Buying an existing business or starting a new one

Buying an existing business or starting a new one is a dilemma that faces a lot of entrepreneurs and potential business buyers. There is no general answer to this question. The answer depends on you and your personality. It depends on how entrepreneurial you are. It has nothing to do with how much money the you have or how educated you are. We strongly recommend that you analyze your own personality before making a decision about whether you should start a new business, buy a new one or simply stay in your current job or look for a new job.

Early Stage Entrepreneurs

Early stage entrepreneurs are generally very excited by taking a new business idea, developing a strategy and implementing it themselves. These entrepreneurs have a very high tolerance toward risk taking and uncertainty. They are very good at starting a business from scratch. These individuals would rather start a business from scratch than buy an existing business.

Business Buyers

Other entrepreneurs are more skilled at taking over an existing business and taking it to the next level. They have the experience and/or education to manage an existing business and they have the motivation to buy an existing business. While much less risky than starting a new business, buying an existing business still represents some risks. The business might simply not be a good fit for the buyer's personality and/or qualifications. For these individuals we recommend that they understand what they are good at and what they like and look for opportunities in these two areas.


Finally some individuals are very good at managing other people's businesses but would be unable to manage their own business. They just can not handle the level of risk an uncertainty involved in having one's own business. These individuals will be much better off working in other companies rather than starting or buying their own business.