There are a few reasons why an established business could be put up for sale.
A small business owner could choose to sell because of the desire to pursue a new challenge or move into another business sector.
The reason could also be retirement.
Whatever the owner’s reasons are, what matters to you as a potential buyer is that a business that fits your investment profile just became available.
So, how will you know when such a business is on the market?
I wrote this article to show you how to find businesses for sale, and the scope of each business hunting method.
How To Find Businesses For Sale: Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the questions other readers like you are asking about small business acquisitions on Google:
Is There A Website Where You Can Buy Businesses?
There are lots of business listing sites where sellers post information and prices about enterprises that are available for sale.
The largest among these listing sites is BizBuySell.com with over 45,000 businesses listed on the platform.
How Do I Find Out What Companies Are Selling?
Most online listing sites will let you set up alerts that inform you when businesses that fit your investment profile become available for sale.
What Is Needed To Find Listed Businesses
Here are the resources and services you will need to acquire a business or franchise that fits your criteria without any hassles:
- Subscription Fee — you may have to pay a monthly membership fee to access advanced buying features on the platform of the business listing company you are using.
- Business Broker — you may need the services of a broker to help you calculate the fair value of the business you want to purchase. You could also opt to buy through a broker instead of surfing listing sites to find the type of business you want.
How To Find Businesses For Sale: Step-By-Step Instructions
I recommend using a combination of two or more of the methods listed below to easily find the right business that meets your criteria regarding location, industry, revenues, cash flow, and more.
Try the following methods to find what you are looking for:
- Surf Business listing sites
- Check out local media
- Contact local business associations
- Contact local business owners
- Hire a business broker
Method 1: Surf Business Listing Sites
This is the most convenient way to find quality businesses that have been put up for sale.
The breadth of information provided about the listed businesses differs from one platform to another.
Most will show the type of business, business history, photos of the premises, inventory, revenue, cash flow, and listing price.
Platforms that have a premium plan tend to offer additional features like alerts, promoted inquiries, comparison tools, financial statements, and more.
Some of the most reputable business listing sites include:
- BizBuySell: find small businesses and franchises in your target industry. There is a free plan and a premium monthly subscription plan.
- Businessesforsale.com: you can buy businesses and website properties from sellers located all over the globe. There is also a free and premium plan.
- BusinessBroker.net: this platform lets you find local and international businesses as well as brokers on the same platform. There is no subscription fee.
- Bizquest.com: this platform is also free, but you can only find US-based businesses and franchise opportunities.
You can also check out the websites of business brokers and M&A firms in your local area to easily find buying opportunities closer to home.
Method 2: Check Out Local Media
Local newspapers and Craigslist are some of the best places to search for hyper-local businesses.
Local owners looking to sell are more likely to advertise their businesses on both platforms.
You could also put out an ad in your local newspaper to inform business owners in your target niche that you are actively shopping for an established business.
You shouldn’t forget to outline the features you are looking for in a business.
Method 3: Contact Local Business Associations
Small businesses rely on these organizations for support and to access federal lending programs.
Such constant interaction gives them insight into the status of business owners and the state of their enterprises.
They will often know which owners are exploring a sale.
You can reach out to these business development centers to refer you to business owners that are willing to sell in your community.
Method 4: Contact Local Businesses
It will be a mistake to expect owners that are looking to sell their businesses to put up a “For Sale” sign on their windows.
Most people won’t do that because it could scare off customers and unsettle employees.
To overcome this hurdle, you can use a small business database like Beacon’s buyer program to make a list of potential businesses that fit your criteria.
Then, reach out to each owner on your list to find out if they are willing to sell.
Networking will go a long way to help make such conversations go smoother.
You should attend local meetups and conferences to build relationships with entrepreneurs in your community.
Method 5: Hire A Business Broker
Working with a broker removes the uncertainty in the process and ensures you will find an existing business that fits your requirements.
Like in real estate, business brokers are that valuable because they have robust networks of relationships with key stakeholders and business owners.
The issue is the huge sums you will have to pay for their services.
Most of them will charge between 5-10% of the overall purchase price.
That’s a significant sum that most buyers will be unable or unwilling to pay.
Similar Articles To Check Out
- How to Sell a Domain Name: this article will show you how to determine the value of your domain name and the best marketplaces to list your domain.
- How to Make Money With Clickbank: discover how this affiliate marketing platform works for merchants and marketers, and how it is different from other alternatives.
- How to Make a Blog to Sell: this article will guide you through the process of building a blog from the scratch, monetizing it, tracking your finances, and selling your online business for a profit.
Acquiring existing businesses is one of the easiest ways to obtain a reliable source of long-term wealth without having to build a new venture from the scratch.
Your chances of being successful will drastically increase if you are able to purchase a business that is an exact fit for your requirements.
This is why you must be prepared for a time-consuming and occasionally frustrating business hunting process.
Feel free to reach out in the comments section if you have any questions about small business acquisitions, I will be happy to guide you in the right direction.