Purchasing existing businesses for sale from someone who is looking to cash out of their business or retire is a great way to become an entrepreneur! You buy an already-proven and profitable business, and then use your skills and acumen to grow it further. However, finding owners who want to sell is not always easy. Consider this your guide for finding and sizing up good businesses to buy.
Business Opportunities Rarely Advertised
Most business sales are rarely known, largely because companies do not want the word getting around to their employees and customers, who might panic about the change. Instead, most business owners looking to sell my small business are left with no choice but to wait patiently for a quality buyer, or use a broker to market their deals.
Often small business lawyers may know of a client who wishes to sell, however, it is typically best to focus on a particular industry and just contact owners directly. To do this, simply start calling business owners in your target industry, and ask if they know somebody who might be interested in selling their business. Often it helps to not expect an immediate answer, but instead give them some time to think about it.
Instead, follow up after a week or two by mailing your business card along with an inquiry letter. Lastly, call again to see if they have any ideas. This strategy communicates the fact that you are a serious buyer. Even if the owners you speak to are not willing to sell, they usually know someone who is.
If the above strategy is not your cup of tea, or does not bring you quality leads, another thing you might try our trade newsletters or industry magazines. Often these will have classified ads for business owners in the industry looking to exit. These can be a great way to help you build leads in a particular industry.
Business publications, both those dealing with a particular region and particular industries, also have listings or even write ups of business owners who may be reaching retirement age. Many business owners in this stage of life want to retire, yet are unable to because they do not know what they will do with their business. You could be just the answer, by giving them a way to keep their legacy alive, but leave more time for golf and grandkids.
Build Your Team
Finally, one of the best ways to both find deals and evaluate opportunities, is to surround yourself with a network of business professionals who can provide resources or advice. These should be investment bankers, lenders, business brokers, and venture capitalists. This way, not only will you be guaranteed to find a business to buy, but you will have a team of advisors in your pocket who can help guide the way.