Small Business For Sale Listings Reach Six Year High per BizBuySell’s 2nd Quarter 2015 Insight Report
BizBuySell recently released their Business For Sale Insight Reports for the 2nd Quarter of 2015 stating growing supply & Demand continues high transaction trend. Overall “business sales” were up 12% vs. 2nd quarter 2014. This level of performance has not been seen since 2009. Below are a few additional summary items from BizBuySell’s reports.
- Median small business asking price grew 13% in the past year, while sale price increased 12%.
- Manufacturing businesses led the recent growth spurt with a 29 percent uptick from the same period last year.
- Business listings in the restaurant (12 percent), service (11 percent) and retail (9 percent) industries also experienced year-over-year supply growth.
- The median revenue of sold businesses increased to $450,000 this quarter (the highest on record since report inception in 2007).
- The median cash flow rose slightly to 102,995 from $100,000 at the same time last year.
- California saw large increases in the number of small businesses on the market.
- San Jose (up 64 percent)
- Sacramento (up 42 percent)
- San Francisco (up 31 percent)
- San Diego (grew by 18 percent)
- Los Angeles (7 percent increase)
To help show a picture of what happened in the 2nd quarter of 2015 for California below is a chart showing the number of business’s listed and the average cash flow multiple. We also added a column using $200,000 cash flow as an example to show a California market comparison.
|California Highlights||# listed||Cash Flow Multiple||Hypothetical 200kCash Flow x Multiple = Listing Price|
|Contra Costa-Alameda-Solano, CA||187||2.85||$570,000|
|San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA||389||2.53||$506,000|
|San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA||342||3.10||$620,000|
|San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA||184||3.04||$608,000|
“There will always be some outliers, but this quarter’s data confirms that small business listings, transactions and financials are all continuing on a great trend,” Bob House, Group GM of BizBuySell.com and BizQuest.com said. “Nationally, the transaction volumes, key financial indicators and economic environment during the first half of 2015 point to another robust business-for-sale market in the second half of the year.”
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According to the experts, a business owner should lay the groundwork for selling at about the same time as he or she first opens the door for business. Great advice, but it rarely happens. Most sales of businesses are event-driven; i.e., an event or circumstance such as partnership problems, divorce, health, or just plain burn-out pushes an owner into selling a business. The business owner now becomes a seller without considering the unexpected issues that almost always occur. Here are some questions that need answering before selling:
How much is your time worth?
Business owners have a business to run, and they are generally the mainstay of the operation. If they are too busy trying to meet with prospective buyers, answering their questions and getting necessary data to them, the business may play second fiddle. Buyers can be very demanding and ignoring them may not only kill a possible sale, but will also reduce the purchase price. Using the services of a business broker is a great time saver. In addition to all of the other duties they will handle, they will make sure that the owners meet only with qualified prospects and at a time convenient for the owner.
How involved do you need to be?
Some business owners feel that they need to know every detail of a buyer’s visit to the business. They want to be involved in this, and in every other detail of the process. This takes away from running the business. Owners must realize that prospective buyers assume that the business will continue to run successfully during the sales process and through the closing. Micromanaging the sales process takes time from the business. This is another reason to use the services of a business broker. They can handle the details of the selling process, and they will keep sellers informed every step of the way – leaving the owner with the time necessary to run the business. However, they are well aware that it is the seller’s business and that the seller makes the decisions.
Are there any other decision makers?
Sellers sometimes forget that they have a silent partner, or that they put their spouse’s name on the liquor license, or that they sold some stock to their brother-in-law in exchange for some operating capital. These part-owners might very well come out of the woodwork and create issues that can thwart a sale. A silent partner ceases to be silent and expects a much bigger slice of the pie than the seller is willing to give. The answer is for the seller to gather approvals of all the parties in writing prior to going to market.
How important is confidentiality?
This is always an important issue. Leaks can occur. The more active the selling process (which benefits the seller and greatly increases the chance of a higher price), the more likely the word will get out. Sellers should have a back-up plan in case confidentiality is breached. Business brokers are experienced in maintaining confidentiality and can be a big help in this area.Read More
Making the decision to Sell your business can be a traumatic and emotional event. In fact, “seller’s remorse” is one of the major reasons that deals don’t close. The business may have been in the family for generations. The owner may have built it from scratch or bought it and made it very successful. However, there are times when selling is the best course to take. Here are a few of them.
- Burnout – This is a major reason, according to industry experts, why owners consider selling their business. The long hours and 7-day workweeks can take their toll. In other cases, the business may just become boring – the challenge gone. Losing interest in one’s business usually indicates that it is time to sell.
- No one to take over – Sons and daughters can be disenchanted with the family business by the time it’s their turn to take over. Family members often wish to move on to their own lives and careers.
- Personal problems – Events such as illness, divorce, and partnership issues do occur and many times force the sale of a company. Unfortunately, one cannot predict such events, and too many times, a forced sale does not bring maximum value. Proper planning and documentation can preclude an emergency sale.
- Cashing-out – Many company owners have much of their personal net worth invested in their business. This can present a lack of liquidity. Other than borrowing against the assets of the business, an owner’s only option is to sell it. They have spent years building, and now it’s time to cash-in.
- Outside pressure – Successful businesses create competition. It may be building to the point where it is easier to join it, than to fight it. A business may be standing still, while larger companies are moving in.
- An offer from “out of the blue” – The business may not even be on the market, but someone or some other company may see an opportunity. An owner answers the telephone and the voice on the other end says, “We would like to buy your company.”
There are obviously many other reasons why businesses are sold. The paramount issue is that they should not be placed on the market if the owner or principals are not convinced it’s time. And consider an old law that says, “The time to prepare to sell is the day you start or take over the business.”
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