First, you must look within and ask yourself a few questions. What are your likes/dislikes, strengths/weaknesses, and how much time can you dedicate to the business? Your experience, personal interests, and knowledge in a particular field will help decide which industry you should consider.
Next, is to begin the search. One suggestion is to is to scour the internet for websites that have an MLS (multiple listing service) such as, bizbuysell.com, businessbroker.net, sunbeltnetwork.com, mergerplace.com, and businessesforsale.com, to name a few. Often times business brokers have (of know of) businesses for sale that are not on the websites, therefore you will want to call your local business brokerage office and establish a relationship with a broker. Let them know what you are looking for and be sure to stay in touch regularly. Lastly, don’t forget talk to friends, colleagues, and neighbors as they may know someone who can help or wants to sell.
Lastly, hire a team of professionals once you have found a business. Why? Trust me when I say, it’s worth it. An accountant will notice discrepancies in financials that you may not have thought of, which can save you from buying a bad business. The lawyer will make sure you are protected adequately in any contract that you sign. There is a lot at stake when buying a business and if done incorrectly, can have negative repercussions.