Buy a Business – The Complete Business Opportunity Guide
Are you looking to Buy a Business and are exploring the business opportunity market? Explore our business opportunity buyers guide to better help you understand the market.
We hear the term ‘Business Opportunity’ banded around frequently, but most people aren’t aware of exactly what this means. And this probably creates an invisible barrier for many who in-fact might be looking to buy a business and explore this area as a route to self-employment.
What is a Business Opportunity?
A business opportunity can be simply defined. This is a business investment that is packaged in a certain way, to allow the buyer to start their own business with an existing brand and within a clearly defined and already operational structure.
Essentially, this means that much of the leg work needed when starting a business from scratch has already been done for you. You are investing in a business package with existing products or services and a framework from which to work from. This provides huge help and support in regards to the operational side of the business such as sales, marketing etc.
This existing framework is one of the most appealing aspects for those who are looking to start their own business. The risks therefore are severely reduced compared to starting a business from the ground up. So your chances of short and long-term success are much higher.
Different Types of Business Opportunities
The term ‘Business Opportunity’ doesn’t refer to one specific type of business model; there are a whole host of different types of models that fall within the business opportunity spectrum. We will explore some of the most common and most popular ones here. The perfect guide for anyone looking to buy a business.
Now, when you hear the term ‘franchise’ most people think of some of our most recognised high street brands, especially in the Fast-Food sector.
McDonalds is probably the most recognised franchised brand in the world. There was even a film made about their national and international growth via the franchising model (The Founder 2016).
But contrary to common belief, a franchise doesn’t just apply to high investment ‘bricks and mortar’ businesses and spans well beyond just fast-food.
There are a wide range of franchise opportunities available on the market in almost any sector you can think of, with varying levels of financial investment required.
- Animals & Pets
- Health & Wellbeing
- Sport & Fitness
- Food & Drink
- Home Improvements
- Recruitment and many, many more.
The Benefits of a Franchise
So why are franchises so popular? The franchise model is very robust. You, the franchisee, are purchasing the business from the franchisor, essentially buying the rights to operate under that brand with the use of their intellectual property.
One of the big benefits of a franchise is the level of training, support and back-up that you receive as part of your franchise package. You will be fully trained by the franchisor on how to run your business. Following the methods, processes and procedures that have already proven successful for them.
Essentially, you are buying a business blueprint on how to run a successful business, with an already established brand. They have already proven products or services and provide a level of on-going support that’s extremely comprehensive.
And with this level of support offered in key business areas such as finance, legal, sales, marketing etc, the franchise model often allows people who don’t already come from a business background to start and run their own business. It really is a ‘business in a box’ model.
As well as your upfront investment to purchase a franchise business, there are usually on-going monthly management fees that you the franchisee will need to pay the franchisor.
So, franchising offers a great way for people from all sorts of different working backgrounds to start their own business. This provides less risk than going it alone, and even in sectors that they have no previous experience in.
Within the franchising sector, there are also a large number of ‘low cost’ options available. These requirE only a small upfront investment to join the business (£5000 and under).
Opportunities in this lower cost bracket will still provide you with the same benefits of higher investment franchises. But the expected returns may naturally be less.
Within this low-cost franchise bracket, many of these types of franchises may also offer more flexible working. Perhaps as a part-time operation for example and they are often home based.
A licence opportunity is slightly different to a franchise in terms of the arrangement with the licensor and the inclusions within your licence package.
A licence opportunity is usually slightly simpler in terms of the agreement. You the licensee are agreeing to purchase the ‘licence’ to sell a product or service from the licensee.
This model often relates to specific products or pieces of technology and are a great way for companies to expand nationally or internationally through a licensed network.
Licence business opportunities tend to come with less constraints than a franchise. One of the key differences is that usually you can sell a licensed product or operate under your own new brand and/or incorporate into an existing brand.
This also gives you, the licensee, more freedom in terms of sales and marketing. You don’t need to adopt a specific strategy already set out by the licensor, as you would do with a franchise.
Although training is usually still offered to understand the product or technology, the support package is normally less compressive than found with a franchise agreement.
So, because the level of support is often lighter and the business package maybe less comprehensive than with a franchise, this means that licence opportunities usually require a lesser financial investment. Although this does depend on the scale of the licence operation.
Also, you may not need to pay the licensor any on-going fees as you would do with a franchise business. So the profit you make is all yours.
Network Marketing or MLM (multi-level marketing) is a business model that has been said to have been around since the early 1900’s. It is based around a simple business structure whereby as an associate or distributor, you have 2 arms of the business and opportunities to earn from.
The first is through the selling of products, which is often popular amongst friends and family initially. Products can often relate to the health and wellness or beauty and cosmetics markets. But there are a wide variety of network marketing opportunities available in different sectors. You may already be familiar with or use products that come from network marketing companies.
