Entrepreneur Plus - Short White
For Subscribers

Fixer-Upper If you see it's got plenty of potential, you can get that clunker of a business off the lot and running in no time.

By Nichole L. Torres

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You've got guts. That's right-you've got some serious cojones if you're planning to buy a business that's failing and, armed with only your brilliance, turn it around. Some may call it arrogance. On the contrary, we at Entrepreneur know you're just confident in your skills. You're eager to learn and willing to believe that not only can it be done, but you're just the person to do it.

OK, now that we've exhausted all the high school counselor platitudes, you're going to need to know the nitty-gritty, down-and-dirty practical side of buying a struggling company and turning it around. For starters, before you put everything you have into buying a business, make due diligence a top priority. Look closely at the company's financial statements, customers, location, competitors, licenses and zoning, as well as its reputation. Check whether there are any lawsuits or liens against the company, and find out why the business is for sale in the first place. "If the person who's selling the business won't open up [or] give you everything you need to know, don't walk-run away," advises Marc Kramer, author of Small Business Turnaround (Adams Streetwise).

Memorial Day Sale - Save 20%! Unlock this premium article & so much more with Entrepreneur+

Join the internet’s leading entrepreneur community with our Memorial Day sale! With your subscription, you'll get:

  • Digestible insight on how to be a better entrepreneur and leader
  • Lessons for starting and growing a business from our expert network of CEOs and founders
  • Meaningful content to help you make sharper decisions
  • Business and life hacks to help you stay ahead of the curve

Use code SAVE20 at checkout.

Editor's Pick

'Catastrophic': Here's What You Should Know About the Debt Ceiling Crisis — And How a Default Could Impact Your Business
I Helped Grow 4 Unicorns Over 10 Years That Generated $18 Billion in Online Revenues. Here's What I've Learned.
Want to Break Bad Habits and Supercharge Your Business? Use This Technique.
Don't Have Any Clients But Need Customer Testimonials? Follow These 3 Tricks To Boost Your Rep.
Why Are Some Wines More Expensive Than Others? A Top Winemaker Gives a Full-Bodied Explanation.

Related Topics


The Real Reason Why The Return to Office Movement is Failing is Revealed in New Study

There is a vivid sign of the disconnect between employees and their workplace, a glaring indication that companies need to revise their scripts to improve their hybrid and remote work policies.


12 Good Reasons to Explain Why You Left a Job During an Interview

Not sure what to say when asked why you left your last job? Check out these reasons so that you have a great answer on your next interview.

Growing a Business

3 Best Resignation Letter Examples

Are you ready to quit your job? Continue reading for everything you need to know about writing the perfect resignation letter.

Growing a Business

3 Best SMART Goal Examples and How To Achieve Them

SMART goals create an action plan to help you reach your goals. Read on to learn how to develop and achieve your own SMART goals.

Money & Finance

3 Ways to Create Multiple (Big) Streams of Income

Here are three ways to create multiple streams of income. These strategies require effort and resources but offer significant financial potential.

Business Process

How to Properly Address an Envelope

Properly addressing an envelope ensures it gets to where it should be. Keep reading for a step-by-step guide on addressing an envelope.