I am quitting to be a boss. Should I start or buy a business?

Dear Aunty B

I have been an employee for 50 years and am sick of it. However I have lots to add and plenty of energy, so I am planning to get out and run my own business. Should I buy or start my own?

I work in the industrial design and packaging industry. While I am a good manager, I am not sure I have the Richard Branson about me. If I do buy a business how do I find one that is suitable?




Dear Graham,

Congratulations for shaking off the shackles. You’re on the way to freedom (if you don’t count worrying about money at night).


I assume by the Richard Branson comments you mean you are no visionary. So can I now congratulate you again, because the most successful entrepreneurs I know can run through their biggest faults faster than they can turn a sausage on the barbie.


If you don’t have a touch of the Branson about you, then maybe you should consider buying a business. And guess what? This could not be a better time to buy a business. You have the twin events of a downturn coupled with baby boomer retirement pouring a tsunami of businesses into the marketplace.


How do you find one that is suitable? There are a number of online sites that sell businesses such as BizExchange to SEEK. Have a look through those. If you are thinking about a larger business, approach a broker, professional services firm or even your own accountant.


Have a clear list of the type of business you are looking for. Make sure you can clearly see the skills you can add and value you can bring. This is a great environment to do it.


One warning. Many businesses are missing the internet revolution because they are being run by older people who just don’t get it. One of the first things you should do before you buy in is work out how new technology could transform the business.


Busy people who are in their 40s and 50s have had no time to pick these skills up. So make sure you are not one of them! And stick to your own industry. It helps enormously.


Good luck,


Your Aunty B.

Aunty B - Your problems answered by SmartCompany's business bitch

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