What’s Selling?

According to a leading business for sale website, here is what is attracting the most interest.

06 JUN HOT BUSINESS LIST ~ APRIL 2017

in Hot Business Lists by businessesforsale.com
Below you will find the current “hot” business list courtesy of data from BusinessesForSale.com. We asked Businesses For Sale for a monthly ranking of business types based on the number of “hits” on their site. This ranking is not based on the actual sale of businesses.

Top Categories by Impressions

Top Ten Businesses for April 2017

E-Commerce
Restaurants
Health & Fitness Clubs
Bars
Convenience Stores
Health Care Businesses
Gas Service Stations
Liquor Stores
Care Homes
Hair & Beauty Salons

Top Ten M&A Businesses for April 2017

Convenience Stores
Restaurants
Bars
Gas/Petrol Service Stations
Services Businesses
Auto Repair, Service & Parts
Retail Businesses
Construction Businesses
Distribution Businesses
Specialist Subcontractors

What Businesses are generating the most interest?

Based upon information put out by a leading Business for Sale website, here are the businesses which are generating the most interest in the market.  If you were interested in buying a business in Orange County, you might be interested to see what other buyers have looked at.  To see more businesses for sale in Orange County, visit our website at www.empireoc.com

TOP CATEGORIES BY HITS

Top Ten Businesses for June 2014:

  1. E-Commerce
  2. Convenience Stores
  3. Restaurants
  4. Fast Food – Non Franchises
  5. Home & Garden
  6. Bars
  7. Gas/Petrol Service Stations
  8. Pizza Restaurants
  9. Websites
  10. Pizza Delivery

Top Ten M&A Businesses for June 2014:

  1. Manufacturing Businesses
  2. Distribution Businesses
  3. Car Wash & Valet
  4. Gas/Petrol Service Stations
  5. Mining Businesses
  6. Wholesale Businesses
  7. Road Haulage & Freight Services
  8. Fabrication Businesses
  9. Food & Drink Wholesalers
  10. Main Contractors

 

 

What Do Buyers In Orange County Really Want to Know?

Before answering the question, it makes sense to first ask why people want to be in business for themselves. What are their motives? There have been many surveys addressing this question. The words may be different, but the idea behind them and the order in which they are listed are almost always the same.

  1. Want to do their own thing; to control their own destiny, so to speak.
  2. Do not want to work for anyone else.
  3. Want to make better use of their skills and abilities.
  4. Want to make money.

These surveys indicate that by far the biggest reason people want to be in business for themselves is to be their own boss. The first three reasons listed revolve around this theme. Some may be frustrated in their current job or position. Others may not like their current boss or employer, while still others feel that their abilities are not being used properly or sufficiently.

The important item to note is that money is reason number four. Although making money is certainly important and necessary, it is not the primary issue. Once a person decides to go into business for himself or herself, he or she has to explore the options. Starting a business is certainly one option, but it is an option fraught with risk. Buying an existing business is the method most people prefer. Purchasing a known entity reduces the risks substantially.

There are some key questions buyers want, or should want, answers to, once the decision to purchase an existing business has been made. Below are the primary ones; although a prospective buyer may not want answers to all of them, the seller should be prepared to respond to each one.

  • How much is the down payment?  Most buyers are limited in the amount of cash they have for a down payment on a business. After all, if cash were not an issue, they probably wouldn’t be looking to purchase a business in the first place.
  • Will the seller finance the sale of the business?  It can be difficult to finance the sale of a business; therefore, if the seller isn’t willing, he or she must find a buyer who is prepared to pay all cash. This is very difficult to do.
  • Why is the seller selling?  This is a very important question. Buyers want assurance that the reason is legitimate and not because of the business itself.
  • Will the owner stay and train or work with a new owner?  Many people buy a franchise because of the assistance offered. A seller who is willing, at no cost, to stay and to help with the transition is a big plus.
  • How much income can a new owner expect?  This may not be the main criterion, but it is obviously an important issue. A new owner has to be able to pay the bills – both business-wise and personally. And just as important as the income is the seller’s ability to substantiate it with financial statements or tax returns.
  • What makes the business different, unique or special?  Most buyers want to take pride in the business they purchase.
  • How can the business grow?  New owners are full of enthusiasm and want to increase the business. Some buyers are willing to buy a business that is currently only marginal if they feel there is a real opportunity for growth.
  • What doesn’t the buyer know?  Buyers, and sellers too, don’t like surprises. They want to know the good – and the bad – out front. Buyers understand, or should understand, that there is no such thing as a perfect business.

Years ago, it could be said that prospective buyers of businesses had only four questions:

  1. Where is the business?
  2. How much is it?
  3. How much can I make?
  4. Why is it for sale?

In addition to asking basic questions, today’s buyer wants to know much more before investing in his or her own business. Sellers have to able to answer not only the four basic questions, but also be able to address the wider range of questions outlined above.

Despite all of the questions and answers, what most buyers really want is an opportunity to achieve the Great American Dream – owning one’s own business!

Business Sales Activities

Recent reports from the leading business-for-sale websites indicate significant increases in sales transactions.  These seem to be primarily in Main Street businesses as other reports from M&A portals are telling us the deals are very slow.  Two very different scenarios seem to indicate the lower market is moving but Private Equity is stalled.  My personal experience in closing deals validates the activity at the Main Street level.  Also another indication of this activity is the number of sellers now considering selling whereas previously they were sitting on the sidelines waiting for their business to return to normal valuations.  If you are interested in selling your business, please contact me for a free Broker Opinion of Value (BOV).

