First the dreaded statistic: 80% of all buyers looking to buy a small to mid-sized business in California never end up doing so! A shocking statistic to most buyers of small businesses. Below are some helpful hints to make you a successful buyer of a California small business.
Many of the helpful hints I chat about in my new eBook Buying A California Business - The Ultimate Guide For Savvy Business Buyers! - and in the ProBuy And ProSell Programs I developed for both California business buyers and sellers. If you follow all of these tips you will be a successful buyer of a small to mid-sized California business.
WHAT MOST BUSINESS BUYERS DON'T KNOW - BUT SHOULD ABOUT THE BUYING PROCESS
1. Most buyers of California small to mid-sized businesses don't realize that 70% or more of business brokers and agents don't cooperate on their listings - meaning they don't share their information with other brokers and agents either intentionally or unintenionally by not advertising or promoting their listing(s) to other California business brokers, agents, and intermediaries.
2. Most buyers call only a few brokers or agents thinking/hoping the broker will "find" or "search" for them and find the ideal business to purchase. Most business brokers and agents are so busy trying to sell their own set of listings that they rarely have the spare time to do non-paid searches for a buyer who may not end up buying a business.
3. 60% of all California businesses for sale are not advertised or marketed - they are "pocket listings", "unadvertised listings" - these are listings that business brokers and agents don't have listed but know about because of their daily dealings with small business owners in California who want to sell but will not give a contract or written listing to a broker or an agent. They will sell if the broker or agent brings them a "serious buyer". What this means to you as a serious business buyer is that you have to get the word out to as many California business brokers and agents as possible to widen your "comprehensive search process".
4. In all business brokers directories only the main broker is listed - in most instances there are more (sometimes up to 10-100+ agents) that aren't listed but have great "pocket" or "unadvertised listings" that others in the office don't know about - you need to reach all these agents directly because of #3 listed above.
STEPS ALL SERIOUS BUSINESS BUYERS SHOULD DO TO BE SUCCESSFUL:
1. If you know what types or locations of businesses you are searching for you need to post and keep posted at all times a Business Wanted To Buy Announcement or utilizing the BizBen Business Buyer ProBuy Program and get the word out to as many California business brokers, agents, intermediaries, and owners as possible - you need to be highly visable - this step provides that!
2. You need to scan the new and refreshed business listings for sale (Save all interesting listings to your BizBen My Admin section when you are logged into your FREE BizBen Account) posted everyday at BizBen. On average over 400 new and refreshed postings / listings are posted and in many instances offers and letters of intent come quick on the more popular new listings - don't miss out on these - check the new listings daily on BizBen (but don't forget to search on all older posted listings too and Save them to your BizBen My Admin section).
3. Sign up for a FREE BizBen User Account to receive new listings by Instant Email Alerts and Daily Email Reports of all new and refreshed postings / listings posted that match your search and buying criteria. Make sure you put @bizben.com in your "Safe List" in your email program/software so these Email Alerts / Reports don't end up in your spam filter - you do not want to miss out on any great new listings posted and sent to you.
4. Contact as many of the brokers and agents listed in the California Business Broker Directory with your request (let these brokers and agents know you saw their info in BizBen) - what types, locations, prices, adjusted net income - what you want in your ideal business you are searching for. Make sure you get them a Buyer Profile, and a Non-Disclosure on any of their listings they may be selling (fax these back with their NDA/Confidentiality Agreements). Stay in touch will all of these brokers and agents on a consistant basis - see step #1 above - post a Business Wanted Announcement - the buyers who are more active and visable tend to be the ones who get the better businesses that are sold!
If you follow the above steps - and I mean all of them you will be successful in buying the best California small to mid-sized business that match your personal needs and search criteria!
About This Contributor - Peter Siegel, MBA is the Founder and President of BizBen.com and the BizBen Network consisting of business buyers, business owners, business brokers, small business advisors. If you are a business buyer looking to buy a California small to mid-sized business phone Peter Siegel direct at 925-785-3118 about more BizBen Business Buyer Programs.
|Helpful Resources To Assist In Selling And Buying California Businesses|
|Diane Boudreau-Tschetter: Escrow And Bulk Sale Services
California Business Escrow, Inc. is a full service independent escrow company serving all of California and has expertise in a wide range of escrows. Our team prides itself on providing an exceptional escrow experience. For more info phone Diane Boudreau-Tschetter at 888-383-3331 or 209-838-1100.
