Inside Business | By Frank Chebalo
Making the transition to business ownership can be daunting, especially if your options are unclear.
Think of business ownership as a destination on a map with multiple routes ultimately leading to the same end location, but all differing in accessibility, arrival time, cost and other factors.
Below are several pathways for aspiring entrepreneurs to consider before embarking on their journeys.
Start your own
Starting one from scratch is typically the first – or only – option people picture when they think of business ownership. Starting your own business has a variety of benefits – including having the ability to oversee all decisions made and steer the company’s direction.
It’s no question the freedom and responsibility of launching a business is attractive. However, it’s also important to be mindful of the statistics when it comes to launching a startup. With only a 15 percent success rate, risk assessment is necessary, but if done correctly, and with proper assistance, starting a business has the potential to be a rewarding route.
Buy into a franchise
Researching alternative options is a necessary step in the decision-making process, and if the risk of starting your own business seems too high, franchising is worth looking into. On this path, you buy into a model so it’s essential to do your due diligence to find a reliable and supportive franchiser.
When franchising with a reputable brand, the success rate increases to 90 percent. A credible model can offer systems and processes to help with the opening of a business including marketing programs, training, staffing assistance.
While franchising is sometimes criticized for lack of freedom or creative control, many in favor of franchising argue that the success rate is reason alone to buy into a model within an industry that interests you and that as an owner, you still have control over many aspects of your business.
Acquire a business
Buying a company is another option to consider. If inexperienced, you may want to consult a business broker who can provide knowledgeable insight on price values for the current market and ultimately weed out the opportunities that aren’t worth investing in.
Existing businesses already have an established track record of cash flow, as well as marketing plans and procedures that are in place. Oftentimes, these businesses have an established clientele and loyal employees as well, but can come at a greater cost to the buyer.
Frank Chebalo owns the Virginia Beach Murphy Business & Financial Corporation office, supporting entrepreneurs with purchases, valuations, and mergers and acquisitions. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.