Number One Reason For Selling Your Business

What is Number 1 Reason for Selling your Business

– Thinking about Selling your South Carolina Business?

What is the Number 1 Reason I hear when speaking to Business Owners about selling their business?-  Why are you looking to sell your Business?  — ” Because  I Am Ready”.     For those of you who have owned a business for any period of time this is a response that is fairly easy to understand.

Selling Your Business

 

I am a business broker working in both South Carolina and  Florida (and business owner)  and speak to many prospective buyers and sellers of business and understanding  the “Why” for both parties is so important in assisting the buyers and sellers of businesses.  I really think that most people that have given a fleeting thought to buying a business believe that business owners want to sell their business and therefore something must be wrong with the business.  Actually I am currently working on selling a Landscape Business in Florida.

The business owner has a  good quality business for sale, good cash flow, a comfortable lifestyle.  He has owned the business for x years and is “ready to do something else”.  He will be relocating out of state, he owns a successful business he is looking to sell. Recently we spoke about the potential purchase of another business in an unrelated field and his hesitancy about buying a business because why would someone sell a “good” business- .  And this comment is coming from someone selling a “good business”.

I also am currently helping an owner of a Computer Service Store For Sale who`s revenues are up 30% over last year, Profits are up 20% plus and is seeking to sell his business at less than 1 times annual adjusted cash flow.  He also is anxious to start a new business opportunity with a close friend, and that endevor is awaiting the sale of his business.  A good business at a good price and the owner is “ready to move on”.

Solid Reason For Selling Your Business

What is the number one reason for selling your business?

Good businesses get sold for very good reasons.  Being “ready to do something else” is a good reason.    A seller of a business needs to be ready to sell.  Really- you only really exit your business by 2 means.

1. By your choice-your timeframe, your plan.

2. Not by your choice– closing due to business failure, business conditions, bankruptcy,Forced Sale.

Granted there may be certain undesirable business or personal events that prompts one to “be ready”.  A business owner may have additional employee problems and decide that enough is enough and that is the impetus to sell ones business.  New frustrating regulation, customer problems, and any one of numerous  problems a business owner may face may be  the “final straw” and induce a business owner to pursue the sale of the business.

But again for any  business owner that has owned and managed a business for an extended period of time problems such as these come and go.  Business can be going quite well and the owner may just be ready to move on.  Actually selling a business while the business is doing well is a well thought out exit strategy for a business owner.  And yes problems can and, do come along with the business.  Problems within the business does not make a business a bad business.

A business owner may “just be Ready” to:

  • retire
  • try  something new- a second career
  • want to move or relocate
  • Just be done running the business I have been running for the last 20 years

I am not aware of the existence of a Perfect Business. Even the best of business opportunities will likely contain issues and or undesirable situations.  But if you truly want to own your own business and move into the role of business owner- Understand that good business are being sold by business owners that are just ready…. to move on.

Scott M Messinger is a Business Broker in Anderson South Carolina and Florida as well.  I work with both business sellers and buyers.  Looking to sell your Anderson South Carolina business or Selling your Upstate business?  Contact me for a free confidential discussion.

How to Prepare a Business For Sale

How to prepare Business For Sale

 

How to Prepare a Business For Sale – 5 Steps

I  am a business broker based in South Carolina.  I work with business buyer and business sellers in both South Carolina and  Florida. I also owned my own business of 20 years and sold it.  A business owner interested in selling a business needs to know how to prepare a business for sale.

FACT-  Many businesses that try to sell  do not actually sell.

Looking at the reasons that a business does not sell can be guidance towards measures a current business owner can make to prepare a business for sale. Selling a business has a lot of moving parts.  How can one  increase the likelihood of a successful sale?   The answer can be in preparing  for your business sale.

What are some of the top reasons businesses Don’t Sell?

  • Price
  • Business Performance
  • Business has poor records
  • Business completely dependent on Business Owner
  • other liabilities encumbrances

 

The value of a business is ultimately defined by what a willing capable buyer (s)  is willing to pay for that business.

