Business

Should You Buy a Business Opportunity?

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Many hopeful entrepreneurs can’t wait to get started doing business. They save up, for years so that they can afford to purchase the capital, licensing and permits that they need to get started. Some of these hopefuls, may come from a background of entrepreneurship and have experience in the field of business. They know how to start up their businesses in the most economical and efficient way to yield a profit. Others may be coming out of employment positions or just starting to work with little or no experience in business. This prompts the subject of purchasing an existing business or “business opportunity“. Many seemingly appealing features may come with these opportunities. So are they for you? Here are a few things to consider.

If you are someone who is interested in starting a business but has no experience in the field, you may be considering purchasing a business. Most “business opportunities” offer potential buyers their equipment, contacts and other resources. This may seem like a very opportune transaction that allows you to get straight into the business without having to worry about all the technicalities of starting up. However, this can come at a price, usually a very high one. You should remember that those selling their business are pricing it at the opportunity cost of them not being able to earn an income from the business. They not only lose their business, when selling it, they lose the opportunity for them to continue operating and profiting from it. So they must price accordingly. This may mean that the price for the business may be significantly higher than if you were to purchase the equipment, licensing and permits yourself.

Purchasing a business leaves for little flexibility. There may be some aspects of the business that you would like to forgo. A fully decked out store, with the latest technology, a full staff, and a prime location can be a bit much for someone looking to start small. However, this is not usually an option when purchasing a business. Many times, owners are looking to get the entire business off of their hands and do price accordingly. As a result, prices are usually firm and it becomes an all or nothing transaction. This could put you, unnecessarily out-of-pocket.

Finding the right business to purchase also has its difficulties. It is very hard to find an incentive to sell off a successful business opportunity, so many successful business are often not for sale. As a result, many of the businesses that are left for sale, may be on sale for a unfavorable reason. Oftentimes, owners will look to get out of a business because they are not bringing in enough revenue to profit. For whatever reason, they may choose to sell these unfavorable businesses and buyers may find themselves in the exact same bind.

To avoid this, it is important that you research the business carefully before you do decide to purchase. Researching the costs and strings that may be attached to purchasing these businesses such as, high rent rates, back taxes owed, consumer complaints, slow sales, and other information can save you a lot of time and money. Finding out the reason why the owner wants to sell, is a good way to start. Sometimes owners will look to sell because of health reasons, personal responsibilities and outside forces that prohibit them from continuing to operate the store. These are probably the best reasons that you will find. If the owner doesn’t give you a reason or complains about the business, these may be warning signs that you need to be aware of.

Before purchasing a business, consider the costs involved, your own ability to start from scratch the most cost effective way, and the reasons why owners are selling. Extensive research and pro activity can save you a lot of trouble when investing.

5 Challenges Facing Established Small Businesses

Here is news for all you start-up entrepreneurs: you may think that after you get things rolling for your small business that everything is a bed of roses. Beware! You can never give up your vigilance or your competition will slip in and grab your customers when you least expect it. There are five big challenges an established company faces every day, and in the end it will pay to include them in your daily tactical planning.

First Challenge

The first big hurdle you will face it trying to do everything yourself. Small business owners can get very possessive about their products and manufacturing methods. You can’t expect to grow if you don’t learn to duplicate yourself well and leverage your efforts by hiring employees. Remember that as you bring new people into the team, you gain the benefit of their skills and talents.

Second Challenge

You’ll become so busy going after new customers you’ll forget about maintaining your current clients. Never ever forget the people that have helped you build your business to this point. Nurture them by maintaining lines of communication. They will give you repeat sales and refer other buyers to you. They are the foundation of your company.

Third Challenge

Gaining a false sense that everyone knows you exist so you relax your marketing and promotional campaigns. The golden rule of being in business is you always must “promote, promote, promote!” Exchanging your products and services for cash is the life blood of the company. Without sales you’ll spiral down very quickly. So, keep up with the promotional campaigns that have been successful.

Fourth Challenge

You decide to modify your product or service because you have been itching to make improvements. Progress is a good thing, but you may be forgetting your consuming public that is accustomed to the way your product is now. Before you make any changes that shock them so badly they stop buying it, ask their opinion. Never make a move like this without surveying your market first.

Fifth Challenge

You’ve got a little cash flow going on, so now you think it’s okay to blow it by investing in some type of expansion. Don’t be so foolish as to use up your cash cushion – you’re putting your business in danger. If you want to expand, set aside a percentage of sales or find an investor that wants to work with you. Don’t allow your cash flow to dry up.

More from this contributor:

How to Stop Wasting Money This Year

10 Low Cost Ways to Advertise Your Business Locally

How Networking Changed My Local Economy

Small Business Key Points to Consider Before Borrowing Money

Small Business Key Points to Consider Before Borrowing Money

Borrowing money has been around for generations; back to when the banks and other financial institutions first came about. But unlike the present times, procuring a loan then was deemed a well-mannered negotiation.

