Monday, 13 August 2012

Finding Businesses for Sale

There are thousands of businesses for sale at any one time so finding businesses for sale is easy, but finding the right business for you is a much harder process. In this article we will look at the various methods a prospective buyer might use to find suitable businesses for sale and the pros and cons of each one.

Businesses for Sale - click here to search our business listings

Businesses for Sale - Online Listings

Any search for "businesses for sale" will show a plethora of websites with thousands of businesses for sale. The sheer quantity and choice this gives you is one of the major advantages of using online listings - although it can also be daunting and slightly overwhelming.

Sifting through all this information can be time consuming but it is good for getting a feel for what’s around in your chosen business area. Online listings for businesses for sale will also give you an idea of current market prices in your chosen sector which can be a good benchmark for getting the best deal possible. Looking at online listings can also show you possibilities that you may not have thought of.

However although online listings will give you lots of choice there is often very little specific information online about individual businesses for sale. This basic information is often less than you would expect to get about a flat or house for sale and buying a business is a much more complex and expensive process, so you do need as much information as possible.

Often online listings for businesses for sale will have an enquiry page or route such as an email address. However, due to the limit on good quality information online you can waste a lot of time enquiring about different businesses only to discover they are not suitable after all.
Although prices of businesses for sale online can give you a flavour of what businesses are charging it is worth noting that some valuations can be suspect, as many online listings will allow individual owners to list privately with their own personal valuations.

Online listings as a method of finding businesses for sale is only really feasible if you are already very experienced in buying businesses or perhaps you have access to your own valuation resource.

Businesses for Sale - Specialist Papers and Magazines
There are still many specialist publications for businesses for sale which can offer a wide choice, but will carry the same sort of limited information as online listings.

Nowadays many traditional paper publications will also have a website where you can look up details of businesses that are advertised in the paper version, and perhaps find out more about the business there - although the information will still tend to be fairly basic.

While specialist paper publications can be very useful for keeping an eye on your sector and getting a feel for current market values, the major downfall of finding businesses for sale in specialist papers and magazines is that, especially if it is a monthly publication, they are more likely to be out of date as opposed to online listings which tend to be more current. Paper publications won’t tell you about businesses that have just come on to the market in the last day or so.

Businesses for Sale - Contact Businesses Directly
There is always the option when looking for businesses for sale, to contact a business directly.

This could be very effective if you are already in the same type of business and have contacts in that field. This lets people know you are looking for a certain kind of business to buy which could lead to a private contact, meaning you could avoid competition from other interested buyers.

However this method of finding businesses for sale can only really work if you do have strong contacts in that industry and even if you do there is a big element of luck that it will turn up the right kind of business for you.

It can also be very time consuming to contact multiple businesses and you will
have to reveal your identity and intentions, possibly before you are ready to do so, which can be a great disadvantage. This could lead to tricky conversations between you and the business owners regarding the value of the business. Contacting a business to enquire about a sale could catch them off guard and before any firm valuations have been made.

Businesses for Sale - Use a Business Broker

Using a business broker to find businesses for sale is a much more focused and professional method. A dedicated business broker will take time to help you clarify your own requirements, and then do the work of finding a business for you, which frees up your time.

A business broker will either already have valuations and other details about businesses you are interested in, or they can research businesses on your behalf. Using a business broker means you can also make specific enquiries about a business without having to talk to the business owner directly, thereby retaining your confidentiality.

By using a business broker to research and approach companies on your behalf which are not currently up for sale, you will avoid competition from other interested buyers - which can give you considerable advantage when it comes to negotiating a sale, and increase your chances of a successful acquisition.

An experienced business broker will be familiar with the general market and will know what’s going on in your sector. And when it comes to the difficult negotiation stage a business broker can see a deal through for you and find ways past any sticking points on your behalf.

Axis Partnership are experienced business brokers offering two different methods of helping prospective buyers.

You can register your details stating the kinds of business you are looking for and you will then receive notification when those types of businesses are available.

Alternatively Axis Partnership can go out and look for businesses on your behalf that match your specific requirements in location, price, turnover and business sector. Axis act as a central point between buyer and seller, which not only maintains confidentiality for all concerned but means many details can be ironed out prior to committing to formal negotiations and revealing your identity.

Businesses for Sale - click here to search our business listings

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