Growing up in Southern Saskatchewan with a background in human resources and economic development, Alison Anderson, CEO of SuccessionMatching.com, started her business in 2011 after having a client who was looking to sell their business.

SuccessionMatching.com is an online platform that matches business owners looking to sell with people looking to buy a business. Alison works with members one-on-one when they sign-up for the site to help them through the buying and selling process, and on top of that, she does a number of presentations on business transitions, succession planning, and buying a business.

We had a chance to chat with Alison about buying and selling a business. Here’s what she had to say.

Why do you think entrepreneurs should think about buying an existing business instead of starting a new one?

The timing is right, and it’s less risk. For the first time in Canada, we have more people over the age of 65 than under the age of 15. There is 1.9 trillion dollars worth of assets looking to transition ownership right now. Add to that the fact that people who buy businesses are more likely to succeed than people who start businesses from scratch, and it just makes more sense for aspiring entrepreneurs to get a head-start by looking at what’s already built for them to build on.

What are some of the benefits of buying an existing business?

There are six main reasons to buy an existing business:

1. Mentorship
2. Existing cash flow
3. Easier to get financing to buy a business
4. Established name and reputation
5. Current staff in place
6. Businesses wanting to expand their market position

To learn more visit this blog post on the 6 Reasons to Buy an Existing Business.

What are some qualities you should have before you consider buying a business?

Buyers should think outside the box. We have a lot of people who have successfully bought into a partnership through our site or financed an Employee Share Ownership Plan (ESOP). With so many Baby Boomers looking to transition, buyers only limit themselves by not considering new career paths and alternative options. Get creative!

Any top tips for entrepreneurs considering buying an existing business?

There are a number of phases to buying a business. I strongly recommend that entrepreneurs who are buying an existing business involve an accountant, certified business valuator, lawyer, and lender throughout the process.

Do you know of resources available for entrepreneurs to learn more?

Anyone looking to buy a business should have a business plan. It is not only a good idea, but it will be required to get financing.

Entrepreneurs can also check out one of our monthly webinars on buying a business, as it is a great venue to ask questions. For dates and locations, follow up on Twitter @sxnm, or check out our events calendar on Facebook.

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