I Just Can’t Do it Captain!


For the Star Trek enthusiasts out there you’ll recognise the title of this post as one of the most famous lines from the first series way back in the 60s or from the more recent Ace Ventura movie. It was a phrase most commonly said by Scotty, the chief engineer, to Captain Kirk who had a knack of getting the Enterprise into some tricky situations. Why all the geeky references, well a number of older entrepreneurs just “Don’t have the power!” to conceive, grow and nurture a new business from scratch. It’s hard work, takes time, is risky and it requires energy like nothing else I know.

Now I’m not tarring all older entrepreneurs with the same brush here, there are many exceptions to the rule. It’s just that older, more experienced entrepreneurs tend to have a better grasp of the value of time and the real consequences of opportunity cost. 16 hour days, up all night and youthful exuberance are not viable options and aspects like stability, low risk and time friendly activities become important when birthing a new idea or business at an older age.

This is where buying a business comes in. It’s less risky, less energy consuming and if you buy the right business you could save a considerable amount of time. Imagine all the new systems that need to be conceived and implemented within a new business. Finding the best talent to drive the business forward and make it profitable. Finding and convincing potential customers that they need to use your product or service. Man, I don’t know about you but that’s going to take far long to perfect and who knows how many battles you’re going to need to fight along the way.

I’ve been involved in buying and starting businesses before and I can promise you that pruning an existing business is far easier starting one from the ground up. Using an existing business as a base to allow you to promote a new product or service idea is also a smart move. The infrastructure is already in place, with less risk of financial meltdown, you may even have a team to help you perfect things a little.

Yes it’s true, you will probably need more funds than a start-up might require but if you were a bank manager, who would you rather lend to? An existing business with an existing revenue stream and customers, or a start up with no trading history and no guarantees. Lenders deal in risk, why not make it easier for them to agree to your proposal?

So if my mission to pass on the benefits of buying a business has struck a chord, then I bid you good luck with your search of business for sale listings that match your criteria. If not then I salute you for your bravery. Beam me up Scotty!! What? I couldn’t resist.

Ross Withers is the the founder and writer at BusinessTransfer.co.za, a portal dedicated to businesses for sale in South Africa.

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