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How to Find a Business for Sale

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There has never been a better time for entrepreneurs to invest in businesses of their own. Naturally, the idea of buying an already existing business is more compelling than starting a business from scratch. Buying and growing an already existing business seems like the more attractive option because most of the legwork has already been done for you. This means that there’s a higher chance that the business will succeed.

Whether you take the business to the next level or not depends on your ability to run it and your past experience as an entrepreneur. Any aspiring owners who are looking for a business for sale and are not sure about where to start their search have the following options:

Places to look…

The whole process of finding a business for sale can be quite challenging. When you get started on your search, you need to stay focused. This will help you to narrow down your search from the beginning to avoid wasting time on options that do not match your criteria.

Here are the places to find a business for sale:

1.   Directly

If you’ve already made up your mind about the type of business that you’d like to invest in, approach the business owners. Broaden your search and approach as many businesses as possible to increase your chances of finding the perfect business opportunity.

The approach can either be through an intermediary or directly. Just ensure that you do proper research about the business and prepare a business plan that you will use to pitch the business owner.

The owner might require that you prove your ability to run such a business. I cannot, therefore, overemphasize on the importance of doing your due diligence.

2. Online Marketplaces

Most buyers who are looking for a business to buy start their search online as this is the most obvious place to start. Another contributing factor to their popularity is the ease with which one can create a buyer/seller profile.

There are many websites that have listings in different industries, giving the buyer a wide range of options to choose from.

To find the most viable option, you can narrow down your search by using filters on the basis of when the business was posted, the location, as well as cost. If for example, you are looking for a business for sale in San Diego, then you can use that keyword to start your search and then narrow it down by the industry you are interested in.

A downside of using online marketplaces is that the businesses on these listings are not necessarily vetted. This makes quality listings hard to determine. As a buyer, due diligence lies with you; you need to do your homework before the purchase is finalized. If need be, hire a business broker to help you.

3.  Brokers

Business brokers are experienced in selling businesses and have a wide network to draw from. Brokers have knowledge and expertise that they use to perform their due diligence to make sure that the listings made available to the buyers are pre-vetted. They have listings consist of legitimate businesses that are already established and bring in a stable income.

Working with a business broker makes everything easier for you. They will advise you on the right steps to take and also take care of issues that arise throughout the sales process.

The best thing about brokers is that they are paid after the deal goes through.

Qualities of a Trustworthy Business Broker

Some good qualities of a good broker include:

  • A broker who specializes in selling/buying businesses that lie in your field of interest. A broker who has experience in similar businesses will easily give you an estimate of the business’ pricing. They will also, most probably, have leads on potential businesses that are up for sale.
  • A broker who can provide a verifiable track record showing their previous clients to confirm whether they were satisfied or not
  • A broker with certifications and who belongs to an association
  • A broker who has connections with business owners, lawyers, accountants and other relevant professionals within the locality

How to Find Trustworthy Business Brokers

Here is how to find a reputable broker for the best buying experience that is smooth and lasts the shortest time:

  1.  Search online directories
  2.  Get information from your local chamber of commerce
  3.  Seek referrals and recommendations from your network
  4.  The International Business Brokers’ Association
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