You Want to Buy Your Own Station

You are a manager and

You Want to Buy Your Own Business?

I talk to my clients. I also talk to their seconds-in-command, important persons that I think of as my clients' lieutenants. I think about two things in particular when I am talking with my clients' lieutenants.

  1. My clients' success has much to do with how well their managers perform.
  2. Many of my clients started out as managers of former owners.

I also meet managers of company stores. Some of them ask me what they can do to get their own stations, often starting with little or no money. This is a brief outline of how some managers became owners.

  1. Get a management position with an independent dealer or a small jobber.
    1. Ask yourself, “Is it possible for me to know the owner?”
    2. If the answer is “No,” start looking for another employer.

  2. Do your homework:
    1. Find out if you employer ever sold any of his stations.
    2. Where and how did he get his station?
    3. Has he talked about selling or retiring?
    4. Learn about other independent dealers.

  3. Find out what are your resources:
    1. How much money do you have?
    2. Do you have any family money that you can use for investments?
    3. Do you or your larger family know any investors who would either lend you money or invest their money in a business?
    4. Talk to a bank about Small Business Administration and other government loans.
    5. Send you resume to classified ads of people looking for a business for an investment.
    6. If you are interested in a business, ask if the owner will owner-finance.

  4. Be patient and work at this every day. It is a process that will usually take several years.
    1. Tell your employer you want to buy a business of your own. Ask him for advice.
    2. Read classified ads.
    3. Get to know business brokers and commercial real estate brokers.
    4. Go visit stores that are for sale, or might be for sale, or that you would like to be for sale.
    5. Learn the locations, their good and bad points.
    6. You will learn much you will need to know when you do buy a station.