Finding the Right Business for Sale, the Right Way

Are you looking to buy a business? Finding the right business is a long shot. Going about the whole process the right way will save you a lot of your valuable time. If you’re looking for a business for sale  you need to avoid limiting your search to where every other buyer is looking, and also you need to make sure you put together a worthwhile deal when making an offer.

Where do I find the right business?

Many people dream of running their own successful businesses but have no idea on how or where to get started. For you to find the right business, you have to do some digging in the right places. Let’s look at the most likely places for one to find the right opportunit

1. Direct Interaction With Business Owners

Unfortunately, most business owners do not advertise their businesses for sale. This means that you will have to hunt and seek everything out. You can’t just wait for the right opportunity to come to you.

To start, create an amazing buyer profile as well as a business proposal to present to the owner to show that you’re a serious potential buyer. Then find a way to contact the business owners in your preferred industry before they even have the chance to advertise.

One way to go about this is calling the business owners at random and introducing yourself. State your intentions and ask them if they or someone they know is selling their business. If they do not have any definite answers, you can ask them to keep you in mind whenever they hear of something promising. It’s okay to make a follow up phone call or send an email to find out if anything new has come up

You can get leads about businesses that are up for sale from lawyers and accountants. You can also get leads from your friends and family. Your network might know someone who is looking to sell their business.

2. Business Brokers

Hiring a broker can save you a lot of your time and money especially if you’re looking to buy a larger, more established business. Business brokers will identify suitable businesses for you to buy in your field of preference and undertake all the negotiations on your behalf. Some of the ways in which you can find a reputable broker include:

  1. Asking around for recommendations
  2. Checking Online directories such as the IBBA
  3. Obtaining referrals from your local chamber of commerce

During your first meeting with your broker, ask as many questions as possible. Find out how much they charge and while you’re at it, ask about their experience. Ask how long they have been in practice, if they have any accreditation, and if they belong to any trade associations.

“Off­market” Pocket Listings

After a thorough discussion with your broker about the type of business that you want, ask them if they have any listing of businesses that are secretly for sale. Unadvertised pocket listings usually comprise of  profitable, well established, mature and fairly priced businesses, but require a relationship of trust to find. These are usually very appealing to buyers who seek exclusive opportunities.

Let’s have a look at the advantages of pocket listings to both the sellers and the buyers:

Benefits to the sellers:

  • Privacy/ Secrecy
  • The transactions are faster and smoother
  • No need of multiple showings to strangers
  • The seller gets to test the market and evaluate the reactions by potential buyers
  • If the company doesn’t sell, there will be no public record showing about the attempted sale.

Benefits to the buyers:

  1. The valuations are reasonable and, therefore, the businesses are not too expensive
  2. There is very little (or no) competition
  3. No time wastage on unprepared or unqualified sellers

Searching Online

There are many websites that have information about businesses that are up for sale. Identify the best sites amongst them and begin your online search. The great thing about these websites is the capability to narrow down your search by when the listing was posted, the price of the business, the location, and the industry. For example, if you are looking for a business for sale in San Diego, you can simply make this your keyword for search and then break it down further by industry.

If you do not find the business that you’re looking for immediately, you can subscribe so that when a job that matches your criteria is posted, you’ll receive an email alert. This will help to keep you constantly abreast of new businesses to buy, and is one of the most common ways of finding a business for sale.