You can choose and set-up every aspect of the business (products and services, premises, equipment, suppliers, staff).
You can develop your business and grow over time.
It may be difficult to obtain the initial finance.
You may not have an established customer base, and you may have to compete with strong, existing businesses.
Your business may not be profitable at first.
Buying an existing business
There is an existing customer base.
You do not have to purchase equipment and stock.
Previous financial records give you an estimate of running costs and profits.
The business may have financial or legal problems.
The business´s success may depend on the skills and experience of the previous owners.
The previous owners may be selling as they see tough times ahead so you may not be able to grow or expand the business.
Going into a franchise
You are supported by the franchisor and have access to training, information and resources.
Market exposure is higher than with most businesses as your business is an established brand.
Your expenses may be lower through the collective buying power of the franchise.
You cannot run your business independent of the franchisor.
If you want to make changes to your business you may not be able to. You can be restricted by your franchise agreement.
Your reputation can suffer if other franchisees have a poor reputation.
Seek advice before you sign
You must obtain professional advice before you start or buy a business, or go into a franchise. Your solicitor, accountant and business adviser can help you to thoroughly examine a business or franchise before you sign a sales contract or franchise agreement. We recommend that you consult advisers who specialise in buying or franchising, as they have the experience and knowledge to help you avoid any problems.