If you approach your business acquisition with a goal to improve on the founder you will be happy with your new business.
Some people don’t want to step out and take the risk of starting their own business. Choosing a name, developing a logo, opening the doors, creating the menu – all of these are things that are not easy. (This is one reason why franchises are so common. It’s a model and it’s proven. What you do with it is up to you, but you are not starting from scratch.)
Other entrepreneurs choose instead to take a business that opened, failed to really get off of its feet, but had some value and offered opportunity. These folks buy the business at a huge discount, invest in whatever was lacking (the menu, the ambiance, the customer service…) and even a marginal improvement will give them a return on their investment.
Those that really are impressive are the ones that take a successful business, pay a market competitive price for the base line of customers, sales and infrastructure and then improve on the founder. These are the ones that will make the outgoing owner proud to know that what they started still has a great reputation, a waiting list on a Saturday night and award winning status in the community. If that doesn’t happen, and the business fails to flourish, the seller might just come on back and take over just to prove that it was not the name, the location, or the existing equipment that was the problem.
~ Dawn aka Hat Girl