04- Sep2015
Posted By: Joe
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Business ownership: A Going Concern or Start from Scratch ?

Previously we were discussing, not whether to go into business, but the decision of which method made sense for you. A chicken or egg scenario. Do you start from scratch with just an egg? An idea that has yet to hatch but holds great promise or do you purchase some chickens, a going concern that is producing revenue and , hopefully, income.

Under the egg method you must have time. Time to weather the delays of a startup; the lack of customers, employees, revenues and spendable income. In fact the reality is you will most likely go deeper in the debt hole having no personal income for many months if not years. Do you have that kind of staying power (reserves)? Investors, if you can find any, will not allow you to spend their money on your living cost. So for sake of analysis let’s examine which is better, the chicken or the egg.

Your egg has a cost obviously much less than buying a group of chickens. But it does not produce current income. Let’s say you have spent $50k on your egg (idea) so far. Even when it hatches you’ll have to build up your “coup” of chickens letting other eggs hatch not taking income while this process build. You now have another $200k sunk into your business and / or debt from living expenses.

At $250k you could have bought a chicken farm, a revenue producing enterprise. You’d have debt but also income. You’d be buying a proven business because you did your due diligence and know the stream of revenue the business has been producing. You might have to spend a few dollars for sprucing up the business; perhaps a new marketing campaign but you have INCOME!

But my egg is a fantastic idea. Could be, I hope so. BUT 75% of all new businesses fail by or before year 3 and 85% by year 5. Risky?  You bet! Still want to be in business? Good. We’ll discuss alternative ways to make that happen while lowering the risk next.

Steve Ivey