Finding the right business for you

So, you’ve decided to take the plunge and invest in, or maybe even buy, your first business. These are very exciting but possibly scary times.

While there’s no doubt that going through this process the first time round will be a learning curve and that you might make mistakes along the way, one thing you absolutely want to get right is the business you go for.

In this guide, we’ll look at five things to consider when you’re looking for a business, so that you can ensure you find the right one for you.

Think outside of the box, but recognize your transferable skills
While you may be on the lookout for something completely new, it’s wise to not go entirely outside of what you know. While you should by all means push your boundaries and try something new, stepping entirely outside of your comfort zone could very become a massive uphill struggle.

When you’re looking at which business to buy or invest in, consider how your skills could transfer productively to each one. It’s certainly not a bad thing to take risks, but you should always keep in mind how your own expertise and experience could be applied and really make a difference.

Think long-term
Today’s marketplace is absolutely saturated with all kinds of brands and small businesses jumping on fads and phases, many of which seem to fizzle out as soon as they appear.

It might be tempting to leap onto something that’s hot right now and, who knows, maybe you’ll get in on the ground floor of something really big.

But when it comes down to which business you want to put your money into, you should always have at least one eye on the long-term. Choose a business that has the hallmarks of a long-term success. One that has a solid customer market, one with a sensible long-term plan in place and one that has reliable, recurring revenue.

Choose the right team
A business may have an absolutely brilliant product or idea. They may operate in a sector that’s new and exciting to you, but which you feel you could take on. They may have a solid customer base and long-term thinking. But if their team isn’t right then they probably won’t go far.

If you’re considering getting involved in a business then it’s vital you make sure you can work with the people who are there. If their values and motivations don’t match or complement your own, then you need to consider if it’s a fit that will ever work.

Meet as many of them as you can, get to know them and make sure you really know whether you want to be in business with them.

Know your limits
While it certainly pays to be optimistic sometimes, investing in something far beyond your actual financial limits is something you should seek to avoid. Even if it feels like the perfect match, getting in over your head when you’ve just bought a business is something nobody wants.

As you will know, things change quickly in business and, especially if you’re buying a business, there will be an adjustment period which might affect how quickly you turn a profit. It always pays to ensure you have some money set aside just in case.

The X Factor
After all our sensible advice, this is still perhaps the most important thing, and very often the determining factor that makes you take that leap into a business.

If a business ticks all, or most of, your boxes and also gives you that real sense of excitement, then it could be the perfect match.