Buying a Business -What is a good Deal?

Buying a Business -What is a good Deal?

Buying a Business -What is a good Deal?

Buying a Business

 

Buying a Business is not an easy process.  Selling a business is not an easy process.  Knowing what is a good deal for a business buyer and what is a good deal for the seller greatly assist in achieving the goals of a business buyer or business seller.  Understanding what may be the components of a “Good Deal”  as a business buyer or a business seller  is both important and necessary. I am a business broker and have been involved with business acquisition and sales for over 25 years as broker representing business buyers and business sellers and as a business buyer and business seller of multiples businesses for my own personal gain.

I work with Business Sellers in South Carolina and Florida.  I also work with prospective business buyers in Florida, the Upstate, South Carolina, USA and internationally.

There are many components to a successful business purchase and or business sale.

A discussion I always have when working with a prospective business buyer or one looking to sell a business is to make and keep the “Totality of the Deal” a top priority.  There are many aspects of a business sale that make up the totality of the deal.   It’s easy to just look at Price and go into the process thinking Price is the goal/target of a successful business sale or successful business acquisition.   A business sale involves Price, timing, conditions,  terms including non-compete, transition, seller post sale involvement, financing, handling accounts receivables,  handling payable if applicable, and the list can go on.  I define the totality of the deal as how all the components of a business sale meet the goals of a business buyer or business seller.  Consider the following scenario –

A business seller may want to sell his/her business for $1M.  As a business broker I engage with 2 prospective business Buyers: In this scenario both buyers are willing to make an offer on this $1M Business for sale. Prospective Business Buyer A  offers $1M but requires Seller to stay on for 2 years and wants to pay 60% Down and pay balance over 5 years and wants to keep all Accounts Receivables that are on books at time of closing. Also Buyer A demands to know and meet with top 5 major customers before consummating sale. Prospective business Buyer B  offers $900k,  willing to have Seller stay on as long as Seller wants,  has financing setup so Seller gets entire amount at closing, and Seller keeps all Accounts  Receivables.

SO what deal is better for the seller?   What Buyer believes their offer is most likely to get accepted by the Seller?   While a lot of business acquisitions share commonality every business sale is different. What is important to one business buyer may not be important to another business buyer.  What is important to a Business seller is ultimately best determined by that business seller.  A business selling for $300k may be considered overvalued by some and a business selling for $5M may be considered “cheap” or a good value by others.  But setting the goal of trying to achieve a deal that carefully weighs the entire totality of the deal greatly increases the odds of reaching what may be a good deal for you as a business buyer or a business seller.

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 or to discuss how to sell your business for more, email  Scott@GatewayBusinessAdvisors.com or call (864) 210-8226

 

How to Sell Your Business for More

How to Sell Your Business for More

How to sell your business for more.  At some point a business owner considers selling their business.  Sometimes it is just a fleeting thought.  Sometimes its a thought of  “I don`t need this anymore, get me out”.  Other times its a well planned out progressive process.  You want to sell your business- how do you sell it for more. It can just start with a phone call -How to sell my Greenville business?

This sounds like a fairly straight forward approach, but just as the selling of a business process can be very involved, the question of how to sell it for more firstly needs definition.  I am a business broker based in Anderson South Carolina, focus on businesses for sale in Florida and South Carolina,  and speak to many many business owners about the potential sale of their business.  I also sold my own business several years ago.

Selling Your Business When The Time Is Right

Selling my Greenville SC Business

Just consider the simple analogy of having a rusty bike in the garage with flat tires that you want to sell today.  You put it out at the end of the drive way put a For Sale sign on it- what do you think it will sell for?  How can you sell that bike for more tomorrow than you can today? How to sell my Greenville business for More?

Selling Your Business For More:

  • Selling your business for more can be a very good thing and very reasonable goal.
  • Trying to sell a business for more than it is worth can ultimately result in your business not being sold at all.
  • Setting the Goal today to improve your business, prepare it for sale so that it is worth more after your improvements is probably your best approach
  • Wanting to sell your business for more than “what you heard a local competitor sold for” can also be a mis-guided path.

Preparing Your Business For Sale

So selling your business for more is a reasonable and understandable goal.  How do you get more for your business?  Start today preparing your business for sale.  Like so many of your other important business decision, prepare yourself a to-do list and systematically address those items.  Below are some items you will want to include on your to-do list to help ready your business to sell for more. Ask and honestly answer these questions about your business.

When looking at how to sell my Greenville  business for more, ask yourself -How  are your financials?  Are there some unusual entries on your P/L that have escaped needed adjustment?  Are all sales accounted for?   Do you have a good clean P/L statement?  For smaller businesses Do you have a P/L and Balance sheet?

Again, when looking at how to sell my Greenville  business for more, determine, how reliant is your business on you.  What can you do today to help your company be more about your company and less about you.?

How documented are your systems, procedures, policies, pricing structure?

Is your customer base as diverse as it should be?  How reliant is your business on a few key customers.  And again do those customers do business with you the business owner or with the company?

