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So You Want To Buy a Small Business!

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The first question I always ask is: Why?

There are as many excellent reasons to buy a business as there are excellent reasons not to.

Most people desire their own business because they feel that they will have a higher income, create a greater overall net worth, pay less taxes and most of all they want to be their own boss and control their own destiny.

Doesn’t everyone?

However, nothing in life is ever perfect. Being your own boss has many apparent advantages. It also has many, not so apparent disadvantages.

As you are already considering buying a small business it is obvious that you have recognized the many advantages, and if you have missed an advantage, it is not a serious or disastrous situation, advantages are very easy to assimilate into your business and your day-to-day life.

Advantages Of Owning Your Own Business:

The biggest single advantage to owning your own business is that you will have the greatest control over your own destiny that you can possibly obtain in your working life. Although, as the next section points out, everyone reports to someone, and that any businesses’ success can be subject to outside forces that you, as a business owner have little or no control over, being the owner of small business gives you the best opportunity to be justly and properly compensated and rewarded for your hard work.

There are other advantages as well, some are non monetary. For instance owning your own business will give you a sense of pride in your accomplishments and although you can have pride in the work you do for others it is somewhat different when the business is yours.

Being invited to sit on the boards of community organizations or to put forth your views on employment, taxation and other business issues to government bodies on all levels can do wonders for your ego.

Owning your own business will of course provide you with financial alternatives that are not available to you if you are working for someone else.

Disadvantages Of Owning Your Own Business:

Now, let’s make sure that you have considered the numerous disadvantages associated with owning your own business and being your own boss. The disadvantageous are somewhat determined by the specific business, its markets, financial status and its staffing. The disadvantages will also vary dramatically depending on the size of the business; a retail store with fifteen employees will apply a different set of pressures, challenges, opportunities and circumstances then a retail store owned and operated by you and your spouse. Hence, not all of the disadvantages that I present below will apply in each and every case.

The most important thing for you to remember is that your ownership of a small business will almost always take priority over your personal life. It is the way you put food on the table, clothe the children, keep a roof over your head and buy a new car.

As an example, consider a small restaurant that has one chef. If that chef calls you an hour before opening and says; “I can’t come to work”, guess who is going to be flipping hamburgers? (You may wish to consider yourself lucky that they called you at all!)

If the police discover that someone tried to break in to your premises at 3 a.m., can you guess whom they are going to call?

One of your male employees tells an off color joke, it is overheard by a female employee who proceeds to file a “sexual harassment” lawsuit. Lawsuits justified or not are a demand on your time and financial resources.

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