What could possibly be the best approach to preparing to sell your business is to look at your business as a Business Buyer rather than a Business Seller.   Would you buy your business?  If so how much would you pay for your business?

What steps can a business owner do today to prepare  a business for sale?

How to Prepare a Business For Sale

  1. Have realistic expectations. Stories circulate about “Google buying this business for 10-20x cash flow”.

Sales like this are not the norm.  Businesses with Sales of $5M + sell for a higher multiple of cash flow than businesses with $800k of Sales- Generally.  Try to research what other similar businesses my be selling for or have sold for.  A qualified Business Broker may assist with this step.

  1. Ensure your financials are concise and clean.  Are there any outdated entries on any of your financials. Can you readily reconcile any differences between tax records and Income Statements?    Furthermore a business that is doing better is more likely to sell than a business with declining sales or margins.
  2. Have documented business operational procedures or business practices and procedures. If you already have them, review and update them. Consider if it is time to archive or throw out records from 5- 10-15 years back.
  3. Make big and small steps to have less reliance on you as a business owner. Ask the question- “Does your business rely on you ? Delegate if possible.  Sometimes it’s hard to let go of the idea that “only I can do that”.   I’ve personally experienced a long stretch of illness while owning a business and quickly learned of the many activities that I was doing that could be done by other members of my staff.
  4. Clean up your business. Your office, your trucks, grounds, facilities, equipment, tools and employees appearance can all add value.  Equipment involved with the sale that is well maintained and in order provides to the “Peace of Mind” a business buyer is seeking.  Again envision yourself as  business buyer  and looking at your trucks and most of the tires are bald, and smoke is coming out of the exhaust and they look like hell.  It may only take a few thousand dollars to improve this conditions, but a prospective buyer may mentally devaluate business value by tens of thousands or more.  It may create more doubt and uncertainty about other components of business.

 

Again- not every business that tries to sell actually find a buyer that is a fit.   There are steps you as a business owner can make to increase the likelihood of a successful business sale and transition.

Preparing your business for sale is a very important step in the process of selling your business.  Working with a trusted advisor,  finding prospective business buyer candidates is highly important as well.  Finding the “right” buyer candidate  to transition your business to is the end goal that begins with preparing your business for sale.

For More information on Selling a Business or Buying a  Business contact   Scott Messinger- Business Acquisition and Sales-   Gateway Business Advisors      www. SellaBusinessAdvisors.com

 

 

Current Market for Selling a Business

Selling a Business

 

 

What is Current Market for  Selling a Business  (or Buying a Business). I’ve been involved with business sales for approximately 25 years.  Fifteen years as a business buyer and Seller during which I acquired 9 businesses and 9 years as a business broker representing business buyers and sellers.

As a business broker working with business Sellers and Buyers in South Carolina and Florida we are afforded access to a lot of market information as it relates to business transactions, what businesses are selling for, and trends.  Sales Data and terms  on these private transactions are not readily available to the general public.

 As a business owner or potential business buyer it is not unusual to “hear about someone that sold his business of $X “.  But often that information is incomplete or erroneous.

Below is some market information showing charts and trends relating to business sales throughout the US.  I believe it can provide some insights to both potential business sellers in South Carolina or Florida as well as Business Buyers.  Also below I’ve highlighted my insights to what I believe some of this information means and what may be worth noting.

A review of over 7000 businesses sold during 2015 show:

 

  • The median asking price grew 12.5 percent from $200,000 in 2014 to $225,000.
  • The median sale price also increased a solid 7.6 percent year-over-year, from $185,000 to $199,000.

 

What is my business worth?

 

 

 

 

 

What Does this graph say about Businesses Sold?

