Choose your country

Or view all businesses for sale


Which Business Should You Buy?

Which Business Should You Buy?

90% of people who start out on the search to buy a business never complete the sale, according to research. Finding the right business opportunity is often a journey in itself, and a very crucial one at that.

It is estimated that over one in four people who wish to be their own boss don't actually know what type of business they want to run.

Also, a significant number of people change their minds halfway through the process when they discover a business type to be unsuitable.

Many business brokers and agents report that people often end up buying a business that is different from the one that originally led them to the door.

It means that researching the businesses for sale market is a fundamental first step. Often, buyers learn that they are more suited to a business type they had never considered before.

The following steps are designed to help you narrow down the type of business you want to buy. On there are over 20,000 businesses for sale and the most important first step is to limit your options!
1. Assess Yourself
Becoming your own boss will demand time, energy, commitment and money. This will be one of the biggest steps you take in your life and you have to understand the consequences and risks.

Don't fool yourself. Be realistic. How hungry are you? How badly do you want this? Are you ready for the challenge?
2. Understand Yourself  
Your existing talents, skills and employment history will be one of the biggest influences on the type of business you end up buying.
Utilising these existing skills will help you greatly.

What are you good at? What is your experience? Where do you excel? Make a list of all your talents. Think back over your employment history and list the occasions you got something right.

When looking at different business opportunities make sure that some (if not all) of these talents can be transferred.
3. Rediscover Your Passions
Regardless of how attractive a business opportunity appears to be, if you have any reservations about whether you will enjoy the work, then do not contemplate proceeding any further.

Your passion about what you do will see you through the tough times. Find out what you love.

Is it the outdoors, the countryside? Is it working from home with your family? Do you love closing sales? Do you love dealing with people? Are you creative? Do you enjoy communicating?
4. Be Prepared to Learn
Although your previous background may include skills that will help you in your new business venture, you must be prepared to learn some new ones.

Many people who buy a business have not had to delegate tasks previously. When you become your own boss you will have to learn how to get the best out of your employees. They will look to you for guidance - whether you are running a café or manufacturing company.

The moment you become the boss, all eyes will be on you. You will be expected to lead, work with, communicate and motivate your staff. 

Remember - you will be the driving force of your company. It must be your employees who rely on you and not the other way around.
5. Be Financially Realistic
Your financial status will affect the type of business you are able to buy. There is often a difference between the business you would like and the one you can afford - as with a house or car.

It is therefore important not to stretch yourself financially. No matter how attractive a business may appear to be, always exercise caution and try to look at all the possible negatives.

Ask yourself: Is this business as good as it appears to be? Taking into account unforeseen expenses, how much will this business really cost? Are there any hidden costs?

Without including family loans, how much money do I have access to? How will the rest of the money be raised and under what terms?
6. Consult Your Family
If you have a family then buying a business is a decision that cannot be taken in isolation. Being your own boss will have far-reaching consequences for your family life - from the risks to your financial security to the consuming hours.

It is therefore important that the decision to buy a business is done so with your family. Their support will be a great help and the issue of family disputes must be avoided so that you can be free to concentrate on making the business a success.

7. Golden Rules

Develop criteria that you will follow to the letter throughout the selection process. If the shoe doesn't fit, don't even think about trying it on.

Come up with five things that your potential new business must have in place before you buy it, for example, there must be a built-in demand for the product or service - trying to create demand often proves to be expensive and a lot of hard work.

Always be aware of these rules. Never break them. It may take time to develop them during the research process, but they should be specific to you, your skills and your attributes.

Subscribe to our email updates

Sign up to receive the latest advice, most popular businesses, special offers and much more.


I'm interested in is committed to protecting your privacy. We will use the information you provide on this form to send you marketing emails . Find out more about what we do with your information in our Privacy Policy.
Marketing Emails: You will receive newsletters, advice and offers about buying and selling businesses and franchises. We will also send you information about events relating to buying, selling or running a business.

Are you a Business Owner?

Set up your Private Seller Account and create your listing today

Get Started Here

Are you a Business Broker?

Set up your BrokerWeb Account and list multiple businesses

Get Started Here