Before answering the question, it makes sense to first ask why people want to be in business for themselves. What are their motives? There have been many surveys addressing this question. The words may be different, but the idea behind them and the order in which they are listed are almost always the same.
Statistics reveal that out of about 15 would-be business buyers, only one will actually buy a business. It is important that potential sellers be knowledgeable on what buyers go through to actually become business owners. This is especially true for those who have started their own business or have forgotten what they went thorough prior to buying their business.
Most prospective business buyers really don't know from the outset the exact type of business they want to buy. Experienced business brokers and intermediaries know that many business buyers end up with what is sometimes a far cry from what first captured their imagination.
Today's independent business marketplace attracts a wide variety of buyers eager for a piece of ownership action. Buyers of small businesses are most likely replacing lost jobs or searching for a happier alternative to corporate life. Buyers of mid-sized and large operations are, typically, private investment companies seeking businesses to build and eventually sell for a profit.
In many cases, the buyer and seller reach a tentative agreement on the sale of the business, only to have it fall apart. There are reasons this happens, and, once understood, many of the worst deal-smashers can be avoided.
To find the real value of a business, we must go to its very heart: the attitude, work habits, managerial style, customer/marketplace savvy, and community reputation of the person in charge.
Why does it take so long to sell a business? Price and terms are the biggest reasons.
This question can only be answered by addressing other related questions, specifically: Who’s asking and for what purpose?
Creating value in the privately held company makes sense whether the owner is considering selling the business, plans on continuing to operate the business, or hopes to have the company remain in the family.
For a business to sell, there has to be a seller - and a buyer. The buyer of today is a bit different than the one of yesterday. Today's buyer is not a risk-taker, is concerned about the financials, and seems to be overly concerned about price. Unfortunately, buyers have to understand that they cannot buy someone else's financial statements.
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Below you will find a number of articles related to selling a business. These are intended to give you a brief introduction to the process. One of our broker associates will be able to walk you through the entire process from making the decision to list to the closing and transition.