A significant determinant of a business sales price is “Multiple of Cash Flow” or “Multiple of SDE (Sellers Discretionary Earnings).  But this “Multiple” does vary based on business size ( Sales and Cash Flow).  Businesses Sold with Sales of $1M-$5M will generally sell at a different multiple than business sold with Sales of $100k-$1M .  Above graph shows as the cash flow of a business increases the multiple of cash flow also increases .  This graph shows a business with approx. $150k of cash flow sold for 2.5 x that cash flow (CF). Whereas a business with  $1M in cash flow sells for 3.1 times that cash flow (CF).

 

What is Value of my Business

 

 

 

 

 

 

What does above graph say about Business Value  and or Business Selling Price. ?

 

Above Graph depicts that The price of businesses sold ( as a multiple of cash flow ) has remained fairly steady over the last 4 years.  Going forward, I expect this to remain consistent thru 2016.

types of businesses for sale

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What type of businesses are being sold?  Above chart shows the types of businesses sold throughout the US in 4th quarter of 2015.

Are you looking to buy a business in South Carolina or Florida?   Are you looking to sell your business.  A business is not bought or sold in a vacuum.  How does your business measure to other like or similar businesses?   No two  businesses are the same, but similarities do exist.  Understanding value or potential value may be one of the more important steps that goes into the process of buying or selling a business.

Thinking about buying or selling a business?  Please feel free to contact me Scott Messinger Business Broker to discuss any questions you may have on the process.  And it is a process.  Also, feel free to search on businesses for sale on my site  at:

www. SellaBusinesssAdvisors.com.  or contact me at Scott@GatewayBusinessAdvisors.com

or call direct at (864) 210-8226 or (239) 770-2421.

 

The Right Time to Sell My Business

BusinessBroker

The Right Time to Sell My Business?

 

 

When is the right time to sell my business.  Timing is Everything.  As a business owner this is a question I faced and as a business broker I realize many business owners have this same very important decision.

The answer on the right  timing is different for most all business owners.  Furthermore the answer may lie more in the question(s).

Do I want to sell my business…. or do I want to transition it to family or just close the doors or other?

Do I sell it when the business is not doing well?

Do I sell it when the business is doing well?

Do I sell my business when the economy is down?  Economy is doing better is now the time?

How do I even begin looking at the process and time involved to sell my business?

Health. life, age, family, money,  are all factors that go into this very important decision. A business sale does not occur within a vacuum .

What is going on in my business , in my industry, in our current economy, in our  economy going forward  all affect value.

What effect does the aging Baby Boomer population have.  Estimates I see are we have approx. 75 Million Baby Boomers in the US which is almost 25% of our population (born between 1946 and 1964 so current age group of  54-70).  Many of those will exit business over the next several years.

Will there be a “glut of available businesses for sale?  Will this drive down the prices?

I don’t know but do believe it could affect values.

While running my business I had interested unsolicited parties come forward with an interest in acquiring my business, discussion were had and we even got to the points of an LOI (Letter of Intent) and Purchase offer being presented.  The offers were reasonable but I was “not ready”.  When consulting with my CPA, his advice to me is “You will know when you are ready”.  I continued to run my business for another 10 years and hit a point  when “I was ready”.

Selling ones business involves a lot of moving parts.  I do believe it is prudent to sell your business under your terms, not based on terms dictated to you.  (health, divorce, legal matters or other negative event forcing a sale)

As a business owner we deal with risk.  We do our best to mitigate risk but the risk of owning a business is carried with us until we know longer own that business.  Mitigating the risk of  having to sell your business under terms not dictated by you should be a priority.  So if you are “not ready”  Is it time to start getting ready ?

  • Gain knowledge about the process
  • Have a realistic view about the “salability” of your business.
  • Know that selling a business when that business  is doing well is significantly more doable than a business  in a lesser state.
  • Know that not all businesses that try to sell DO NOT and or maybe sell for a fraction of perceived value.
  • Have a plan

 

A lot go into the decision of the “Right Time” to sell a business. And part of my job as a business broker is sharing my experiences with the process.  But being ready psychologically, emotionally, financially is a timing question that only you can answer.    “Are you Ready ?” or are you “Ready to start getting Ready”.

