Is It Better to Buy a Business or Start from Scratch? Key Factors to Consider

Posted on February 15th, 2024.

Expanding your business portfolio often involves deciding between buying an existing business or starting a new endevour from scratch. 

Each strategy has its advantages and considerations, making it essential to carefully evaluate which approach aligns best with your goals and resources. 

In this blog post, we'll explore the differences between buying a business and starting from scratch, along with key factors to consider when making this important decision.

Read on!

Analyzing Two Paths to Porfolio Expansion

When expanding your business portfolio, choosing the right strategy is paramount to your success. In this section, we'll delve into two primary approaches: buying a business and starting from scratch. Each strategy offers unique advantages and considerations, shaping your path to growth and profitability. By comparing these portfolio expansion strategies, you can make informed decisions that align with your goals and resources, ensuring a solid foundation for your business endeavors. Let's explore the nuances of each approach and uncover the key factors to consider in your expansion journey.

Buying a Business

When you buy a business, you acquire an existing operation along with its assets, customer base, and brand reputation. This approach offers several advantages:

  • Established Infrastructure: Purchasing an existing business provides access to established infrastructure, including facilities, equipment, and operational systems. This can significantly reduce startup time and costs.
  • Existing Customer Base: An existing business typically has a loyal customer base, providing immediate revenue streams and potential for future growth. Acquiring a business with a strong customer following can accelerate your market penetration.
  • Proven Track Record: Established businesses have a track record of performance and profitability, offering greater predictability and reduced risk compared to startups. This can provide confidence to investors and lenders.
  • Brand Recognition: Acquiring a business with a recognized brand can provide instant credibility and market presence. Building brand awareness from scratch requires significant time and investment.

Starting from Scratch

Conversely, starting a business from scratch involves creating a new venture from the ground up. While it requires more effort and resources initially, starting from scratch offers some appealing advantages:

  • Creative Control: Starting from scratch allows you to build the business according to your vision, values, and objectives. You have full control over every aspect of the venture, from branding to operations.
  • Flexibility: A new business offers greater flexibility to adapt to changing market conditions and emerging opportunities. You can pivot quickly in response to feedback and market trends.
  • No Legacy Issues: Unlike buying an existing business, starting from scratch allows you to avoid inheriting any legacy issues or liabilities. You can establish clean financial records and operations from the outset.
  • Innovation: Starting a new business encourages innovation and creativity, as you're not constrained by existing processes or norms. This can lead to disruptive ideas and competitive advantages.

Key Factors to Consider

Expanding your business portfolio entails a critical decision: whether to buy a business or start from scratch. This choice is influenced by various factors, each carrying significant implications for your growth strategy and long-term success. Here, we delve into the key factors to consider when weighing the options:

1. Financial Considerations

When evaluating buying a business versus starting from scratch, financial implications play a pivotal role. Assessing upfront costs, ongoing expenses, and potential return on investment is essential. Consider factors such as purchase price, financing options, revenue projections, and profitability forecasts to ensure sound financial decision-making.

2. Market Analysis

Conducting a comprehensive market analysis is crucial to understand the competitive landscape, customer demographics, and industry trends. Determine which approach aligns best with market opportunities and demand. Analyze factors such as market size, growth potential, competitive positioning, and regulatory environment to identify viable opportunities for portfolio expansion.

3. Risk Management

Assessing risks associated with each strategy is vital to mitigate potential pitfalls and safeguard your investment. Evaluate market volatility, regulatory compliance, operational challenges, and competitive threats to understand the level of risk exposure. Develop contingency plans and risk mitigation strategies to navigate uncertainties effectively and ensure business resilience.

4. Strategic Fit

Aligning your expansion strategy with long-term strategic objectives is paramount for sustainable growth. Evaluate how buying a business or starting from scratch aligns with your organizational goals, core competencies, and competitive positioning. Consider factors such as scalability, diversification, synergies with existing assets, and strategic fit within your overall business strategy.

So, is It Better to Buy a Business or Start from Scratch?

After considering the key factors and comparing the advantages of buying a business versus starting from scratch, it's evident that acquiring a business often offers a more favorable path to success.

According to the study by the University of Richmond's marketing faculty, acquisitions are associated with higher financial returns compared to startups, with an average return on assets (ROA) of 2.45% for acquisitions versus 1.75% for startups. Additionally, acquisitions have a more significant impact on market share growth and competitive positioning.

With established infrastructure, existing customer base, proven track record, and brand recognition, acquiring a business provides a solid foundation for growth and expansion. It offers reduced risk, faster market entry, and greater potential for long-term profitability.

Related: M&A Branding: Strategies for Seamless Integration During Mergers & Acquisitions 

Expand Your Portfolio Today

The decision to buy a business or start from scratch is pivotal for your portfolio expansion strategy. While both approaches have their merits, acquiring a business often offers superior benefits, including established infrastructure, existing customer base, and proven track record.

At Nico Denas (SM), we understand the complexities of portfolio expansion and offer expert consulting services tailored to your unique business objectives. Whether you're looking to acquire a brand, business, or real estate, our team provides strategic guidance and support to maximize your success.

Contact Us Now!

Don't navigate the expansion journey alone. Reach out to us at (321) 328-5982 or email us at [email protected] to schedule a consultation and explore how Nico Denas (SM) can help you achieve your growth goals. Let's embark on this journey together toward greater success and prosperity.


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