Do you have the opportunity to add recurring revenue streams to your business, but elected to not pursue?  Do you have some contracted customers that you just haven’t updated contracts with?

When analyzing how to sell your business fore more, Spend some time to meet with some of your trusted advisers.  Dont rely on information you hear through the grapevine about this person selling their business for this amount.  Talk to your attorney, your accountant , or visit with a business broker start to really learn the marketplace.   Have you scraped the rust off your bike?, painted it ? oiled the chain? pumped up the tires?  put an ad in the newspaper? on the Internet?- Is your bike worth more today than it was yesterday?

How to sell my Greenville business  for more tomorrow or next year  than it is worth today?  Start today preparing your business for sale.

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 or to discuss how to sell your business for more, email  Scott@GatewayBusinessAdvisors.com or call (864) 210-8226

Selling My Business – How Much is my Business Worth

Selling My Business How Much is my Business Worth.  Almost all businesses are for sale to some degree. Lets say your business is not For Sale. Assume  Your business is worth $500,000.  You love what you are doing, someone contacts you with an offer to buy your business for $900,000.  Is your business now For Sale? The preceding is not a likely scenario for most business owners.  To successfully sell your business planning and preparation is needed.  But if you are now or at some point considering the sale of your business you may want to consider the following 3 points:Planning on Selling my Business

1.     Identify your honest interest level  when selling your business. Early in the decision process of selling your business consider what approach you may take towards selling your business.  As a Business Broker working in both South Carolina and  Florida I interact with the various interest levels by small business owners.

  • My business is not for sale but if someone walks in and offers me way more than what I think it is worth- I would consider selling my business
  • My business is not for sale but if you run across someone that would want to buy it please let me know.
  • I want to pursue selling my business but I won’t sell it for less than…( A somewhat inflated price) .  I am willing to accept that it may take 1-2 years to sell my business, and if priced too high I can accept the fact that my  business may not even be sold.
  • I want to pursue selling my business and after significant due diligence I feel the price I am seeking is consistent to what other like businesses have recently sold for.
  • I want to sell my business and I want out now.  I will set my price aggressively and set a lower price than price currently sought for businesses similar to mine.  I will expect this aggressive pricing to both help me sell my  business and decrease the amount of time it will take to sell my business.

If you do have a true interest in selling your business as suggested in above  last 2 points you do need to  exercise due diligence to gain understanding of what the value of your business may be.

2.    You can expect that the  perceived value of your business to you and the value of the business to a potential buyer will probably be 2 different values.

  • Ultimately the price of your business is what a willing and able buyer is prepared to pay to buy your business.
  • Seek “reasonableness” to your price that you will seek to sell your business for. If similar businesses to yours are sold at 1 1/2 times adjusted cash flow, why is yours worth 3 times adjusted cash flow?
  • Ask yourself what you honestly would pay to buy your business.
  • Do a free Search on my website http://sellabusinessadvisors.com  0r similar sites to research what similar businesses to yours is asking to sell their business for.  Remember – all businesses are different, but use such a search as part of your due diligence.  A business for sale asking price and the price a business sold for can be greatly different, but asking prices can provide some basis-while current  Businesses Sold information is more pertinent
  • Speak to your trusted advisers.  A business broker may be able to help with non-public info on sold businesses in your area.  Your accountant or attorney also  may or may not be aware of such sales as well.  A Professional Business Valuation specialist may benefit you.

3.    Whether it  is part of your exit strategy to sell your business or not, you should have an exit strategy.

  • Most small business owners do not have an exit strategy. “I haven’t thought about Selling my Business”
  • We all desire to exit our business on our own terms rather than an exit forced by health, business downfall, or other life changing situations.
  • If you own a business you should have an exit strategy.  Do some planning, perform some due diligence. Know what you have or may have.
  • Even if you are not planning to sell your business there is value in knowing  approximate value of this potentially large asset.  You know what your house is worth, you car, your other assets. Understanding the value of your business can be a significant piece of information when planning ahead.

Selling my business  in South Carolina or Florida can be a rewarding experience when done properly.  Understanding  a proper value for your business can set the stage to a successful sale of your business..

For more information or interest in a confidential meeting please contact me Scott Messinger  at Scott@GatewayBusinessAdvisors.com.  Business Broker Licensed in both South Carolina and Florida

Selling My Business Next Year

I was thinking about selling my  business next year….   last year, but didn’t take any steps … yet.  And now another year is gone and 2017 is approaching.  I do plan on selling my business next year. Getting a business ready for sale is both advisable and prudent.  Waking up one day and deciding you want to sell your business tomorrow may not be a good idea.  Deciding that you would like to sell your business as an exit strategy and putting together a plan is likely to maximize your gain from the sale of your business.

Selling My Business Next Year

Selling My Business Next Year

You could easily Google Preparing your business for sale and find many many articles/list and sources of information.   I had written a related article in the past as well.  But beyond the list- what of these methods are most important?  Are all of these measures necessary or are they just guidelines?