Prospective borrowers made a formal appointment with the local bank manager in which few questions were asked and the debtor’s history with the bank was reviewed. The bank was much a part of the societal activity, and the process was accepted that way.

Recently, potential borrowers rarely set eyes on the bank loan manager. With the advent of the credit cards, and their proliferation, so much has changed that sometimes it hardly seems like people are borrowing at all, what with the credit cards that provide instant gratification. But whatever it is thought to be, there is no denying that it’s all about borrowing money.

 For the small business owners planning a business start up, immediate questions spring to mind when planning to borrow money, questions such as: How can I borrow money? Where can I borrow money? How do I get a small business loan? What are the loan rates?

Three Loan Options

Usually, the interest rate is expressed as a percentage per annum. Three Loan options are:

  • Fixed Interest Loan – does not change throughout the course of the loan
  • Variable Loan – the interest rate can be changed by the lender
  • Secured Loan – guaranteed by a mortgage or other assets.

List of Questions Small Business Owners Need to Ask Before Borrowing Money

  • Is it worth incurring this debt?
  • Will I have the cash to pay for it accordingly?
  • What percentage does this loan represent to my available cash outlay?
  • Have I clarified with my chosen lender the true/actual cost of the loan? (This might need to include, for example, charges that effectively add to interest payments)
  • Are there other expenses to be considered that I might have overlooked?
  • What are the contingencies I have allowed for in planning my business startup?
  • Have I taken a financial advice of the type of loan I’m going to avail?

Although borrowing money can present great opportunities for investment and financial growth, it is a roller-coaster ride with the possible nightmare of inability to pay off debt. Business owners, as well as personal debtors, often want to get their loans approved with a sense of urgency. The diversity of the kinds of loan and looking for the needs that best fit the business, should be carefully studied and weighed.

If uncertain with issues about borrowing money, small business owners should consult a business loans consultant who can assist with the lending application process and explain key points that banks will evaluate in lending money.

Using Craigslist with Google as a Free Advertising Media

Using Craigslist with Google as a Free Advertising Media

Craigslist and Google can be a boon for a small business owner vying with the crowd for search engine positioning. Search Engine Optimization or SEO is an important component of an online marketing strategy. Additionally. Backpage another media similar to Craigslist, can also be used to effectively boost web site ranking. Together with paid advertising and effective sales strategies, Craigslist and the power of Google can be harnessed to steer web traffic to a new website.

Craigslist Local Advertising with a National Marketing Campaign Twist

While Craigslist is considered a local media phenomenon, the way a new small business marketing entrepreneur sets up his Craigslist ad can mean a significant increase in web traffic on a nationwide basis. The point that needs to be made is that Craigslist is one of the most successful online sites in the world. Google will index Craigslist (and Backpage, to an extent) as a consequence of its success. If an ad in Craigslist is set up correctly, the website can enjoy almost instant success. This can undoubtedly be considered an important staple of small business guerrilla marketing.

 Setting up and ad on Craigslist does not automatically result in instant business. Most certainly, the website owner must insert the ad correctly with respect to Craigslist rules and terms. Also, he must also be aware of Google’s guidelines for this strategy to result in increased page views and revenue. Certainly and most importantly, the Craigslist posting must be well written and compelling enough in terms of basic SEO requirements, for someone to click through to the site’s landing page.

Effective Craigslist Marketing Strategy and Tactics

Assuming that the user has an optimized and functioning site, what rules should one follow to make a Craigslist posting effective? The following offers a few simple guidelines.

  • Craigslist utilizes basic & (simple) HTML code. An ad should be between 100 and 700 words.
  • The ad should have links pointing to a specific web site
  • Place the link at the beginning of the ad making sure that it is part of a sentence
  • Place (a href=”http://www.yourwebsite.com/”>Yourwebsite(/a) (using “<>” instead of “(” for the code)
  • The topic of the ad must be the same as the site to which it links or points
  • Place the ad in the Small Business Section of Craigslist
  • Place h1 tags around the title of the ad inserted within the body of the ad, preferably near the beginning
  • Use and follow tried and true effective SEO techniques for the ad.

All of above assumes that the market in which the web owner is competing is not overly saturated. If placed correctly, many times the Craigslist posting will appear within the first page of results. For more detailed information, one should investigate with Google searches to find some of the sites with this type of information. This tip is brought to you by MIG welding review site Tool Guides Hub.

Although the number of business based ads on the world wide web is staggering, effective SEO and judiciously placed Craigslist posting can push a website, even a new web site, to the forefront of eCommerce success. Obviously, it must follow the rules set up by both Google and Craigslist to succeed. Assuming that the basic net strategy makes sense, the rest is relatively simple and inexpensive.