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Where to Search For Online Businesses For Sale

For some business people, buying a business is a more feasible plan of action. Especially if a certain business is at the peak of its business operations and has an exceptional track record, buying it or getting a franchise for the same business is a good option. But, the next question would be where to get a list of businesses for sale and pertinent information about their current market share. The answer to this question is a couple of clicks away, literally. There are websites with lists of online business for sale.

There are specialized search engines specially dedicated to compiling information about businesses that are open for sale. These search engines allow users to find businesses that fit the categories they specify. Search for businesses in certain states, cities, or counties. If there is no particular place that the searcher specifies, he can simply choose what type of business-computer repair shops, groceries, restaurants-he likes to buy.

On the part of the seller, availing the services of online business for sale websites is a fast and reliable way of selling their business in shorter time. Aside from the magnitude of people who go online each day to look for businesses, it is also more cost effective compared to other means of advertising. Less people are reading the newspaper while TV ads, despite its high advertising rates, come in passing. Advertising businesses for sale in the internet will only cost the seller $20.99 per month for a period of 12 months. If they want a shorter period of advertisement, they may opt to pay $35.99 /month for a period of 3 months.

If these rates are quite steep, there are other alternatives to internet advertising. Business sellers may launch their own advertising campaign using websites with huge traffic. They can start with social networking sites. Facebook and Twitter are hot websites used purposefully for keeping in touch with friends and acquaintances. But it now has evolved into a website with a variety of uses-including business advertising. Post a tweet about online business for sale, have it “retweeted” by your followers. Do the same with Facebook, using your status update to spread the word about the business being sold.

Whichever website utilized to sell a business, the important thing in selling a business is to convince buyers that their business is worth buying. Some businesses even show its cash flow in order to convince buyers that they are not buying bankrupted ventures. Give them a tour around the business premises. If the business is still in operation, show them how the business is currently being handled and let buyers observe the customer count per day. Explain why it is being sold, if applicable.

At the end of the day, it boils down to persuading the buyer about the saleablity of the business. Give them the assurance that their initial investment in the business will soon be back in the form of monthly revenue. And also, offer constant assistance to the buyers. Remember the old adage about not burning bridges.

Steps to Starting a Small Business – 10 Steps You Must Know

When it comes to the steps to starting a small business many people just simply don’t have a clue what to do to get started. Here I will give you literally all the information you need to know on how to get started and it is all in a simple step by step format.

#1 Decide On The Type Of Business

This is going to be the most important thing you would need to do. Reason being, If you would choose things that would not be your passion you are sure to fail or you would be very miserable. Ideally, you will want to be doing something that would just not feel like chores. Something you would truly be able to enjoy doing all the time because you would be spending many hours dealing with your business.

#2 Check The Zoning Laws Local To You

Once you have decided on what type of business, you would be wanting to start you would need to make sure that you have checked the zoning laws just to make sure that you would be able to start you home business.

Sometimes the city zones really are set up in a way that you would not be able to have certain types of businesses in their own homes. You could find this out before you would want to invest your time into the new business ideas.

Even if your zoning laws would be against you, you could petition the zones so they could be changed or that you could seek out to be able to rent an office. There are many times that you would find an office that would only cost about $100 a month rent.

#3 Decide On A Business Name

For the name you would want to be able to pick the name that would grow on you and is very easy to remember. You would also be able to use your own name. When running your business from your own home, it would cut down hugely on the advertising costs. You would also try having a decal for your vehicle that would say your businesses name.

#4 Get The Right Licenses And Permits For Your Business

This is very necessary. You could find out tons of information on this just by checking with the city offices, the local universities, and of course the chamber of commerce.

#5 Writing Your Business Plan

There is no need for your plan to be all fancy. If you are about to answer almost all of these questions, you could write a great business plan. You are going to need to make sure you list how you could earn some money, how you would be able to pay for everything, and also how things would be at your start up, and how your situation would look five years down your road. There are truly many programs that can help to get you started on the business plan.

#6 Figure The Way You Are Going To Finance The Business

Deciding on how you are going to finance the business will be done when you would be writing the business plan. You would use this part of the process to better help you to figure out just how you would plan to finance the business.

You could seek out the business loans from your local SBD. You would also be able to use your own line of credit, or you could find a partner that would have the money you would need. It would not be a good idea trying to run your business on prayers alone.

You could however choose starting your own business just part time, at your home, using your income from your job, making sure that you are using the hours that you would have left at the end of your day for your very own business without having to ever borrow money. Many businesses have failed not due to the bad ideas, but mainly due to the poor money managements and the estimates of the start up that would be far lower than the real costs. Be very realistic.

#7 Open A Business Checking Account

Banks are more than willing to give you a great deal since they will be having a business account. Most banks will allow you to even use your own checking account for the business. Now you will need to decide on what accounting method you would want to use. There is the accrual or the cash basis type. This would be a great time to make sure you have purchased some accounting software.

#8 Buy The Supplies And Set The Utilities Up

You would be getting the phone lines, your internet connections, the computers and all of the other office equipment. You are going to need pencils, many pens, the staples, a lot of paper clips and so much more. You are going to need to order the business cards, your letterheads, the stationary, staples, some filing cabinets and the telephones. This is going to give the business a very professional image.

