Becoming a business owner | 3 min read

5 tips for choosing a business based on your current skills

Last updated: June 4, 2020

Buying a business isn’t just about facts and figures. While it’s important to make sure you do your due diligence and make a good investment, you can also consider your own skills, experience and passions to help you make the right decision. Here are our top tips for choosing the business that’s right for you based on your skills.

1. Play to your strengths

Choosing something you really enjoy and have a talent for can be a great way to go into business. If you’re great at making coffee, or baking, or are passionate about fitness, you may be able to make a business out of it. Of course, it’s important to also look at the practical realities. Starting from the ground up may not be the best idea, but investing in a successful franchise or existing small business that incorporates your strengths can be a great way of establishing a profitable business.

2. Be honest

Don’t exaggerate your skills, expertise or expectations. Running your own business can be a rewarding experience provided you know what it takes, but it can also be demanding, so be sure of your reasons for self-employment.

If you love fashion, but have no experience in customer service, managing a retail store might not be for you, and if you don’t want to work weekends or early mornings buying a café probably isn’t the best idea. It’s important to choose a business that aligns with your lifestyle expectations, as well as your personal and professional qualities. Assess your skills, identify strengths and weaknesses, and then take the necessary steps to fill any gaps. Refining your skills or investing in new ones can be worthwhile if you lack particular expertise in an important area and are keen to take a new career path.

3. Look at all the options

There are many businesses that could match your skills, so taking the time to look at all the options and analysing what you really want is important. Maybe you’re happy to work six days a week for the right income, or finding a flexible work-life balance could be more important than immediate cash-flow. Perhaps you’d prefer to work alone than manage a team of people. Every business has pros and cons so looking at all the options, assessing what your ‘deal-breakers’ are and what you can tolerate will help you decide what’s going to best fit your needs.

4. Find the right fit

Discovering the perfect business for you is about ensuring you match your personal and professional strengths, without compromising the potential profitability of your business, or your own happiness. You can’t be good at everything – but there are tasks you can outsource, or in the case of a franchise, get support with, such as marketing and accounting. The right business will fit your budget, skills, experience and overall strengths to maximise your potential, so it’s crucial to consider what’s really important to you.

5. Do your research

When you think you’ve found the industry or business that suits your needs, it’s important to do a little more research. When you’re planning to buy a business, using tools such as the ATO’s Small business benchmarks can help you asses how the industry is performing overall and give you confidence in your investment. Identifying who your customers would be, your competition and learning about the industry itself can help you decide what the right opportunity is for you.

Still unsure? To help you avoid some of the common mistakes and find the right opportunity, keep reading to discover some important steps and find a small business that’s right for you.