With dozens of categories and industries to choose from, today’s marketplace of business opportunities for sale can be overwhelming for anyone who knows they may want to start a small business of their own, but who is unsure where to begin. There are online options, work-at-home options, retail options and even low and no-cost options. In fact, when it comes to the realm of business opportunities for sale today, the sky’s the limit.
Thankfully, there are a number of resources available to help you in narrowing your search, not the least of which is the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Business Center. It provides prospective business opportunity owners with important information and guidance to help them make a final decision on their most suitable option and evaluate their potential success in any given industry.
In the meantime, here are four quick tips for how you can begin to make sense of the exciting and yet somewhat daunting task of selecting which one of today’s business opportunities for sale is right for you:
1. Do your background research
Each of the business opportunities for sale today represents the age-old principle of supply and demand. You’ve got something to sell, and people want it. Or do they? Just because someone says that what they are selling is going to make you money, that doesn’t mean you should believe it—not without doing your own homework anyway. So never take anyone’s word for anything when it comes to business. Do your research!
2. Find a mentor to guide you
Studies show that the majority of successful entrepreneurs agree having a mentor is one of the most critical pieces to starting a small business and making it successful. Find someone who is or has been a successful business owner in their own right and who can and is willing to guide you in making this very big decision. If you can’t find someone on your own, you need to consider contacting SCORE, a nonprofit association dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals for nearly fifty years. Supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), SCORE has a nationwide network of 12,000-plus volunteers who provide services at no charge or very low cost.
3. Ask for the Business Opportunity Disclosure Document up front
The FTC mandates that any business opportunity seller provide the prospective buyer with a one-page Business Opportunity Disclosure Document that provides you with five critical pieces of information: 1) it identifies the seller; 2) it tells you about any pertinent lawsuits or legal actions, if any; 3) it explains the seller’s cancellation or refund policy, if one is available, and explains its terms; 4) it stipulates whether or not the seller makes any claim regarding your potential to earn money, and if so, it mandates that the seller furnish you with an earnings claim statement; and 5) it provides you with a list of references. Ask for it. Get it. Read it. And…
4. Talk to references
Just do it! Yes, the Disclosure Document will give you references, but they mean nothing if you don’t contact them. Just because someone is likable, believable and tells you what you want to hear doesn’t make them reputable. Check references. Make phone calls. Talk to people. It’s probably the most important piece of the puzzle to increase the likelihood that you make the right decision when it comes to navigating the sea of business opportunities for sale today. Good luck!
We want to hear from you! What other key factors are involved in choosing from among the incredible marketplace of business opportunities for sale? What do you think any savvy aspiring small business entrepreneur needs to think about when they’re shopping for just the right fit? Tell us what you think…