Turning your business idea into reality
Thinking of becoming your own boss? Increase your chances of success by choosing the correct route
Colm Healy of the Skelligs Chocolate Company
Hate your workplace? Tired of your job? Feel like crying when you get your payslip? Why not become your own boss by buying a business?
For those looking to escape their colleagues or their boss, owning a business might be tempting. But rather than starting one from scratch, buying a business or franchise can often be a better route.
Start-up costs aside, buying a successful business or franchise can be an easier option as they tend to have name recognition and a proven business model, greatly diminishing the odds of failure.
Most start-up entrepreneurs build a business around a hobby, passion or area that really interests them. A lot of the time they have seen a gap in the market in an area they are very familiar with.
“I wanted to come home, as I missed it to a degree. I didn’t know what I would do job-wise and my sister who lives in Cahersiveen told me there was a pub for sale in the area, as well as a chocolate factory.
“The smoking ban had just come in, so I decided to steer away from the pub. I went down for a look at the chocolate business and liked what I saw, so I bought it.”
Healy was previously self-employed, having set up his own IT business before selling it on in 1999. He says the experience of having already run his own business helped immensely.
“When you buy a business in Ireland, you have to take over all the employees too. I had a fantastic staff and they all knew what to do, which was great.”
Healy says he would recommend buying a business as opposed to setting one up.
“You save time on mistakes other people have made. The previous owners will already have made all the mistakes that go hand in hand with setting up the business. You can save yourself hassle if you buy a business that’s run properly.
“From day one we had money coming in. You don’t have that if you’re setting up a business.”
He bought Skelligs Chocolate with money from savings and so didn’t need a loan. Such was the success of the business that he bought another business in 2008 – Cocoa Bean Chocolates – to add to Skelligs chocolate offering.
“We needed to strengthen up in the area of chocolate bars. We were being asked for bars but our offering wasn’t good enough. We bought Cocoa Bean as their recipes were good. If the recipes weren’t good I wouldn’t have been able to fix them as I’m not a chef or chocolatier.”