|Elizabeth McGovern: Escrow Services - SF Bay Area
McGovern Escrow Services, Inc., is a leading independent escrow company. We are a trusted partner with our clients, assisting them through the tangled bulk sale & liquor license transfer process. We provide attentive, quality & innovative customer service. Phone Elizabeth McGovern at 415-735-3645.
|Joe Sandbank, Esq. - Legal Services
I have provided legal counsel to business buyers, sellers and brokers for over 17 years. With prior experience as a business broker and SBA loan officer, Joe brings both a practical and legal approach to all aspects of the business acquisition process.
|Janet Carrera - Escrow & Bulk Sale Services - SF Bay Area
Redwood Escrow Services, Inc. is a full service, licensed independent escrow company. We are EAFC Fidelity bonded, fully insured & licensed with the Department of Corporations. Committed to offering our clients the most comprehensive variety of escrow services available. Phone Janet at 510-247-0741.
|Helen Yoo: Escrow & Bulk Sale Services - Southern California
New Century Escrow, Inc. is a fully licensed & bonded independent escrow company. Over 20 years combined experience in handling bulk escrow transactions. Multi-lingual staff that speaks your language, including Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese. Call Helen Yoo direct at 626-890-1151.
|Willard Michlin, CPA, Certified Fraud Examiner, Due Diligence Services
Willard Michlin, CPA #106752, offers buyers step by step training & assistance in doing Due Diligence Services when they are thinking of making an offer, or are in process of investigating a business purchase. He helps to determine the actual net profit even when there is cash. Call 805-428-2063.
|Brad Steinberg, Broker - Laundromat Specialists
PWS is the leading laundromat broker in California. Since 1968 PWS has brokered over 2,500 laundromat sales. With over 90 employees dedicated to the coin laundry industry, PWS has 18 licensed agents, a 3 person in-house finance department, 10 service technicians and a 20 person parts department.
|Related Articles, Events, Blog Posts, Discussions, Videos, Interviews|
|What Factors Are Considered In Valuing A Small Business? Advisors Weigh In
Valuing a small business is not guess work. It's not what some other businesses of the same type may have or may not have been sold for, it's not even what a business owner "feels" they want or deserve. It is a formula based on many factors. Peter Siegel, MBA from BizBen & others discuss this topic.
|Thinking Of Selling My Business: What Factors Create Value And Drive Price?
There are a lot of misconceptions about what enhances the value of a business. The following factors in this Discussion Post on BizBen are aspects of a business that really drives its value and pricing. Business owners thinking of selling should check these out these factors before selling.
|Should I Buy A Business That is Losing Money? Feedback From Top Advisors
Are businesses worth taking a look at when they are losing money? Multiple Advisors & Business Brokers weigh in on this topic and say yes! (but be careful) on a BizBen Discussion. Some great feedback on this topic will make potential business buyers (and money losing sellers) want to read this info!
|How Many Listings Is Too Many For One Broker To Handle? Is It 5? 10? 20?
Peter Siegel, MBA in this Vlog/Podcast discusses how many listings is too many for one business broker to handle at one time. Is it 5 is it 20? I recently had a coaching call with one of my BizBen broker clients who asked that question this week. There are many factors that go into the answer.
|Why Deals Fall Out: Unrealistic High Asking Prices Are Usually The Reason
The unfortunate truth is that approximately 50% of all small business sales transactions fall out. While failed transactions can happen for a many reasons, Peter Siegel, MBA (BizBen Director & Business Purchase Financing Expert) discusses the main reason deals fall through; steep asking prices.
|How Many Months Should I List My Business With A Business Broker?
It's important to remember that selling a business takes time. Unlike selling a house, which can be sold relatively fast, a business can take up to six months to a year to sell. Joe Ranieri (Orange County Business Broker) at 714-292-5448 explores this topic from a Business Brokers perspective.
|Tips When Using Escrow Bulk Sale Services When Buying Or Selling A Business
The final part of the business for sale transaction is the escrow and bulk sale process by Peter Siegel, MBA (Business Purchase Financing Expert, ProBuy & ProSell Program Advisor) answers questions and describes the escrow and bulk sale process. Peter can be reached direct at 925-785-3118.
|The Bottomline: What Exactly Is Adjusted Net Income, SDC, And Cash Flow?
The use of add backs & adjusted net income is common among sellers of businesses when showing their financial information/performance. But buyers are cautioned to review financials and tax returns / documents closely. Peter Siegel, MBA with BizBen (ProBuy & ProSell, Financing Expert) explains.
|See All News, Tips And Events|