Selling a Business -Its about Time

Selling a Business- It’s about Time

Selling a Business is a process.  Many factors go into a successful business sale.  I am an experienced Business Broker working with business sellers and business buyers in both South Carolina and Florida.

Below is a description of the role time plays when selling a business. And how one should take the time to plan a business sale and understand if the timing is right when selling a business,

Selling a Business Its about Time

When selling a business, setting the right selling price is important, finding a qualified interested buyer is important, finding the right deal structure is important and in the background of all of this is TIME.

The money involved with selling a business is the engine that that drives the deal forward but inevitably time is the steering wheel that affects where and when the deal goes through.

What affect does time have on the selling a business process?

  1. Is it the right time for the business owner to sell his or her business? Are they ready financially and emotionally?
  2. Is it the right time to try to sell the business according to the economy. A few years back during the recession (or whatever you call it) was it the right time to sell a business when business lending was significantly down and sales and business performance were down?
  3. Is it the right time for a business buyer? Is it the right time in the business buyer’s life?  In all my experiences most business buyers mostly, but not always, seem to fall in a certain age demographic of say 30-55 years old. So often someone under 30 may have the interest in buying a business yet may not have the financial means.  A business buyer over 55 may have the financial means yet may not have the energy or perceived time horizon to engage in the long term decision. Or family situation can also affect timing. (That being said I did personally buy a business when over 55 years old).  But the time needs to be right for the business buyer
  4. When selling a business, how much time is needed to sell a business. How much time will pass between the decision to sell, to signing documents at a business sale closing? I’ve sold a business that took 3 days to sell and sold another business that took 3 years.  An often misunderstood part of selling a business is how much time is involved in selling a business.  Yes it does happen sometimes when someone knocks on your door , offers to buy your business, and soon after a business sale occurs.  But that scenario is definitely not the norm.  Using a business broker is a decision that should strongly consider time.
  5. Most business owners I know have a full day handling their business. For many, this is an understatement.  But generally most business owners are busy running and growing a business.  How does a business owner find the time to add on the added responsibility of trying to sell their business.  Selling a business involves putting together a marketing package, marketing, vetting prospective prospects, trying to maintain confidentiality, securing NDA’s, etc..  All this occurs before meeting with prospective buyer.  Offers, Due Diligence handling, contracts, etc. are all elements that may occur after finding a buyer, and all of this requires time. (and a certain level of expertise)
  6. If the Buyer needs bank financing to buy a business- how long does it take to secure financing? If the Seller is offering to stay on during transition how much time is he/she willing to stay on for?
  7. More than likely the Seller will agree to a Non-Compete upon a successful business sale. How much time is the non-compete in effect for?


Is the time right for selling your business?  Is the time right for you?  Are you ready mentally and financially?  As a business owner selling a business- do you have the time?,   As a starting point take the time to seek some answers to these questions.  You may not have the time but must make the time to properly analyze this very important decision.

Scott Messinger is a Professional Business Broker working with business owners looking to sell their South Carolina Business or Florida Business.  Also working with business buyers throughout the South east USA, throughout the nation, and international business buyers as well.

Currently represent businesses for sale in Anderson South Carolina, Greenville South Carolina, Pendleton South Carolina, Pickens County, Jacksonville Florida as well as other areas of South Carolina and Florida.

For More information email or call (864) 210-8226

Selling a Business Current Market Information South Carolina Florida

Thinking about Selling a Business Or Buying a Business?   September 2017 Market Information

As a Business Broker Professional, I participate in Quarterly National Surveys along with over 300 other Business Broker professionals. The below are highlights of the most recent results and represents 293 Business Brokers and Advisors in 38 states and over 250 businesses sold in last 3 months. I focus working with Business Sellers in South Carolina and Florida, and work with buyer prospects througout the USA and international. Below are some highlights of these survey results.

What did these 250 + business sell for from April-June 2017?

selling a south carolina business




Businesses sell for a “Multiple” of SDE (Seller Discretionary Earnings)- which is similar to Adjusted Cash Flow- essentially what does the business make for an owner and what could it make for a new owner.
Again, the Multiple Paid for a Business is dependent on size (with some variation- some industries do get paid a higher multiple than other industries). The Multiples paid for businesses sold over the last several years have been somewhat consistent with the average multiple paid for a business that is valued under $1M is approximately 2 X SDE.
How Much Cash at Closing? –

Selling a business




Some Seller financing is typical in business sales of all sizes.Furthermore business buyer rarely walk in with 100% of the Funds needed out of their own pocket. Very often for a business buyer to come up with the 75-86% cash at closing, financing from a bank (often SBA financing) or other financing is secured by buyer to complete the acquisition. For smaller businesses having the business meet the qualifications for an SBA loan can be a challenge and can make a sale difficult or worse.
Where Do Business Buyers Come From?

buying a South Carolina Business





As you can see above, the smaller businesses may find a buyer “down the street”. But the search for a buyer almost ALWAYS requires a search and marketing that includes local, regional, statewide, nationally and often international.

Who Are the Business Buyers?