I had sold my own business of 20 years, I had considered several offers over the years, I went thru various stages of decisions as to how I would exit my business.  At some point I realized that my exit strategy would be to sell my business if I could find the right situation.  But from my perspective the most important part of my approach was to commit to running my business as if I would own it  perpetually.

So many businesses that try to sell- don’t sell.  A business owner needs to realize this and allow this fact to influence their thought process.  Currently I am a business broker in Anderson South Carolina and work with business sellers and business buyers in South Carolina, Florida , and South east USA.

Be Realistic When Deciding On Selling Your Business

Many components and aspects of your business should be looked at from a realistic standpoint, critiqued,  and adjusted as needed when preparing your business for an eventual sale.  Often its easy to think “selling my business next year”,  but the months and years can go by and next year never happens. When Selling My business next year, steps should be taken this year… or now.   Some important areas to address when looking to sell your business include:

  • Either develop, establish, or refine your business operational procedures, practices, and methodologies and have them documented
  • Does your business rely on you the business owner?  If so, make changes to reduce that reliance.
  • Clean financials-  Does your Income statement and Balance Sheet make sense ?

But the question to pose is what of these measures is most important or essential as it relates to preparing for the sale of my business?

In my opinion it is accurate , sensible, reliable Financial records.

The Importance Of Reliable Financial Records

Typical financials involved with the sale of you business can include Profit/Loss or Income Statements, Balance Sheets and   Tax Records.  Further into the due diligence process of your business good  Sales Journals, Customer Information, Inventory Info,   all can go a long way to maximizing the value of your business.

Clean financial records are so essential to all parties involved with the acquisition of a business. And all involved includes the Seller, the buyer, and possibly a bank, lender or third party investor.

So when looking to Sell your business-

  • If you have a great business that is producing great margins, produces a great bottom line, and a very high owner benefit- but the financial records do not support this – what do you have?
  • If you have a business that you own and run it semi-absentee, great systems, increasing sales, good industry but poor financial records- what do you have?
  • If you have the nicest looking, shiniest looking store, website, equipment, office or vehicles, but your financial records don’t make sense- what do you have?
  • Looking to sell your business next year?  Start working on your financial records today.

Scott Messinger is a Business Broker and Business owner based in Anderson South Carolina.  He has personally purchased 8+ small businesses and currently works with both business sellers and business buyers in both South Carolina and Florida. For a free consultation call Scott in South Carolina at (864) 210-8226 or Florida (239) 770-2421.

 

What is My Business Worth

What is my business Worth?

Getting accurate information on Private businesses sold can be difficult.  Below I am sharing information on businesses sold during the 2nd Quarter of 2016.  This information comes from a survey that includes over 375 Business Broker and Business Professionals involved with buying and selling businesses.  I am a 10 year Business Broker working with Business Sellers and Business Buyers in South Carolina Florida and Southeast USA.

If you are considering the sale of your business, planning or preparing an exit strategy from your business or considering buying a business the below information provides valuable insight.

There are many valuable points to be gleaned from the below but a very important underlying point is that businesses are different. You can see the information surrounding what a business sells for, why a business owner sells, who the business buyers are, where a buyer comes from , and why a business buyer buys a business. The size of the business affects all these aspects  are very dependent on the size of a business.

A $1M business may sell for a multiple of cash flow of 3,4,5 x- but this doesn’t necessarily mean that a $400k business would sell for a similar multiple.

What is My business Worth?  Below chart shows  what businesses recently sold for.  Please note Buyers Paid a higher multiple of EBITDA (Earning before Interest Taxes Depreciation Amortization )   for larger businesses.  A business of say $200K of Ebitda may get 2.5 x that Ebitda, whereas a business with $500k of ebitda may get 4 x ebitda.  Cash flow, adjusted cash flow, ebitda, owner benefit, seller discretionary earnings or other related measurement of earnings are a significant factor when determining business value.  

South Carolina Business Broker

South Carolina Business Broker

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why did Business Owners Sell their Business.  Are you a South Carolina or Florida Business Owner considering the sale of your business?

Upstate South Carolina Business Broker

South Carolina Business Broker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who were the Business Buyers during the 2nd Quarter of 2016?

South Carolina Business Broker

South Carolina Business Broker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why did Business Buyers Buy a Business in South Carolina Florida  and the rest of the  US?

South Carolina Business Broker

South Carolina Business Broker

 

 

 

Where did the Business Buyers come from?   Usually they come from somewhere else.  For me as a South Carolina Business Broker and Florida Business Broker the last 10 business I sold the buyers on all of them came from distances of 200-1000 miles away.

South Carolina Business Broker

South Carolina Business Broker

 

 

 

Scott Messinger is a Business Broker Based in the Upstate South Carolina with main offices in Florida and working with South Carolina Business Sellers, Florida Business Sellers, and business buyers and Sellers throughout USA.

For more information Please contact me at  (864) 210-8226  or (239) 770-2421 or Scott@GatewayBusinessAdvisors.com