There generally are two ways to becoming a small business owner:
You could buy an existing company, with its established customer base, stable of trained employees and proven cash flow.
Or you could start a company from scratch and bootstrap it - hopefully to success.
Starting from scratch may be best for the entrepreneur with a groundbreaking idea. On the other hand, those who aspire to make their own hours or seek more immediate cash flow may be better off taking over an established business, said Patrick Snyder, executive director of the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship, which fosters, teaches and researches entrepreneurship.