The second and often more lucrative arm to the business is building your own network of distributors. They like you, will sell the products and try to recruit their own network of new distributors, thus creating a pyramid type structure (but not a pyramid scheme!).
So, not only do you earn from the products you sell, you will also earn from recruiting new distributors. You will profit from the products they sell and so on and so forth further down the pyramid line.
By building a large network of distributors, you can create a very lucrative residual income. This essentially pays you without you doing anything, as the work has already been done in building your network.
Network Marketing opportunities are usually extremely low cost (around £200). But they have a number of benefits aside from the low financial commitment.
The Benefits of a Network Marketing Business
You will still receive training and marketing materials on the products or services, to help you sell more effectively. Opportunities in this sector as extremely flexible and can be operated from home in hours that suit you.
This often suits parents who want to work but have young families or those wanting to earn an additional income around their other personal or work commitments.
Different to a franchise or even licence, many people turn to a network marketing opportunity initially as a ‘side-hustle’. A way to top up their monthly income as appose to replacing it.
It is possible to turn your network marketing business into a full-time operation that eventually out-earns your full-time job, however this does take time and dedication and is certainly not a ‘get rich quick’ type of business.
Another variation within the ‘business opportunities’ market is the reseller model. This is probably the simplest to understand and operate and is slightly different from most of the others we have explored, almost blending a job with a business opportunity.
This is where essentially you as the ‘reseller’ are tasked with selling a product (or service) to residential and/or commercial customers.
Occasionally the model will be based around you as the distributor buying stock off the company for a discounted price. Then you can then re-sell this stock through your own pricing structure.
But more often than not and especially for service-based resellers, there will be no upfront investment or stock purchase required. You will simply sell the service at a set price as agreed with the company.
Once you make a sale, you will simply take a (usually healthy) commission on that sale price.
Again, business opportunities of this nature are extremely flexible and can be operated in your own time.
They are especially popular amongst experienced sales professionals looking to add products or services to their existing portfolio.
Or someone comfortable with selling, looking for a one-off opportunity to earn some immediate additional income.
Reseller based opportunities can be especially fruitful for those that might have existing business networks they have sold to or contacts to whom they can easily pitch to.
Popular Business Types
Work from Home
In recent years and especially during the pandemic, work from home opportunities have become more popular than ever. Most of us have now become more used to working from home and have experienced the obvious benefits this brings.
No more lengthy commutes or expensive travel means much greater convenience and probably quite substantial savings each year. Businesses have now realised that they can operate sufficiently with staff working remotely. And this extends to new business owners running their own business.
Modern online platforms and technologies such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Google Meet, as well as virtual exhibitions and trade shows, have shown how we can to an extent substitute traditional face to face business events with the virtual world.
With so many of us used to working from home now and being better prepared and set-up to do so, there’s no surprise that more and more people are turning to ‘work from home’ opportunities as a route to starting their own business.
Often going hand in hand with work from home opportunities, flexible businesses are again proving more popular than ever. This type of business opportunity allows people to start and run their own business based around their other family or work commitments. These can be especially popular amongst working parents.
These also prove popular with people who wish to remain in employment but are looking to earn and additional income.
Flexible Opportunities allow you to work less hours than with a full-time operation. They also allow you to choose your own hours to fit around your everyday life.
With so much uncertainty over the past few years in the work place and with many employees working less hours or on reduced salaries due to the pandemic, popularity of flexible opportunities has seen a steep rise with more and more opportunities coming to market offering this attractive type of model.
Why Would You Want To Join a Franchise/Business Opportunity?
The business opportunity market is open to anyone who wants to work for themselves. Whether you have always had a burning desire to run your own business.
Whether you are at a career crossroads and want to do something new. Or even if you have been made redundant and are now looking at employment alternatives. There are a whole number of reasons why people turn to the business opportunity market.
Usually, no specific experience or qualifications are required for most franchise or alternative business opportunity models. However, there are some personal traits that most companies will look for in anyone who is interested in joining them.
Despite the safeguards of joining a business opportunity, it’s still no guarantee to success and still requires hard work. Those who think they can just join a business and sit back whilst the money rolls in are in for a shock. Like ANY business, hard work and dedication is required. No one will do it for you!
So, a good work ethic and will to succeed will certainly help you in your new business venture.
What to consider when looking to Buy a Business in the ‘Business Opportunity’ market?
With so many types of opportunities available on the market, it can be quite overwhelming when starting your new business search. With different types of business models, different industries and different sectors, the scale of opportunities is almost endless.
But there are a few things to seriously consider before you start your research, and these will help you on your journey in identifying the right sorts of businesses that will suit you.
Why do you want to start your own business?
This almost seems a silly question but will really help you decide on the type of business opportunity that you should be looking at. Above we have established that under the ‘business opportunity’ banner, there are a number of different types of models available, offering different pros and cons and suiting people in different situations.
