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The Ultimate Revenue Stream?

February 22nd, 2007

You - Pizza Maker ExtraordinaireHave you ever felt that you are the reason for successes in your past companies? I heard an elevator pitch Monday morning from a lady who was responsible for an unexpected 2 million dollar contribution to the bottom line of her company. I bet she didn’t get much for that.

Step back a bit and consider out-of-the-box options. I’ve blogged on having multiple streams of income. Many professionals I know have their own “consulting” business. I met a pizza shop owner who told me that they recover the startup costs within about 6 months of opening a new store (trick: they share space with a gas station). I know dozens of recruiters that worked for a huge recruiting firm and now work on their own.

One way to avoid allowing your boss to be in control of your future (which usually means job changes every 3 – 5 years) is to own your own business. Then you can let your customers be your boss (… that’s a little joke, which is supposed to mean you’ll never get a break, work longer then you ever thought possible, miss holidays and weekends, etc. ;) )! The truth is, owning my own business (JibberJobber) has been so much more rewarding than anything I’ve ever done. Its been a lot of work and there has been stress but its amazingly different owning your own thing.

There’s lots of ways to do it – here’s an article from Peter Siegel, who is a business broker. My only advice in starting your own business is to go in with eyes wide open, be skeptical and cautious, hire professionals to make sure you are doing all the right stuff (and aren’t getting scammed)… and then work hard!

Can’t Find a Job? Then Buy Yourself One!

Peter Siegel - Business BrokerMany people think of getting a job or starting a business. However there’s another avenue that is most overlooked: buying an existing business. It’s a popular choice as more and more Baby Boomers retire. If they are already small business owners, they probably want to plan to sell their business. Otherwise, they might be motivated to be their own boss through purchasing a business that fits their business background. They often have 401k money or home equity to put down on the purchase. They often have specialized business skills they can apply. One thing I like about buying an existing business is you don’t have to work out all the kinks in the business and you have immediate cash flow.

I recently chatted with Carl Chapman, a restaurant recruiter who told me sometimes resumes come across his desk that don’t seem to fit the jobs he is recruiting for. Sometimes they have a lot of expertise but it’s tough to find a job that pays them what they are worth. He suggested some of these may be ideal for buying a restaurant and applying their skills to improve it. A lot of people call this ‘buying a job’. I laughed as he explained the trait of a true entrepreneur. He said they are like someone buying a boat: their best day is the day they bought a boat and the next best day is the day they sell a boat.

Small businesses come in all types. You can buy a web site that is already taking orders. There are “lifestyle businesses” like a golf course repair service in a beautiful location in a small town. These not only provide a living but offer a sense of freedom to make their own decisions and benefit directly from their business’ success.

Peter Siegel is a small business owner and small business expert who started USABizMart. Browse the small businesses for sale where you live at www.USABizMart.com to start dreaming about your next job as the owner of a small business. Peter blogs at www.USABizMart.com/blog.

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3 Responses to “The Ultimate Revenue Stream?”

  1. Small business ownership is great. The problem is that many of the most interesting jobs involve working in a large group of people with expensive cutting edge technologies. Someone needs to invent a way where a lot of independent owners get to work with the cool stuff.

  2. Hey Kevin… why not start a blog and do product reviews. One of the most successful that I can think of that followed exactly that patte4rn is Daniel Tonks with his Remote Central, a site that is dedicated to building community and providing reviews and resources for programmable remote controls.

    In the mean time, you could check out my RSS feed of 50 restaurants for sale! and learn about all the neat technology it takes to run a restaurant ;-)

  3. I should not have dropped a “rain on parade” post in an upbeat article on small business ownership.

    I was actually lamenting that there really was no avenue for the employee who had a $2 million dollar idea for improving elevators to realize her idea. Many of the most compelling challenges in our modern economy happen within the context of large corporation.

    The product review site is a fun hobby. Such projects really are just an adjunct to retail. A person who knows the engineering of an airframe for a jumbo jet inside and out will not do well writing a product review about airframes. It is not like someone has a mass affiliate site for airline parts. The engineer working on a compelling project is forced to live within the constructs of an engineering.

    I agree, wholeheartedly, however, that anyone in the restaurant business should be aspiring to owning their own restaurant some day.

    I suspect that restaurant tech is an area with room for many different businesses and independent contractors.

    How to put this a different way … the person who is full of ideas on improving elevators does the world the best by staying in that industry. I lament that the elevator wizard doesn’t have a clean path to ownership or otherwise receiving the apropriate rewards for the efforts.

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