Scott M Messinger is a Business Broker working with Business Sellers and Buyers focused in South Carolina Florida and Southeast USA.  For more information go to SellaBusinessAdvisors.com

What is My Business Worth

What  is My Business Worth  ?

What  Is my Business Worth ?  It is a Question I have asked as a Business Owner, As a Business Buyer I have asked myself How much is this business worth.  As a Business Broker I have had a Business Owner ask me my opinion regarding how much their business is worth .  And as a Business Broker I have had a potential Business Buyer ask me what a business may be worth.

what is my business worth

Business Broker South Carolina Florida

What is my Business worth ?  It depends, Depends on what?  The list can be long.

Type of Business,  Industry, customer base, difficulty of business transition, How the business is currently being run, how the business can be run, assets,  does the business enjoy recurring revenue, what sort of cash flow is business generating are a few determinant factors.

Cash Flow may be the most important price determinant of this list.  How much is the business making?  How much is the business making the owner? (Owner Benefit or Adjusted Cash Flow-  this is different than Net Income and or Profit that may show up on companys P&L or taxes).  What multiple of cash flow will this business sell for? In our recent market conditions the lions  share of Main Street type business are sold at multiples of cash flow in the 1.5- 3.5 time adjusted cash flow.  Some do sell for more some for less.

Often a Business Owners decision to sell is based on- what is my business worth . What can one expect to “Net”  from the sale of the business OR is  continuing to run the business a better fit.

Business value can vary from buyer to buyer and the business value to the Seller can be different than the market value.

The market value of a business is ultimately defined by what a willing capable buyer is willing to pay for a business.  IF 3 potential buyers are willing to offer $400,000 for a specific business and that business owner wants to sell for $600,000 is the Business Seller wrong for wanting to sell for $600k?

A Business Seller says – this is what my business is worth.  A Business Buyer says -no it is not, but this is what the value is to me- who is right?  they both may be right or they may both be wrong.   But if you truly  have 2 interested parties,  it is not a matter or right or wrong rather a question of can you find some common ground to further discussion.

The value of a business to a “Strategic Buyer” which could be a competitor, supplier or related business, could be different than the value to a “Financial Buyer”,  or an individual looking to acquire a business for existing cash flow and possibly increase the cash flow /value of the business.

When looking at Business Worth or Business Value what you are ultimately looking at is what is the  “Most Probable Selling Price” – which is different than an Asking price or Listing Price.  A Seller  can ask whatever he/she chooses,  but will there be a buyer at that price.  “This is what I want for my business” or This is what I need for my business” also can be different than a Selling Price.

I believe an effective means to try to get to the Most Probable Selling price of a business is an approach that can be both simple and difficult.

Can  the Seller of a business attempt to take on the perspective of a Business Buyer ?   I think the likelihood of setting  Selling/Buying terms, goals, values that are achievable are greatly increased.  Can the Seller look at his/her business through the eyes of a buyer?

Seller may say- ” I want my full asking price all up front”

Buyer may say – ” Doesn’t’  the Seller believe in his business and show it by being willing to hold a note”.

Seller says ” I want 5 times my  cash flow because I have a great business”

Buyer says- “most other businesses like yours are sold at 2 times cash flow”

Seller says- “This is what I want for my business”,  So the question to the Seller  would be- “Would you as a business buyer pay that for your business? – You are knowledgeable and experienced in your field, Would you pay all that money at closing or would you as a business buyer pursue some Seller financing or “holdback” , you are looking for a good value,  would you pay over double what other like business are being sold for?

Again-  “What is my Business Worth”-  It is what a qualified , capable party is willing to pay, but looking at Selling your business through the eyes of one trying to buy a business can provide an invaluable perspective.

Scott Messinger is a Business Broker as well as a current and former business owners.  Business experience over the last 30 years includes personally buying 9 businesses, starting, growing, running and selling  a successful business, and representing buyers and sellers as a business broker.  For further Info call (239) 770-2421 or Scott@gwbusinessadvisors.com  Looking for a Florida Business For Sale?