BY DAVID NILSSEN, GUIDANT FINANCIAL CEO & COFOUNDER
Bellevue, Wash., January 23, 2012
Yes. I think buying a business today can be a great idea. I believe this regardless of what you might hear from the media or feel because of the economy.
Steve Caldeira, President of the International Franchise Association agrees, "Now is the time to beat the crowd back into the market by buying a business, especially in the franchise industry, which has weathered the recession better than most industries and shows greater promise moving forward than many other categories."
In addition to the favorable market, there's also a sense of place associated with starting a business in your own town or city. Lori Kiser-Block, Vice President of Rapid Refill, notes the "Main Street" benefits of launching a local venture vs. the “Wall Street” big-business mentality we’re all so used to hearing about:
Most times you can depend on that local retailer to be really happy to see you walk through the door (they probably remember your name) and to appreciate your patronage as it’s providing a fine living for their family. That local business owner knows that you also live; work and/or shop in the community and that you care what happens. She also knows that your family and friends might be her family and friends, and referrals can make or break her business.
These local retailers are “you and me” and we love what we do; we were once in corporate America but found a way to escape the big business capitalism and replace it with family capitalism. Both are worthy and necessary and both have built our country but if you’re looking for a few good reasons to make 2012 your year of change—I encourage you to “think local.”
These are excellent points, and just in case you're still on the fence about whether today is the day you should take that first step toward owning your own business, I've put together what I think are the Top 5 Reasons to Buy a Business Right Now:
Timing is key—and those who purchase a business in the first few months of the New Year are in the best position to be up and running by the summertime. In the retail industry, there are significant sales spikes that accompany the holiday season, starting each fall. By opening your doors a few months earlier, you'll be able to establish a customer base, develop a marketing plan and prepare yourselves and your staff for the busy season.
2. The Abundant Talent Pool
The unfavorable economy has left a lot of educated and experienced individuals out of work. In addition to that, there are thousands of veterans re-entering the workforce with amazing leadership skills and other proficiencies. The recruitment landscape has never been stronger for finding strong, capable talent in a variety of industries. Social media sites for professionals such as LinkedIn provide simple ways to search for these individuals and find the perfect match.
3. Buyer's Market
As Steve stated above, this is the time to capitalize on a franchise and "beat the market." Prices on everything from real estate (to operate your business) and equipment (to run your business) are lower than usual because everyone is in the same boat. It's a buyer's market, but that won't last forever. As the economy gets stronger, those prices will climb back up and the options won't be as attractive.
4. Your Life, Your Destiny
At Guidant our tagline is "Create the life you want' and there really has been no better time to do so. When you take control of your own destiny, you leave the pitfalls of chance behind because you're investing in yourself. If you have what it takes to be a business owner, get out there and make your dreams a reality. The tools, the opportunities and the customers are there. Make sure you're not left behind.
5. Funding Options
Believe it or not, in spite of the credit crises, there are several funding options out there for you to explore. Whether it's using your retirement funds (penalty-free, without taking a taxable distribution), getting an SBA Loan or utilizing unsecured credit, there are plenty of ways to acquire financing. In fact, if you call Guidant for a free consultation, we can pre-qualify you in 30 minutes or less.
David Nilssen is the CEO and Co-Founder of Guidant Financial. A notable thought-leader in the small business industry, he was recognized as one of the Top 100 Small Business Influencers in 2011 and co-authored the book Making the Jump Into Small Business Ownership. Follow him on Twitter at @davidnilssen.