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    7 Replies Latest reply on Dec 2, 2010 2:19 AM by urbanexp

    Buy a startup or buy an existing business?

    amy522 Newbie
      Is it better to start a new business or buy an existing business that someone is selling? I am looking at owning a business and am not sure which way would be better. I know that with buying a new business there are a lot of startup costs and gaining customers can be difficult and with buying an existing business, there is usually already a steady client base and all the initial costs are taken care of. I am interested in buying a bakery and have found a few on this website: . I am leaning towards buying a business that someone is selling instead of building my own from the ground up but am looking for comments from others on what they think would be the best option.
        • Re: Buy a startup or buy an existing business?
          bdccft2 Wayfarer
          Hello Amy522,
          In my opinion, it is better to buy someone else's business if:
          1. They have "good will" meaning current clients.
          2. If you don't have a lot of experience in that field. (You could negotiate to have the owner train you.)
          3. The owner may be willing to finance the purchase for you.

          It is better to start you own business if you:
          1. Have a lot experience in that industry
          2. You have "pre" found clients so when you open your door they will be ready to buy
          3. You can negotiate a better deal for yourself... if you have some money.

          If your personal credit is bad, you may want to think about setting up a business structure to help you acquire the business you want to buy. That way you will have some credibility going in.
          Visit: to get some ideas.
          Good Luck!
          • Re: Buy a startup or buy an existing business?
            LUCKIEST Guide
            Is it better to start a new business or buy an existing business??

            Who are you?? Go to Members page and share some info.

            Do you know about SCORE?? SCORE is FREE and will help you develop a business plan.

            You will also need an accountant, a lawyer and an insurance agent.

            Good luck
            <!--Session data-->
            • Re: Buy a startup or buy an existing business?
              phanio Pioneer
              Good question. A lot depends on you. As you stated, do you want to start from the ground up? But, you should also look into the reasons the person is selling their business. Have they done something that will alienate customers - something that you will inherit with the business.

              But, in the end it depends on you and what you really want.

              Business Money Today
              • Re: Buy a startup or buy an existing business?
                jfrutkin Wayfarer
                If you are looking for new ideas for a business, you should check out the website
                The website contains unique ideas generated by other entrepreneurs and creative thinkers.

                If you are buying a business, be sure to learn the reason why the owner is selling. The reason for sale will give you great insight as to whether the business will be successful in the long-term. The ideal reason to sell a healthy business is retirement. Anything other than that, I would be skeptical.
                  • Re: Buy a startup or buy an existing business?
                    odgrell Adventurer
                    I think that the main issue you have to look into when buying an existing business is cashflow. The current owners model may not work with a large debt cloud floating over your head. If the you predict that the cashflow is sufficient enough to cover current expenses, the additional debt and leave you with enough profit, then all engines are go. Make sure you get the owner to sign some kind of 'do-not-compete' agreement and get him to stick around a few months to train you. Also you may be able to renegotiate your lease as a new owner, so you should want to look into that. Might even get a few months free rent.

                    Best of Luck!!
                  • Re: Buy a startup or buy an existing business?
                    Elderplanner Newbie
                    The answer to that question depends on several factors. Does the business you want to start require alot of specialized expertise? Can you buy an equity stake in an established business, learn the business, and be intoduced to customers and referrals they have developed from the other owners, and have the option to buy out their remaining shares when they decide to retire.

                    I've been in the business of providing eldercare consulting services for more than 25 years. In recent years eldercare services has become one of the fastest growing markets for new start-ups.


                    It is tempting to look at the research data and conclude that the market for services to an aging population is vast. The National Alliance for Caregiving in collaboration with AARP published a study last year (November 2009) that estimates there are at least 43.5 million caregivers age 18 and over, equivalent to 19 percent of all adults, who provide unpaid care to an adult family member or friend who is age 50 years or older. ."

                    It's clear that the need for eldercare services is huge and growing rapidly. But to survive as independent business owners, eldercare entrepreneursl must look more closely at the data and embrace a more realistic philosophy. The size of the market that can actually afford to pay for these services is much smaller


                    Need doesn't pay the bills, Demand" does. Having the experience and skills of established partners can provide the support you need to avoid the many pitfalls that new businesses inevitably must face.


                    James L.Ferry's How to Start a Home Based Senior Care Business is a must read for anyone contemplating an enterprise aimed at providing services to elders and their family caregivers. In less than 150 highly readable pages, Ferry a successful eldercare entrepreneur for nearly two decades, covers everything from turning your personal experiences into a business, the income realities of a new business in this very competitive marketplace,the variety of business models to consider and more than 2 dozen succintly written chapters that cover everything from developing your business plan,marketing the business on a shoestring budget, setting up your office, keeping the books, setting fees, building a referral network using guerilla marketing techniques and using the latest technology to build a successful business.
                    Bob O'Toole
                    • Re: Buy a startup or buy an existing business?
                      urbanexp Wayfarer
                      before you buy an existing business ask for their financial statement check their sales and see if is worth it