Q: I have worked in marketing for the past eight years and would like to start a business of my own. I have discussed this with my wife and she supports any venture I decide. Attached are several businesses’ financial statements that would be of interest. Can you offer any advice as to which may be best suited?
– Frank, Ontario
A: Choosing a small business based on its numbers is only one criterion before making a large financial commitment. What criteria would you use for choosing a life-long partner? Hopefully, not just looks! Here are some considerations for any entrepreneur:
What are your reasons for wanting to start a business? Hate your boss? Not enough money? Too many hours? Sometimes, many of these can be resolved with a new job. Working for yourself does not translate to more money or less hours.
What product or service are you bringing to the marketplace? Do you have the expertise or background to offer service? Do your research! List your qualities that would make this business a success.
Are you buying an existing business or starting your own? Existing business generally cost more.
Do you have the funds or can obtain necessary financing? Many hopes of starting a business are eliminated at this stage. Everyone should have hopes and dreams but not be delusional.
Consult a professional accountant and lawyer. Check our your local bookstore or library. Many good books have been written on this subject.