Have We Hit the Peak of the Seller’s Market In Orange County

New information on sales activity show

New Report Shows Business-for-Sale Transactions are Up in 2016

BizBuySell’s Q2 2016 Insight Report shows business-for-sale transactions in the first half of 2016 have increased – not only from last year, but also the record-setting 2014. Data also shows that while sale prices have increased over the last six quarters, the sales cycle has lengthened.

The past 2 yrears have been an excellent time for owners to sell and this should continue for the rest of 2016.  These good times for selling a lower middle market company cannot last forever.  The next 12-18 months might be the best time to take advantage of the current trend and every effort should be made to prepare the business for a sale.  The owners should concentrate on improving the value driver’s of their business in order to achieve the best valuation and multiples.


What Businesses Are Selling in Southern California



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 May 2016

  1. Restaurants
  2. Convenience Stores
  3. E-Commerce Businesses
  4. Auto Repair, Service & Parts
  5. Bars
  6. Sandwich Shops & Delivery
  7. Hotels
  8. Liquor Stores/Off Licences/Wine Merchants
  9. Coffee Shops
  10. Gas/Petrol Service Stations


Top Ten M&A Businesses for May 2016

  1. Restaurants
  2. Convenience Stores
  3. Gas/Petrol Service Stations
  4. Services Businesses
  5. Bars
  6. Auto Repair, Service & Parts
  7. Retail Businesses
  8. Distribution Businesses
  9. Construction Businesses
  10. Health Care Businesses

Another Successful Transaction

Empire is pleased to announce it has successfully closed another deal effective June 30, 2016.   The participants have requested to remain anonymous at this time as the company transitions to the new owner.  Empire was the intermediary for selling this long established National Business Brokerage firm to a private investment fund.  The deal was worth a potential of $2.5 mil which includes an earn out provision in the first two years.  The seller will remain active in the company full time for up to six months and then part time thereafter.  Seller is looking to retirement at some point in time.

Empire Business Solutions to Sponsor Exit Coach Radio

Empire Business Solutions, a leading independent business brokers  Los Angeles and Southern California is pleased to announce our company’s newest advertising campaign.

In keeping with its commitment to public service, Empire Business Solutions has agreed to sponsor Exit Coach Radio, a nationally streamed program dedicated to preparing business owners for succession.

Ending a business can be just as hard as starting one, and for millions of Baby Boomers and their families, this phase is even more crucial. The program, which airs at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. every Sunday, tackles the most critical aspects of business planning and offers actionable advice to business owners who need to make sure their entire company – as well as their employees and loved ones – will be protected once they leave.

Roy Moss, President of Empire,  said “The largest segment of our business is from baby boomers retiring so we wanted to target this audience to let them know of our success in selling businesses and assisting them in their exit strategy.”

Broadcast locally by KLAA 830AM before and after Angels baseball games, Exit Coach Radio is hosted by Bill Black, a certified exit planner and founder of the Exit Coach Radio multi-media organization. Thirty years ago, Black began his consulting practice to bring resources to business owners to help them with business transition and by creating written exit plans. Since starting Exit Coach Radio in 2013, Black has completed 1,000 interviews with professional advisors from fields such as law, accounting, banking, insurance and marketing to share their tips, ideas and precautions with his business owner audience. A new interview and a one-minute tip of the day are accessible daily on the ExitCoachRadio.com website.

“In what has been characterized as the greatest transfer of wealth in history, millions of America’s business owners are entering the final phase of their business ownership, and an alarming percentage are ill-prepared to execute a smart exit strategy,” Black said. “We are so happy to have the support of  Empire Business Solutions of Orange and Los Angeles County  in this quest to motivate 1 million business owners to protect their life’s work and their loved ones. Together, we will make a big difference.”


Empire Upgrades Its Valuation Services

Empire has always told its clients the first step in selling a business is to find out what it might be worth in today’s market.  We are please to offer our clients an opportunity to find an estimate of the value of their business by going to our website (www.empireoc.com),  pressing the “Free Valuation” button and following the steps to a valuation.  By following a few simple steps our clients will be able to determine an approximate valuation for their business, the first step in selling a business.

