An interesting parallel is taking place in America. According to recent studies by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate continues to rise in many U.S. cities and states, with some unfortunately surpassing 9.5 percent. The recession is also hitting the workforce in another way: The number of dissatisfied professionals who want to quit their jobs has jumped to 40 percent, according to a survey conducted by Regus, a workplace analyst. These “coincidences” are leading people to create their own business opportunities.
Choices and decisions can range from starting your own business from the ground-up, or buying a franchise or buying a business. Let’s narrow the focus a bit to buying an established business and making it your own. First, consider your passion. Most likely your passion was not fulfilled in your previous position. In addition to passion, there are critical steps to making the right decision: financial commitment, family commitment, business valuation, leadership and human resource skills, operational experience and capabilities, and more.
Let’s briefly discuss and weigh three very different business models: finding restaurants for sale, buying a gas station, and buying a website.
In the restaurant space, you have multiple choices, including independents, fine dining, family/casual, quick-service, bakery/café models, and everything in between. For instance, buying a deli may be a way to start smart and start small. Sandwiches are still a proven, healthy staple of the American way of life and your creativity can shine in running a successful deli that provides many cost-effective sandwich options. In addition to the financial proposition, your other big consideration will be location. You need volume and the most suitable location is in a high traffic area near or attached to a strip mall and within a 5 five-mile radius of industrial parks, small- to mid-scale businesses, and heavily populated residential areas. Plus, the hours can be quite favorable with a store open time of 10:00 a.m. and close time of 3:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday. If you desire flexibility as well as commitment, a deli can be an obvious target in seeking a restaurants for sale.
Buying a gas station is another story. Again, financials and location will lead you in the right direction of this business. There are hundreds of gas stations for sale. Whether it’s a franchise or an independent, there will be different considerations. Let’s narrow this focus on the independent gas station, and within this model you will have the flexibility to purchase/contract gasoline from the supplier of your choice. Suppliers are also more than happy to help you in your marketing efforts if you are new to the business. Besides gas, the importance of a well-stocked convenience store cannot be over-emphasized. You should have all the revenue-generating staples such as beer, milk, soft drinks, bread, deli meats, lottery tickets and much more. How about creating a mini in-house deli? Investing in a gas station for sale can be a “cash cow” in selling gas augmented by revenue from what’s on the inside.
Buying a website or buying an Internet business is in a league of its own. While you do not have to consider or evaluate any physical real estate, the financial considerations are still quite the same as any business. The virtual or viral real estate will be a main consideration and the significance of a website domain name is crucial to success of your online “identity.” The name has to be simple, memorable (even melodic), attractive, visitor friendly, and most of all suitable to the business and highly searchable on the main search engines, e.g. Google, Yahoo, AOL, MSN. Careful thought and considerable market and consumer research are key requirements in buying an Internet business.