If you dream of owning your own business in a resort town you essentially have two options: find an existing business for sale; or start a business from the ground up. The general wisdom is that it is always less risky to buy an established business. There are many reasons for this, but it’s especially true in resort and vacation areas. We’ll explain why in a bit, but first, the basics:
- The business will generate cash flow from the beginning. This is important not just from an income prospective, but also because you'll be able to plan accordingly.
- Proven business concept. Your focus can be on how to improve that concept, not create it.
- Proven products, and/or services, sales and marketing strategies. Same as above.
- Established customer base- not "build it and hope they will come".
- Relationships with suppliers are already established. You won't need to weed through them to figure out who best serves your needs; you can take your time testing new ones.
- Trained employees in place- a huge load off!
- Seller may also act as a financer. In today's lending environment this may be the only way to purchase a business for sale.
- The seller usually agrees to provide support for a given amount of time- on the job training.
- Broader financing options, and better terms- track record is a key component of lending guidelines.
These reasons make a lot of sense, and even more so in a resort area. Chances are you'll be relocating to the area where the business is located…so you've got plenty to worry about already. Moving is stressful to begin with, and it will be compounded by the fact that the new environment is essentially ‘foreign'. Stack the hurdles of creating a business from scratch on top and it could prove overwhelming. Even if you have experience running a business (even the exact same type of business), the wild seasonal fluctuations and transient nature of resort town employees will surely take some adjustment.
Of course, there is the challenge, excitement, and creativity involved with starting an entirely new business venture. But we'd be willing to bet that that's not your primary goal; most likely it's to live in someplace beautiful and inspiring and work for yourself. Stress is exactly what you're trying to avoid! So our advice is to find an established business for sale in your dream location and save a little time to enjoy the place and the lifestyle.