Empire, under contract with BizEquity, will offer BizEquity’s patented “Advisor Office” business valuation service. The arrangement will allow all Empire to offer business owners and Empired advisors to access BizEquity’s powerful database-driven business valuation report services.

BizEquity’s business valuation service features a dedicated cloud based platform that harnesses sophisticated algorithms and millions of big data comparables and data elements. This knowledge provides business owners and entrepreneurs in Orange County and throughout Southern California  with insight into the most important question facing their business.

BizEquity provides a unique way to see a business through the eyes of the owner by understanding the value of the firm and the key levers that drive increased valuation.  Empire believes it’s a service its clients can leverage for growth, and it’s a true value-add for the them.

BizEquity’s valuation product is quickly becoming the leading way to value privately held businesses and Empire Business Solutions is pleased to be able to offer this service.

Empire Business Solutions has been one of the leading California Business Brokers and M&A Specialist since 2005 concentrating on but not limited to  Orange County and Los Angeles County .  For over a decade Empire has been specializing in representing sellers in Southern California who want to maximize the value of their business and are motivated to sell.  Empire specializes in businesses for sale with revenues in the  $1.0-$10.0 mil range.

Contact Roy Moss, President of  Empire Business Solutions at 714-374-6430 to discuss the process in selling or buying a business in Southern California.

Orange County 2015 Business for Sale Recap

Business Brokers: Number of Small Business Buyers & Sellers Up In 2015, Transaction Activity Will Increase In 2016


San Francisco, CA — In a nationwide survey of business brokers conducted by BizBuySell.com, the Internet’s largest marketplace for buying or selling small businesses, roughly 66 percent of respondents say they experienced a year-over-year increase in transaction activity during 2015 compared to just 14 percent who experienced a decrease.

The main factor behind this growth appears to be an increased number of interested buyers in 2015, which more than a quarter of brokers cited as the top factor helping business transactions close. Other drivers were an improved small business environment (i.e., strengthening revenue, profit) (22 percent) and an increased number of owners looking to sell (20 percent). These three factors also topped the list last year.

“It’s encouraging to see that brokers continue to experience an influx of both buyers and sellers entering the market,” Bob House, Group GM of BizBuySell.com and BizQuest.com, said. “While the market has been strong for several years now, brokers have yet to experience any decline in number of quality listings. With sellers growing more confident in their valuations, buyers gaining additional access to capital and the small business environment continuing to improve economically, the market is set up for strong transaction levels in 2016.”

Half of surveyed brokers cited increased confidence in the economic recovery as the primary reason more buyers entered the market. Similarly, 62 percent of brokers said a larger amount of sellers entered the market as a result of feeling more confident in their ability to successfully exit.

Still, it appears most brokers believe the economic recovery has room to improve further. Two-thirds of respondents feel business transaction volumes have not returned to pre-recession levels. Of those brokers, 46 percent expect business transaction volumes to finally reach pre-recession levels in the next 12 to 24 months.

Even Stronger Transaction Levels Expected in 2016

While 2015 was another strong year for small business transactions, brokers are overwhelmingly optimistic that 2016 will be even better. Roughly 73 percent of respondents expect transaction activity to improve in 2016. These brokers expect growth to continue due to a number of factors, including an increase in the number of owners looking to sell (36 percent), seller expectations becoming more realistic thus improving sales prices (20 percent), and an overall improvement in the small business environment (19 percent).

Brokers in the Northwest are especially confident that the market will improve in 2016, with 86 percent expecting more deals compared to just 69 percent in the Northeast and and 68 percent in the Midwest expecting the same.

Optimism in the market is leading more than a third (33 percent) of all brokers to expect final sale prices to increase in 2016. Only 11 percent expect a decrease and 54 percent expect prices to remain consistent with 2015.