Key Factors on the Acquirer’s Side

Photo Credit: Clearly Ambiguous via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Clearly Ambiguous via Compfight cc

There are several key factors on the acquirer’s side of a sale, most of which are necessary to achieve a successful closing. Just as a seller has to deal with quite a few factors, the acquirer must also. Some of the more important ones on the acquisition side are:

  • Sufficient financial resources to complete the deal as specified.
  • Depth of capable staff to run the existing business and also execute an acquisition at the same time.
  • A rational approach to the type, size and geographic location of target companies.
  • The willingness to “pay-up” for acquisitions such as 6x EBITDA and, if necessary, the willingness to pay 100% cash, whether the sale is one of assets or a stock transaction.
  • Assuming the acquisition search generates satisfactory deal flow, a willingness to stay the course for 6 to 12 months in the search process.
  • A confirmation by the board of directors of their commitment to complete a deal.
  • A “point person” in the search process, preferably the CEO, CFO or Director of Development who is reachable on a daily basis to discuss relevant matters.
  • Complete access to sales manager and others by the business intermediary to discuss suggestions of target companies.

Hot Business List ~ April 2013

May 21, 2013

Below you will find the current “hot” business list courtesy of data from Businesses For Sale. We asked Businesses For Sale for a monthly ranking of business types based on the number of “hits” on their site. This ranking is not based on the actual sale of businesses.

Top Ten Businesses for April 2013:

  1. E-Commerce Businesses
  2. Health and Fitness Clubs
  3. Websites
  4. Convenience Stores
  5. Restaurants
  6. Auto Repair, Service and Parts
  7. Bars
  8. Delicatessens
  9. Marketing Businesses
  10. Fast Food Franchises

Top Ten M&A Businesses for April 2013:

  1. Tennis Clubs
  2. Manufacturing
  3. Distribution Businesses
  4. Construction Businesses
  5. Home and Garden Businesses
  6. IT
  7. Recruitment Businesses
  8. IT Manufacturing
  9. Specialist Subcontractors
  10. Fabrication Businesses

 

Questions to Ask the Buyer of a Business in Orange County

Photo Credit: Instant Vantage via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Instant Vantage via Compfight cc

I am currently working with two buyers with two totally different motivations for buying a business.  One buyer already owns a successful business and has the resources to purchase another in Orange County as an investment with either minimal involvement in day-to-day or hands off.  The other buyer is from another state and wants to buy an easy to run business so they can move to Orange County to be near their family.  Point being there are multiple motivations for buying a business and the buyers need to be vetted to determine motivation to take the plunge.

A serious buyer should have the answers to the following questions:

  • Why are you considering the purchase of a business at this time?
  • What is your time frame to find a suitable business?
  • Are you open-minded about different opportunities, or are you looking for a specific business?
  • Have you set aside an amount of capital that you are willing to invest?
  • Do you really want to be in business for yourself?
  • Are you currently employed or unemployed?
  • Are you the decision maker, or are there others involved?

The real key to being a serious buyer, however, is whether the individual can make that “leap of faith” so necessary to the purchase of a business. No matter how much due diligence a buyer performs, no matter how many advisors there are to advise the buyer, at some point, the buyer has to make a leap of faith to purchase the business. There are no “sure things” and there are no guarantees. If a buyer is not comfortable being in business, he or she should not even contemplate buying one.

Selling Your Businesses in Orange County in the Summer

Summer is a difficult and interesting time for selling businesses.  As most buyers go on vacation with their families, dealflow usually shrinks and almost all communication stops until the kids go back to school. The slowdown creates a little breathing room for everyone to reevaluate their positions to see if everything from Asking Price to updated financials are all proper and in place.   After the kids go back to school, the activity will get back to normal with the fall session projected to be fairly good.

What Businesses are Selling?

Hot Business List ~ June 2013

July 11, 2013

Below you will find the current “hot” business list courtesy of data from Businesses For Sale. We have information from  Businesses For Sale for a monthly ranking of business types based on the number of “hits” on their site. This ranking is not based on the actual sale of businesses.  If you have a business for sale in Orange County or are considering selling your business for sale in Orange County,  this information might be helpful.

Top Ten Businesses for June 2013:

  1. Convenience Stores
  2. Fast Food – Non Franchises
  3. Restaurants
  4. Bars
  5. Websites
  6. Gas/Petrol Service Stations
  7. Auto Repair, Service & Parts
  8. Delicatessens
  9. Café Bars
  10. Printing & Typesetting Services

Top Ten M&A Businesses for June 2013:

  1. Sandwich Shops & Delivery Businesses
  2. Liquor Stores/Off Licences/Wine Merchants Businesses
  3. Auto Repair, Service & Parts Businesses
  4. Bakers & Confectioners
  5. Distribution Businesses
  6. Oil & Petrochemical Related Businesses
  7. E-Commerce Businesses
  8. Supermarkets
  9. Pubs
  10. Web Design/Development Businesses

First Half Results are In

In an effort to keep you up to date on the state of the market for buying and selling a business in Orange County or the rest of the county , I am sharing information from a couple of reports which give us an interesting insight to the market.   Bizbuysell, a prominent website for listing businesses for sale, reports a significant spike in small business sales for the second straight quarter.  Forbes reports Private Companies forecast strong revenue growth.  Axial (which tracks larger enterprise value transactions)  forecasts for the balance 2013  are very optimistic.  In my opinion, this tells us the climate for selling or buying a business has improved and is moving in the right direction.