Buying existing businesses for sale from someone who is looking to get money out of their business or retire is a great way to become an entrepreneur! You buy a proven, profitable business, and then use your skills and insight to grow it even further. However, finding owners who want to sell is not always easy. Consider this your guide to finding and evaluating good businesses to buy.
Rarely advertised business opportunities
Most commercial sales are rarely known, largely because companies don’t want the word to spread to their employees and customers, who might panic about the change. Instead, most business owners looking to sell have no choice but to wait patiently for a quality buyer or use a broker to market their offerings.
Often times, small business attorneys may meet a client who wants to sell, however it is generally best to focus on a particular industry and simply contact the owners directly. To do this, simply start calling business owners in your target industry and ask if they know of anyone who might be interested in selling their business. Often times, it helps not to wait for an immediate response, but to 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 back to see if they have any ideas. This strategy communicates the fact that you are a serious buyer. Even if the owners you talk to aren’t willing to sell, they usually know someone who is.
If the above strategy is not to your liking, or does not provide quality leads, you can try something else with our trade newsletters or industry magazines. Often these will have classified ads for business owners in the industry looking to get out. These can be a great way to help you generate leads in a particular industry.
Trade publications, both those that deal with a particular region and particular industries, also have listings or even reviews from business owners who may be reaching retirement age. Many business owners at this stage of life want to retire, but cannot because they do not know what to do with their business. You could just be the answer, giving them a way to keep their legacy alive, but leaving more time for golf and grandchildren.
Build your team
Finally, one of the best ways to 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, moneylenders, business brokers, and venture capitalists. This way, not only are you guaranteed to find a business to buy, but you have a team of advisers in your pocket who can help guide the way.