Although 52 percent of all surveyed brokers believe the market favors buyers, another 24 percent believe it is already balanced and 19 percent say it favors sellers. Even if the market remains slightly favorable to buyers, conditions are still not ideal for buyers trying to acquire funding as is evident by the 82 percent of brokers calling seller financing either “important” or “essential” to completing transactions in today’s market. That is consistent with the number of brokers that expressed the same sentiment in a December 2014 survey, showing that while more buyers and sellers may be entering the market, seller financing is still a crucial component to closing deals.

Baby Boomers Continue to Supply Market with Listings

The uptick in small business listings is likely being driven by the growing number of Baby Boomers looking to retire. Seventy-seven percent of brokers attributed at least a quarter of their closed transactions to Baby Boomers. 46 percent of brokers attribute more than half of their sales to Boomers. As more Baby Boomers reach retirement in the next few years, brokers believe this trend will continue. In fact, 73 percent said they expect a larger amount of Baby Boomers to sell in 2016 than in 2015, and only one percent expects fewer to do so.

With so many sellers exiting for retirement, it’s not surprising that the majority (78 percent) of sellers were 50 years or older. On the other hand, those looking to buy tend to be from a younger group. Nearly 78 percent of brokers indicated their buyers were most likely to be between 30 and 49 years old.

Healthcare Costs, Minimum Wage Rates, Election Among Issues to Watch Next Year

This year ushered in a wave of new federal and local government regulations. For small businesses, these changing laws potentially impact not only profitability, but their ability to sell. One issue of major concern is the rising cost of health care.

In fact, more than 20 percent of surveyed brokers said they’ve had a client sell their business due to higher health care costs. This will be an issue to watch in 2016, especially considering that a new Affordable Care Act mandate for companies with 50 or more employees will take effect in January.

Another issue brokers are watching is the minimum wage rate. While the debate over whether or not to raise the federal minimum wage continues, numerous cities and states across the country have successfully passed plans to increase their local minimum wage. Brokers were split on whether higher minimum wages affect an owner’s ability to sell a business successfully. Forty-seven percent argue higher wages have no affect on the ability to sell, 51 percent say it will decrease the ability to sell, and only 1 percent believe it will increase the ability to sell.

About 8 percent of surveyed brokers said they’ve had a client sell their business largely due to a minimum wage increase or potential minimum wage increases. Brokers in the Northwest, where cities like San Francisco and Seattle recently upped the minimum wage to $15 an hour, were the most likely to have seen sellers exit due to wage rates.

“Clients, both buyers and sellers, are concerned about the wage increase. It may spur more sellers in 2016,” one broker noted. Another added, “I had three sellers this year bring it up as a reason for listing. Their listings have not sold yet.”

However, many other brokers argue it’s too soon to tell the effects of higher wages. As one said, “In time, the effect of higher payroll on net profit will become more apparent, and we’ll see if small businesses can cover the added expense.”

Debate over these regulatory changes will likely be hot topic in the upcoming presidential election. Respondents reported a clear favorite in the presidential race, with 44 percent of brokers indicating that Donald Trump is the candidate most likely to improve the small business environment. Hillary Clinton was the next most popular candidate, but at only 15 percent. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz rounded out the top choices with 9 percent each.

As the election cycle continues, brokers said the issues most important to them are tax reform (61 percent), economic policy (52 percent) and health care (29 percent). In terms of potential threats to the small business-for-sale market, 22 percent of brokers listed higher tax rates as the single biggest threat. This was followed by rising interest rates (18 percent) and global financial instability (16 percent).

“It will be important for small business owners to keep an eye on these issues and decide how upcoming changes could effect their exit strategy,” House said. “Talking to a business broker or another advisor can help both buyers and sellers better understand how regulation changes might affect the market and therefore, their business evaluation. Overall, however, it’s promising to see that brokers are optimistic that the market will continue to improve in 2016.”

Are You Feeling Overwhelmed or Burned Out?

We all feel burnout at one time or another, it can come with a business that’s successful or one that is not as successful.   Selling before the burnout syndrome becomes a threat to the effective management of a business is important.