#9 Check The Resources At Your Local Post Office

It is going to be very surprising how much your Post office and the UPS could do for you as well as other postal services.

#10 Join Your Local Chamber Of Commerce

You will also want to join any other professional organization possible. Even if you only have the home business, you still are considered a business; you are going to be able to make sure you use all of the resources that would be available at your local Chamber or any of the other organizations. You would also be able to get tons of very valuable networking along with being able to enjoy the events.

Selling Your Business – Accelerating the Preparation Process

As my clients know full well, the best way to properly prepare your business for sale requires a significant amount of lead time – one to two years. However, I accept some business owners abruptly decide to sell their business and want it sold tomorrow, so will not have the time for long-term preparations. There can be a number of reasons for this:

  • A sudden onset of a serious debilitating illness.
  • A complete mental burn-out where you become unwilling to continue with the daily stress of running a business.
  • A realisation that your business is seriously declining and you no longer have the energy or enthusiasm to stop the slide.
  • Just plain old procrastination in putting off the inevitable until the very last minute.

In fact, most owners of businesses of under £1M in annual sales do very little preparation at all. As a result, the final selling price of their busi­ness suffers needlessly. Whatever your reasons for putting off the decision to sell your business – until you have little or no time for prop­er preparation – there are still several things you can do in the short-term to enhance the value of your business.

If you believe the type of buyer most likely to purchase your business is a “strategic” buyer, then very little financial preparation may be needed. Instead, you should draw-up your business profile emphasizing the aspect you think will be most important in attract­ing this type of buyer.

For instance – if you believe a strategic buyer is primarily interested in your customer base, then you should ensure this component of your business records is well documented and easily accessi­ble. Even though a strategic buyer will most likely not be too interested in the financial picture of your business, you should not omit to perform a recasting of your accounts to help you arrive at an amount your business will most probably sell for on the open market.

This, in turn, will give you a fair idea of what a “financial” buyer will most probably pay for your business. It will also be useful as a yardstick against which you can measure a strategic buyer’s offer.

If you feel the most likely buyer for your business will be a financial buyer – as most are – then recasting your accounts is essential, as is a valuation.

If you believe there are significant financial improvements you could take if you had more time, you should prepare a three year pro-forma financial statement including all the cost-saving and revenue enhancements you would have implemented if you had enough time. These enhancements should be carefully doc­umented and thoroughly explained in the pro-forma as to their prospective nature.

Be aware though, financial buyers are generally adverse to paying for future profits based on projected revenues and/or planned cost-cutting actions that have no guarantee of success.

You may want to base your asking price on your ‘out year’ pro-forma projections and settle on a negotiated price that moves you as close as possible to that amount. Again, it will be difficult to induce a financial buyer to pay for future profits that they will have to take tough management actions to realise.

No matter what type of buyer – or method of sale – you anticipate, in a short-term sale with little preparation, you should accomplish as many physical enhancements to the business as you can.

The following checklist is a guide to short-term initiatives to prepare your business for sale.

Accelerated Business Sale Preparation Checklist:

  • Identify the most likely type of buyer and method of sale. Some meth­ods of sale necessarily take longer than others but each situation is so different that it’s difficult to say which is the faster process. Clearly, if speed is of the essence, you will want to avoid the more complicated methods of sale.
  • Recast your most recent accounts for your last full year of operations. (Note: If you are more than six months into your financial year, you should develop a projected income and expense statement which you base your valuation.)
  • Calculate a liquidation value for your business based on your latest financial information. Use these results to establish baseline valuations for your business to aid you in establishing a realistic ask­ing price.
  • Take immediate action to accomplish as many non-financial business value enhancements and risk reduction strategies as possible. These actions will help to support an upper-range asking price for your business.
  • Review your business operations to identify revenue enhancement and cost reduction initiatives you would take if the time was available.
  • If appropriate, develop a one to three year pro-forma financial state­ment and calculate a new value for your business based on the projections identified in the previous step. Use this new value as the asking price for your business if you believe your projections are realistic and can be “sold” to a prospective purchaser.
  • Prepare as much of the business profile as possible, within the time you have, to provide a strong sales prospectus for your business. A Business Broker will perform this service for you and you may want to rely on them for this. However, you will still need to gather the necessary information together for it to be properly doc­umented.
  • Assemble a team to advise you in your business sale negotiations and hire a Business Broker or other appropriate professional to find prospective buyers for your business.

The process for preparing your business for sale with little or no preparation time is essentially the same as what you would do if you had more time. There are three key differences:

  1. You will not attempt to make cost-cutting or revenue-enhancing changes to your business because they will not show up in your finan­cial statements within the time you need to sell the business. Instead, you will try to “sell” these financial improvements through the use of a pro-forma statement during the negotiation process.
  2. All other enhancement efforts will necessarily be accelerated with the possibility they will not be able to be implemented in enough time or with enough quality as to favourably affect the selling process and the business selling price. In other words, do the best you can with the time you have available.
  3. The accelerated preparation process should be continuous, if possible. Even after you list your business for sale and begin to deal with possi­ble buyers, you should continue to make the changes and improve­ments appropriate to your business. It may take longer than you think to actually find a buyer for your business. By the time the right buyer comes along you may have implemented many of the improvements you did not think you had time to complete. This, in turn, will most likely be reflected in the actual selling price of your business.