The Reality Behind the Dream

Russ Allred MBA

We love to celebrate successes!! CHEERS! LOCALE

Many people dream about being their own boss.  Some work most of their lives to save enough money.  They rent a space, pay for tenant improvements, buy equipment, and then start hunting for clients.  If they do well, they might make money after three years.  Most fail and close the doors within five.  It is common for a restaurateur to spend $300,000 in start-up costs, with no guarantee of success.   That’s the truth.

A young woman, fresh out of culinary school, contacted me about buying an existing diner.  She had a dream of running a restaurant using locally sourced products.  The diner was basically a hamburger stand in a converted garage, located next to two of the most popular restaurants in town.  The diner was only open for lunch.  Sales paid for all the expenses, but didn’t provide the owners enough money to live.

The buyer saw its potential and after some negotiation, offered %80 down and the sellers carried a note for 20%. The day she bought the diner she made a bank deposit from food sales and continued to earn money while she gradually implemented her changes.   It has been two years.  The note is paid.  The restaurant has been repaired and painted, a new logo developed and new signs installed.  Business is strong and patrons are pressuring the owner to open for dinner.  A neighboring club wants the owner to provide their food service. 

Please relax on my couch and allow me to interpret this dream:

1.  The buyer had a vision of what she was going to build (she even had pictures of how it would look).

2.  The buyer followed the most cost effective path to get what she wanted.

3.  Though the original business was not successful, it had all the necessary equipment.

4. The business was located where customers congregate.

5.  The new business offered a better choice in the marketplace

If you dream of owning your own business, consider buying a complimentary business and converting it to what you envision.  As you convert your dreams of business ownership into reality, review these observations.  They will work in most businesses.  Also talk to a business broker.  We might have something that will work for you.  


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