• That isolated feeling. The burnt-out owner has been “chief cook and bottle washer” for such an extended period of time that even routine acts of decision-making and action-taking seem like Sisyphean tasks. These owners have been doing it all and need to start delegating or bringing in some help.

• Hazy perspective. Burnt-out owners are so close to their work that they lose clarity. Prioritizing becomes a major daily challenge, and problem-solving sometimes goes no further than the application of business Band-Aids that cost money in the long run rather than increase profits.

• Ain’t No fun. Of course, owning a business is hard work, but it should also include an element of enjoyment. The owner who drags himself or herself through every day, with a sense of dread – or boredom – should consider moving on to a fresh challenge elsewhere.

• Just plain tired. Simply put, many business owners burn out from the demands placed on them to keep their companies operating day after day, year after year. The schedule is not for everyone; in fact, statistics show that it’s hardly for anyone, long-term.

The important point here is for business owners to recognize the signs and take action before burnout begins to hinder the growth – or sheer survival – of the business. Many of today’s independent business owners feel they’ve worked hard, made their money and sense that now is a good time to “cash-out” and move on.  The timing to sell a business is good right now.

Orange County Business Broker Update

Latest statistics on business sales from a leading business for sale website, Bizbuysell, reveal some interesting information which we have summarized below.


  1.  Business sales are slowing down
  2. Small businesses continue to show good financial performance overall but Pacific region showed lower financials
  3. Retail industry showed the biggest drop in sales activity
  4. Manufacturing sector produced the most activity.

My opinion is that the market is changing or about to change over the next quarter or so.  The change is from a seller’s market to either a neutral market or a buyer’s market.  More and more businesses will become available as we see the baby boomers decide it is time to retire.


Business for Sale Market is Changing For Orange County Business Brokers

A recent survey by one of the leading websites which list businesses for sale reveal some surprising results.  According to the results of this survey, owners of small businesses across the country including Southern California, Orange County and Los Angles believe today’s market is a great opportunity to sell their business.  This is evidence by the actual number of listings which reached a six year high.  The reason for this increase expectation of selling their business is two fold.  1.  The increase financial performance of their business and 2.  Sellers are seeing an increase in buyers over the previous year.  On the other side of the issue, the buyers in this survey are less optimistic.  A significant percentage of respondents indicated they thought they should have purchased a business last year versus this year.  From Empire Business Solutions perspective, we are seeing more sellers interested in exiting but their expectations are very high for achieving their expected valuations.

Empire Business Solutions has been a leading Southern California Business Broker and M&A Specialist since 2005 concentrating on but not limited to  Orange County and Los Angeles County .  Empire specializes in representing sellers in Southern California who want to maximize the value of their business and are motivated to sell.

EMPIRE BUSINESS SOLUTIONS Receives 2015 Best Businesses of Huntington Beach Award

Huntington Beach Award Program Honors the Achievement

Huntington Beach, August 06, 2015 — EMPIRE BUSINESS SOLUTIONS has been selected for the 2015 Best Businesses of Huntington Beach Award in the Business Brokers category by the Best Businesses of Huntington Beach Award Program.

Each year, the Best Businesses of Huntington Beach Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Huntington Beach area a great place to live, work and play.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2015 Best Businesses of Huntington Beach Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Best Businesses of Huntington Beach Award Program and data provided by third parties.

About the Best Businesses of Huntington Beach Award Program

The Best Businesses of Huntington Beach Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Huntington Beach area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

The Best Businesses of Huntington Beach Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy.

SOURCE: Best Businesses of Huntington Beach Award Program
Best Businesses of Huntington Beach Award Program
Email: PublicRelations@BestBusinesses.biz
URL: http://www.BestBusinesses.biz



Empire offers a FREE Broker Opinion of Value for qualified sellers so do not hesitate to contact us to learn more about this service.  Please contact Roy Moss, President, at 714-374-6430 for full details.


Empire Business Solutions has been a leading Southern California Business Broker and M&A Specialist since 2005 concentrating on but not limited to  Orange County and Los Angeles County .  Empire specializes in representing sellers in Southern California who want to maximize the value of their business and are motivated to sell.