What are the steps to entrepreneurship

5 steps on the way to your own company

Many managers are thinking about taking the step into self-employment. A company succession is an attractive option for this. But the purchase itself is not enough. What should future entrepreneurs pay attention to when taking over and how do you find the right company?

Which company is right for me? With so many offers, it can be difficult to make the right choice

The needle in the haystack

The corporate succession market is characterized by the fact that more and more companies are entering the phase of company handover and are looking for a successor. On the other hand, there are the low-birth cohorts and a very stable labor market situation. As a result, the gap between buyers and handlers is getting bigger and bigger.

This disparity creates an interesting situation for interested MBI’s (Management Buy In) to find the right company for them. Why do the searchers still have the feeling that there are fewer interesting companies than expected? Even if the relationship has been turning for several years, it is still important to find the “needle in the haystack”. This requires knowing what the needle looks like and actively looking for it.

Crossroads: entrepreneur or not?

Many executives think about breaking out of the salaried status and working as entrepreneurs in the future. Simply longing to realize your own ideas and the corresponding return of equity is not enough.

This decision requires, in addition to many other facets that make an entrepreneur, first and foremost the willingness to take on a higher risk and a high level of responsibility for others. The possible consequences are therefore of great importance and should be carefully considered. In the end, every MBI has to answer for yourself to what extent you have these necessary entrepreneurial characteristics.

Inventory of individual strengths

The next important step is to become aware of your own strengths and weaknesses and to formulate your added value as precisely as possible. What successes have I had in the past? And which of my skills were used? As a result of this review, you get an overview of your special knowledge and skills. A personal SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) can be a good tool for this.

Industry focus

Based on the decisions made previously, it should be easy to focus on one industry. If not, start with an industry and study it in detail. In this phase, it is important to familiarize yourself with the specifics of the industry, in particular its "language". That sounds banal at first glance, but it represents a significant competitive advantage in the subsequent discussions with the seller. Ultimately, the entrepreneur selects the buyer whom he considers to be the right candidate for very personal reasons in order to continue his life's work and his company and to lead his employees into a secure future.

Active search

The first four steps have laid all the essential foundations for actively promoting the search for the right company. Many MBI's rely on luck, their existing social networks or chance in this regard. This can work, but it is not the rule. If you want to find your target company in a reasonable time of 12-18 months, you have to regard the search process as the highest priority. Success depends largely on the selection of the right company exchange, a large network and detailed process knowledge. The cooperation with an experienced consultant ensures a high efficiency and success rate.

Fact check & understanding of culture

If the target company has been found as a result of this intensive preparation and active search, then the key business data must be checked. In addition to these hard factors, the corporate culture plays an essential role! If buyers and sellers are fundamentally different in terms of their value system, such as leadership or dealing with future challenges, this is usually quickly reflected in the sales talks.

Nobody should indulge in the illusion that a cultural change can be carried out in a fast-forward fashion. In the first joint discussions, one focus should therefore be placed on reconciling the very personal values ​​of the buyer and seller. The experience of a consultant who is experienced in moderation is particularly important here.


A clear commitment to entrepreneurship, objective determination of individual strengths, focus on one or a few industries, an active search process and support from a verifiably experienced consultant are the keys to success in finding the right company.