As mentioned, the franchise model tends to be one of the most comprehensive in terms of the business package that you receive for your investment. Although there are plenty of low-cost options available, franchises tend to be more expensive generally than the other models mentioned because of the comprehensiveness of that package.
Choosing the Correct Type of Business for YOU!
Therefore, if you are looking for a career change, a new full-time venture or are looking to follow your dream of becoming a business owner, a franchise may be most appropriate for you.
In replacing a full-time job, a franchise will more likely enable you to start generating an almost immediate income and more speedily replicate the earnings that you might have found in full-time employment.
However, if you are looking to top up your earnings and perhaps are looking to remain in employment whilst operating a secondary business from home, a network marketing opportunity for example may be suitable. Earnings will be much less, especially in the early stages, but the initial investment equally is extremely low.
The model is based around flexibility so there is no specific time commitment needed, allowing you to start building your business slowly, earning extra money in your own time.
So, establishing why you are looking for a business opportunity or what you are expecting to get from it will initially help you decide the type of business that you should be looking at and will help narrow your search straight away.
What industry/ sector are you looking at?
As we have already explored, the ‘business opportunity’ market allows people to start a business in a completely new sector that they have no previous experience in. Maybe you have always wanted to work in a specific area, but the chance has never arisen. A business opportunity could allow you to explore this further.
Or perhaps you have a passion or hobby aside from your work, like animals for example, and now you want to turn that hobby or passion into a business. In this instance you would be looking for an opportunity in a very specific sector, again narrowing down your options.
Therefore, it’s worth thinking about whether you want to ‘stick with what you know’, whether you want to explore a completely new area of business or whether there’s a certain sector that you have an interest in but haven’t had an opportunity to work in yet.
Are there any ‘Must-Haves’?
Are there any ‘ticks in the box’ that your new business must have, such as being based at home, or flexibility in working hours or anything specific from a support perspective, like if you need extra help with marketing for example.
Each business opportunity package differs so it is important to know your ‘must haves’ or preferences. Again, when exploring different options, this will help narrow down which opportunities best suit your requirements.
The Financial implications
The big one. MONEY. Financial investment in a business opportunity can vary from a few hundred to a few hundred thousand pounds. With everything in between! So it is important to have a clear budget to know the sorts of business types you should be exploring. Especially when it comes to franchises or licenses.
As well as an upfront investment, franchises for example will usually require an on-going monthly management fee. So make sure to check what this is with each opportunity. Also, look at the other financial information supplied by the franchisor (more on this further down).
For higher investment opportunities, there are also many financing options. These range specific lending schemes from some of the high street’s biggest banks and government initiatives. These can really help you in starting your new venture, so make sure you speak to an expert on this very important subject.
And this leads onto our final point which really encompasses everything said above. This really is the No.1 rule when exploring any type of business opportunity. And that rule is…. RESEARCH.
If you want to Buy a Business…. DO YOUR RESEARCH!
Whether you are looking to invest small sums or tens of thousands of pounds, always do your research when looking to join any type of opportunity.
Especially relating to larger investment businesses and franchises, check out the background of the company. How long have they been trading?
Are they trading profitably? Remember with most of these opportunities, you are essentially replicating an existing business, so if that business isn’t already well established or more importantly if it isn’t generating a good profit, this should raise some alarm bells.
Again, check financial projections. Are these realistic? Are existing franchisees generating the sorts of figures the franchisor is telling you are achievable? It is important to know the realistic and likely potential with any business you are looking to join.
And on the point of speaking with existing franchisees, this will be one of the easiest yet most telling and effective parts of your research when exploring joining a new business.
Speak To Others
Whether a franchise, licence, network marketing or other type of business, speaking to those who are already walking the walk that you are now contemplating, will give you some real first-hand feedback on what it is like running your business under that brand.
How have they found things? Have they received the support and back-up they needed? Are they making money? No one can tell you what it’s like to be a franchisee, licensee or network marketer better than somebody already doing it. So by speaking with different people already doing it, should help answer many of the questions you’ll undoubtably have.
So, if you are looking to start your own business and work for yourself, there are a huge number of opportunities available to you.
This presents a really exciting opportunity to go into business for yourself and the process should be enjoyed. At the CBO group, we have a number of different types of opportunities that we can showcase to you. These encompass the different models we’ve mentioned and across dozens and dozens of different sectors and industries.
You are free to browse all of our featured businesses. If anything twigs your interest, feel free to fill out the enquiry form on each page. The business owner will then get back to you with full details.
There is no obligation, and you will not be pestered. This just presents an easy way for you to browse the market in your own time, at your own pace, and easily obtain further details if you wish. If you want to buy a business and are considering the business opportunity market, browse our exciting options today.