Five Things You Can Do To Sell A Business Faster

shutterstock_157837721The average time that it takes to sell a business depends upon who you ask.  It can also depend upon what kind of business you own as well as the state of the current, local economy.

Conservative estimates say it takes between one and three years to sell a small business.  Other estimates are more optimistic, noting that it can take between four months and two years, with the bulk of owners selling after about a year.

No matter what kind of company you’re selling or what your local economy is like, there are things that owners can do to sell a business faster.  These five tips are universal and work in every kind of economy for any kind of business:

1) Offer seller financing.  Business sellers who will only accept a full, up-front cash payment for their business may be severely limiting their market.  A lot of prospective buyers, particularly first-timers, have a limited amount of cash to access.  This is because many prospective first-time buyers secure their loans based on their mortgages.  Since a lending institution will only grant a loan based on a percentage of a borrower’s mortgage, the buyer is usually limited very strictly to a maximum amount. Offering your own form of financing will free up more buyers, making it easier for prospective owners with limited cash to purchase your business. Continue Reading →

Brad B. Wolf
Ten Common Mistakes Business Owners Make When They Sell a Business

Mistakes When Selling A BusinessSelling a business is complicated, and is as much of an art as it is a science.  Owners who sell a business, whatever the reasons, tend to make one or more of the same kinds of mistakes.  This is particularly true of first-time sellers, though even experienced sellers get tempted to fall into some of the same common traps.

Here are 10 of the most common mistakes owners make when selling a business and how you can avoid them:

1) Missing the boat.  You know you want to retire in 5 years.  Until then you want to continue working and building your business so that you have a strong platform to present to a prospective buyer.  When is the right time to put your business on the market?

It’s impossible to accurately predict the amount of time it’s going to take to sell a business.  It will depend on numerous factors, including your type of business, how much it’s worth, how your industry is faring in general, the state of the economy (locally and nationally), your reputation in the community and market and more. Continue Reading →

Brad B. Wolf
Securing Small Business Funding: The Basics of a Business Plan

Business PlanThink writing a college essay is hard?  Wait till you write your first business plan!  Writing a business plan may prove to be one of the most challenging assignments you’ll ever complete.  Although it’s not an easy task, writing a business plan will force you to really think through what it is you want to accomplish by owning a small business AND how you plan to get there.

Putting thought, effort and time into your business plan isn’t going to be easy.  However, it will be well worth the energy.  A thoroughly-researched and well-written business plan will help you secure the funding that you need to purchase a small business and get off to a good start.

A written business plan is necessary for obtaining a bank loan and applying for grants.  Would-be lenders and grantors want concrete evidence that their money is going to be put to effective use.  The more compelling your business plan, the more likely you will be to get the money that you need to get started. Continue Reading →

Brad B. Wolf
Six Seller Financing Tips That Will Help You Sell Your Business Faster With The Price You Want

Dave RamseyThe collapse of the financial market in 2008 and subsequent tightening of the purse strings by lending institutions has made it harder for newcomers to get into business ownership.  Fewer would-be business owners are able to qualify for loans than once were.  Those who do qualify are getting less than their pre-2008 counterparts.  The domino effect is that it is also harder today to sell a business.

The idea of seller financing (also referred to as “owner financing”) isn’t a new one, but it is one that has become more common in recent years.  Seller financing is the practice of a business owner funding the purchase of his business for the buyer.  While this practice does not circumvent the bank entirely, it shifts a greater portion of the risk from the bank to the person selling the business. Continue Reading →

Brad B. Wolf
Buying An Online Business

Buying An Online BusinessThe Internet has changed a lot of things, from the way people get information to the way they shop.  It has also changed the face of business, making it possible to buy an entire business with little or no exchange of physical property.  Buying an online business often means that you don’t get a building, land or equipment out of the deal.  In fact, you may not even get any product, depending on the type of online business.

In many ways, buying an online business is easier than purchasing a physical, “brick-and-mortar” business.  You don’t have to worry about the problems that are sometimes associated with failing or outdated equipment, high-maintenance buildings, lease or rental fees or parking lots and landscaping that must be looked after. Continue Reading →

Brad B. Wolf
Selling A Business: Figuring Out How Much Your Business Is Worth

Seller FinancingWhether you’re retiring, turning over a new leaf or focusing your energy on other business interests, selling a business is a great way to facilitate these changes.  One of the first questions a business owner asks when selling a business is:  how much is my business worth in the marketplace?

Numerous factors affect the value of a business.  Unfortunately blood, sweat and tears don’t count!

But some of the factors that do are:

* State of the current economy.

*Your local market, or the market where you do business. Continue Reading →

Brad B. Wolf
Six Documents You Need Before You List Your Business For Sale

Sell A Business ^ ThingsSelling a business is a lot like selling a house.  You’ll want to put the best possible face on your business, property and all of your assets in order to appeal to potential buyers

Selling a business differs, though, in the types of paperwork and documents that you’ll need to prepare.  While a clean, freshly-painted store or factory will help you make the sale, what really matters most to a potential buyer are the six documents listed here.  These papers must be ready to present before you list your business for sale so that you can move the negotiation process along efficiently and, ultimately, sell your business faster: Continue Reading →

Brad B. Wolf
Buying A Business For First-Timers: What Is Due Diligence?

due diligenceBuying a business can be intimidating for the first-time buyer.  Mix that with the excitement of purchasing your own business and the eagerness to be your own boss, and you might miss some important details that could come back to haunt you later on.

What is Due Diligence?

You’ve probably heard this term before, but may not have fully thought about its meaning until you decided to buy a business.  Due diligence, as it applies to buying a business, is the process of doing reasonable and adequate research about the purchase you are negotiating to make sure that you understand all of the legal ramifications it entails.  To put it metaphorically, it’s “dotting all your ‘ i’s’ and crossing all your ‘ t’s’ ” before you sign your purchase agreement. Continue Reading →

Brad B. Wolf
Five Benefits of Using a Business Broker When Selling A Business

Business Broker

Selling a business isn’t always easy.  At the very least, it will take months.  At most, it can take years.  Fortunately, there is a way to increase your chances of selling sooner rather than later: by using a business broker.

What is a Business Broker?

A business broker is a person who helps individuals who are selling or buying a small business.  He or she assists in a number of different ways, providing professional insight and services that benefit both the seller and the purchaser of the business.

A business broker works primarily for the seller of a business, although someone who is in the market to purchase a business may retain the services of a broker.  Because his commission is often dependent upon making the sale, an owner can feel confident that the advice he gives is sound and in the best interest of the owner. Continue Reading →

Brad B. Wolf
Eight Types of Business Insurance and Who Should Have Them

Business Insurance

Business insurance can be downright confusing, especially when you begin to look beyond the basics.  Few business owners would argue the idea that insurance is a “necessary evil.”  Although it is expensive, it’s a lifesaver (and business saver) if it’s ever needed.

Insurers sell all kinds of different business insurance products.  Understanding what is available can help you decide which kinds you should purchase and, ultimately, help you get a little peace of mind.  Here are eight of the most common types:

Continue Reading →

Brad B. Wolf