Buying Guides

How to Buy the Small Business That’s Right for You

Buying a Business Guide Image

Before you start looking at businesses for sale, it is a good idea to spend some time analysing opportunities that meet your personal needs and that have good market conditions. Your decisions at this stage of the buying process will help set you up for success – ensuring that you avoid any businesses that are not suited to your personal skills, interests and goals.


Ideally you should select a business area that interests you and will allow you to live the lifestyle you desire. For example you may wish to run a business that allows you constant day to day contact with customers, or you might want to own a business that can be run by a management team with minimal input by the owner.

You may find that advice from business owners within industries that you are interested in will help you make the decision over what type of business will suit you. There are a number of online business forums like that have a ready community of small business owners willingly providing advice and answering questions.

Skills, Talent & Knowledge

We don’t advise that you do something in an area where you have no previous experience. You should choose a business to buy in an area where you have previously done your best work. If you’ve never worked in a restaurant before it’s unlikely that you can become a successful restaurant owner without previous experience. We always recommend that our buyers take the ‘path of least resistance’ – meaning pick an area of business where you are the most likely to prosper without having to spend months learning and understanding the business.

Money Required

As previously covered in our how to budget for buying a business guide, determining your budget for buying a business before beginning the search process is often essential to avoid any disappointment further down the line. Although it is often possible to secure buyer financing for a business, you will be required to put down some form of down payment (normally at least 30%). Once you’ve decided on your budget for buying a business you can ensure that your search for business opportunities is fully in line with your resources available. For more information on Intelligent’s partnership with NatWest for buyer financing visit our business finance section.

Research Your Potential Markets

When you are buying a business, researching your potential markets is essential. We advise this takes the form of online and offline research looking at the short term to long term industry forecasts. Is the market in a growth stage or has it entered a challenging period? Although it is always better to swim with the tide in a growing marketplace, remember that even in slowing markets there are always business owners making money with innovative approaches.

Selecting the right type of business opportunity for you can be difficult. However remember that owning a small business can be hugely rewarding, with the positives far outstripping any negatives. Do your research and you will ensure that you give yourself the best opportunity to make your business purchase a successful one. For advice on the type of business that might be right for you, or for advice on buyer financing, call our team on 0800 612 7718.