How many of us would love to own a green business but don’t know where to start? There’s the business model, revenue forecasting, capital investment, incorporation documents, potential partnerships, competitive analysis, marketing, insurance, and a whole host of other considerations, including what to name the business. It’s a daunting task, to say the least.
For those who are a bit cowed by the prospects of starting from scratch, there is another alternative: buy into an existing green business. There are a lot of would-be social entrepreneurs out there, and many of them started their business with the best of intentions, built if from the ground up, and for one reason or another, have hit a wall and either need to sell or are looking for partners. I recently ran into the co-founder of a green business called WiseGrasshopper.com, an online lessons directory with a cool business model, low startup requirements, good opportunities, and a really great logo. It turns out WiseGrasshopper’s initial round of funding has been drying up, and they are seeking partners or to sell the business outright. My initial thought, as is that of many, is that since they’ve put in about a year’s worth of work and invested quite a bit of money in the operations getting the business going, the price tag would be astronomical, but I was very surprised at their modest ask. The co-founder explained that these hard times have crimped the founders’ abilities to continue working on the project. (By the way, interested parties are welcome to write to info@WiseGrasshopper.com for more information).
So it is that this economic downturn has its pain. So it is that this pain creates opportunity for others. According to Dave Arthur, founder of GreenBusinessOwner.com, there is a lot of opportunity out there right now for people to buy into green businesses that others have already laid the groundwork and done all the heavy initial lifting for.
Where can one find out about opportunities like WiseGrasshopper? Right now, the best bet is networking. That way, you get a chance to meet the owners, make sure they’re sane, ask them about their business model and plans for expansion, and get a grasp of what it would be like to get going with them. But if you’re an aspiring social entrepreneur looking for opportunity, why reinvent the wheel? The best time to invest is during economic downturns, despite the fear and trepidation surrounding spending right now. If you can get in low, when the market recovers and hopefully you’ve laid the foundation for a successful business venture, your business will be well positioned to succeed from the overall recovery.