Buying a South Carolina Business




Again, searching for a Business Buyer includes marketing for 1sttime buyers, and experienced business owners for “smaller businesses”. But depending on business size contacting competitors, other strategic buyers, and larger investors are all active applicable business buying prospects.
Thanks to the survey information and IBBA, M&A Sources, Pepperdine Capital Markets Project, and the Graziadio School of Business and Management at Pepperdine University.
For more information please feel free to contact me- Scott Messinger
working with Business Sellers in Greenville South Carolina, Anderson, the entire Upstate and Florida and business buyers throughout the USA and internationally.


I am currently working for business buyers looking for:
:: Salon Greenville SC area
:: Aviation Parts Business S.Carolina
::Business earning $100k+ cash flow in Upstate
::HVAC Business
::Mfg Business w/$400k+ cash flow in Upstate
::Home Service Business
::Pest Control Business
::Multiple Buyers looking for businesses earning $1M+ cash flow
:: Janitorial Business in Florida
Pack and Ship ANderson SC

Businesses that Want to Sell

Business Owners Have recently Expressed Interest in Selling their business: ….
*Window Cleaning
*Auto Parts online and brick/mortar
*Computer Service
*Hair Salon/Spa –
*Metal Refinishing-
*Commercial Contractor
*Electric Contractor
*Sports Bar – SC
*Carpet Cleaning –
*Ethnic Rest.
*Printing Business

Contact me for any
further info on these or more information on selling a business in South Carolina.

September-2017-  “Whats Important When Buying or Selling a South Carolina  Business
How long does it take to Sell a Business??
I have sold a business in 3 days and one took 3 Years.
I would advise the “average time” to sell a business could be 9-14 months.
If wanting to sell your business next year…. start the process yesterday.

For More info on Selling a Business or Buying a business in SOuth Carolina – Anderson, Greenville, Spartanburg, Clemson, Easly, Greer, Pickens The Upstate and all of South Carolina Florida as well please contact Scott Messinger at:

SC- (864) 210-8226
FL (239) 770-2421




Selling With Your Ears -a Business Broker Perspective

Selling with Your Ears – a Business Broker Perspective.

“Nothing happens in this business until somebody sells something.”

Are you a salesperson?  If you are in a small business or a startup I would be stunned if you said no.   I have  been with several companies throughout my business career, small, medium, and a large Fortune 100 company, some as an employee and some as an owner.   My role currently as a business broker is to help people with the process of buying and selling businesses in Anderson South Carolina, Florida, and Southeast USA. .  How do you find people wanting to buy a business or sell a business- prospecting.

Whats The First Thing I Do When Meeting This Prospect- Listen.

My job of working with those in the buying and selling of businesses is really really a job of listening.  I recall one of my first jobs out of college I was hired by a Fortune 100 company, and they would send all new employees off to corporate headquarters for 45 days of fairly intensive training.  Training as a salesman/woman for that company involve quite a bit of technical knowledge on their products along with sales/marketing/time management skills.  I studied the technical aspect of this product extensively.  I felt when I got in front of a prospective client I just had to let him know all I had learned about this product without really slowing down to hear what they wanted to know.  It seems a little silly to me now, but then I felt it was my job to tell them all I knew.

Today, to me, selling is listening to a customers needs and proposing a solution.  Today I listen/work as a South Carolina Business Broker.  I work with those buying and selling businesses.  There is so much that goes into such a complex process that include the emotional side, the financial side, the timing, family, friends, employees, loyalties, that without listening to what a persons true interest is seems so mis-guided.

Overall, I’ve found Salespeople can seem to be looked at in a negative way by other departments within an organization, can be looked at disparagingly thru movies and stories, but my perspective on sales process or the sales person is a little different.  I have a strong admiration of those involved with the sales process.  The sales process can be defined in many different ways from taking orders over the phone to the full cycle process of identifying a target market, prospecting that target market, approaching that target market, and ultimately trying to parlay those contacts into gainful customers. The production department, or the service department may not like all the actions of the sales department, but very often the jobs in the production department or the jobs in the service department are dependent upon the sales department.  I guess  its ok to not like the salesmen or saleswomen in your company but from a business perspective you can not discount their value.

Some thoughts on Selling:

  1. Were not selling stuff, were selling solutions
  2. Selling is not trapping a prospect in a room or on the phone and subjecting them to our “pitch”, selling is maybe 80% listening 10% asking followup questions and 10% wondering if you have asked all the pertinent questions
  3. When selling are we telling them what we want to tell them?, or responding to what they are asking for
  4. The true full selling cycle from development to implementation to closing a sale is an admirable achievement.  Most that are successful at this can find many successes in business.
  5. Many (maybe most)  Presidents,  CEOs, Vice-Presidents  began their careers as a salesperson
  6. All in the company should have a role in sales from CEO/President to receptionist- Do you think Steve Jobs- Apple, Bill Gates- Microsoft sells? – Absolutely
  7. Listening is a skill…  and maybe a salesperson biggest potential asset. – Like many others,  I was fortunate to be born with 2 ears and just one mouth.
  8. STOP- and pretend you are the buyer of your product or service- what do you want to hear?

