impact the work of others in the organization. That attitude is a detriment to a business owner who has to pay attention to detail, but also must keep the "big picture" in mind at all times.

2. Persistence: Performing the tasks requested by the boss--whether you agree with the details of the assignment or not--is also a characteristic of accepted corporate behavior. Meanwhile, the successful business owner is balancing the sometimes-conflicting requirements of customers, employees, vendors, landlords and government agencies. That calls for a level of tenaciousness usually not tolerated from employees.

3. Willingness to sacrifice: People who think that business ownership entails greater freedom than a 9-to-5 job, are in for a surprise. Individuals in business for themselves, whether lone-operators or those with a staff, will tell you that they spend more time working than they did as employees and that some benefits of employment, such as a steady paycheck, may not be available to the man or woman in charge of a small business.

Success at performing your duties while working for others might condition you to be a good employee, but provide poor training if you want to own your own business.

Before singing up to purchase a franchise or independent company, or to start an enterprise from scratch, ask yourself how your personal characteristics correspond to those needed for successful self-employment.

Look for opportunities to find out how a person can achieve success as a business owner. Check out resources such as the free webinar for business buyers, October 21

And ask yourself if you are able to conceive of the "big picture," if you are known to be persistent--even if you have to override objections of others, and whether you are willing to make significant sacrifices to insure survival of your business.


Nationally known blogger/author Peter Siegel, MBA, consults small business buyers and small business sellers of California businesses. He launched BizBen.com in 1993, and adds 200 offerings daily to the site's 7000+ featured businesses for sale. People buying a business, as well as sellers, business brokers & other professionals visit the site for its opportunities, ideas, tips, daily blogs, educational events and other resources.

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