I cant imagine meeting a person that wants to buy a business and not asking them what type of business do you want to buy?, where do you want to buy that business?, how much do you want to spend on that business?, what is important to you when buying a business? and so on.

When a person wants to meet with me regarding selling their South Carolina  business, or Florida business- I would like to know why do you want to sell your business?  When someone runs a business for 5,10,20 ,30 + years the why can be a pretty compelling answer.  I continue to ask more questions and listening. It almost doesn’t even sound like selling, and I think there is nothing wrong with that.   Maybe listening is a byproduct of experience, or maybe it is taught, or maybe some people are just better listeners than others.  And maybe that’s what makes one a  better salesperson than others.

Scott Messinger is a Business Broker based in Anderson South Carolina and working with business Sellers in South Carolina and Florida.  Also working with business buyers throughout USA and Internationally.

Steps Involved with Selling a Business

Steps Involved with Selling a Business

There are many steps involved with selling a business

Steps Involved with Selling a Business

Steps Involved with Selling a Business

Buying or Selling a Business is a process.   The below provides a framework to define the steps involved with selling a business in South Carolina, Florida or SE USA..  The size and type of business that one may be buying or selling will influences the complexity of each of these steps.  I am a Business Broker based in Anderson South Carolina.  I work with Business Sellers in South Carolina, Florida and Business Buyers locally, throughout the US and International as well.  Every Business Sale transaction is different but share some similarities as well.

1)  INITIAL INFORMATION REVIEW– Gathering needed information and protecting that information ensuring Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure Agreements are signed to assure confidentiality related to this  private matter.  Irreparable harm can occur if the confidential content of discussions and negotiations are improperly disclosed. Seller reserves right to approve potential buyers and may require that additional buyer information/capability be submitted before confidential information is released to the  buyer of the business.

2)  THE INITIAL MEETING: At the first meeting, the potential   buyer of the business  will want to know specifics from the owner potentially including  seller’s motives for selling the company as well as more detailed information about the business.  Conversely, the seller will want to know how if  the buyer is the type of person to whom he wants to sell the company. If the results of the initial meeting warrant further consideration of the deal, the buyer will next begin to evaluate the company and develop a financial structure for the proposed business purchase.


contingencies or a letter of intent will be presented. A letter of intent may have an ” escape clause”  in it to allow one or both parties the opportunity to withdraw from the deal if certain conditions are not met.  The letter of intent will address :

  • The purchase price/ consideration – Selling price of cash, notes, equity, or some combination of these.
  • What is being purchased — Assets, liabilities, and operations that are being transferred to the buyer and those being retained by the seller should be identified.

    Structure — The parties need to agree about whether the sale will be a sale of assets, a sale of stock, a merger, or some other structure. Whether the SBA, bank, or owner takes back a note, the company cash flows must be able to support that loan.

  • The definitive purchase agreement — As the buyer begins its detailed evaluation of the company, the attorneys will be preparing the purchase agreements. The Sales Purchase contract is usually drafted by the buyer’s attorney.
  • Due diligence — The seller will need to have ready his financial records, all corporate records,pertinent  contracts and all pertinent other  documents  that the buyer of the business will be requesting for review once the letter of intent or contract is signed. This will allow the buyer of the business to analyze the company in greater depth to determine whether everything has been represented properly, whether he wants to buy the company, and, if so, the appropriate price to pay. A purchase price is usually negotiated based in part on historical financial information. and future potential earnings.
  • Escrow — The buyer will establish an escrow account  into which his initial  Good Faith deposit of monies shall be deposited and handled by a 3rd party escrow agent .
  • Other significant items-  non- compete terms,  and employment contracts.   leases and long-term purchase contracts, and any other pertinent business agreements shall be addressed.
  • Professional fees – Usually the buyer and seller will bear their own costs for attorneys and accountants.
  • Conditions and Timing for closing. Usually the closing is within two weeks after all contingencies have been completed, and like most steps in the buying or selling of a business this time is negotiable.

4)  CLOSING– Once all issues have been resolved, the documents are signed, and the consideration exchanges hands, the deal is in condition to close. The actual closing marks the conclusion of the process.

Again buying or selling a business is a process and depending upon the size of the business and type of business this process from start to end can take several months or even longer.  There are many steps involved with selling a business.  Due diligence when buying or selling a business is a very important part of this process. Negotiations are made at most every step of the process as new information becomes available and additional analyses are performed.

In a successful negotiation, both the buyer and the seller need to be flexible and to understand which points are important  and which ones may be “deal breakers”.  Most people may buy or sell a business maybe once in his or hers life.  Following  the advise of a trusted advisor such as a business broker can help increase the likelihood of a successful business sale or business acquisition. The steps involved with selling a business can vary and each business is different yet the above is intended to provide basic framework.


Scott Messinger is a business broker based in Anderson South Carolina and work with business sellers in South Carolina including Anderson, Greenville, Spartanburg, Clemson and the Upstate areas.  Also work with Business Sellers in Florida and business buyers throughout the USA and Internationally. many areas of USA.