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How to Sell a Business as an Individual Seller - Monday, February 3, 2014
Ok, so you want to sell your business. Would you rather sell it yourself, as opposed to contacting a Business Broker? Selling a business can be complex. Each business is different, as well as the markets they exist within. That said, if you choose to do it yourself, we are about to share the simple Steps on How to sell a Business by Individual Sellers.
 
To get started, we cannot sell a business without finding buyers. We cannot find buyers without marketing the business for sale. We cannot find buyers without determining a reasonable asking price. We cannot determine a proper valuation without getting a few pieces of financial data together. So, let's get started.
 

Determining Key Financial Numbers

We are going to determine the SDE (Seller's Discretionary Earnings). Depending on who you talk to, this number may be referred to by different titles. (e.g. True Free Cash Flow, Owner's Benefit).
 
To determine the SDE, we will need the following:
  1. Pre-Tax Net Profit: The Net Profit you report after all expenses.
  2. Depreciation: Any Property or Asset which you have purchased and are depreciating, on an annual basis. The total annual reported depreciation will be needed here.
  3. Amortization & Interest: Amortization & Interest paid by the Business.
  4. Owner Salary and Perks: Owner Draws, Incomes or Other Perks not required as a regular Expense for the Business, itself. Also any draws or perks paid to spouse or other family. In some cases, an annual country club membership or cell phone may be examples of 'Other Perks'.
 
This is a straight forward and simplified method. More complex and detailed analysis can be performed by a Certified Business Appraisers. So, here it is. The formula is pretty simple. By applying your Key Financial Numbers this formula, you will get a good estimate of the SDE (Seller Discretionary Earnings).
 
Pre-Tax Net Profit + Depreciation + Amortization & Interest + Owner Salary and Perks = SDE
 
Pre-Tax Net Profit  $_______________
Depreciation  $_______________
Amortization & Interest  $_______________
Owner Benefits & Perks  $_______________
SDE TOTAL  $_______________
 

Selecting an Appropriate Multiple

This is a judgement call and may be viewed differently by others.  Sometimes a business owner has high visions of his business and it's position, while another individual may see things a little more black and white.  Try to be honest here and select a number beside the closest description of your business.
 
Multiple Select Multiple That Best Fits
1 - 2 New or Small Business. Personal Services Business. The Owner is the only or one of the only Service Providers in the Company.
3 - 4 Established Small Business. No significant advantages. Little hard assets. Stiff competition. Heavy dependency on proper management for profitability.
5 - 7 Established Small/Medium Business. Admirable market position. Mild competition. Swings in revenue. Requires continual good management.
8 - 10 Well Established Business. Solid market position. Revenue will reliably continue without regard of strong management.

As you can see, this is not an extremely deep view or determiner of a company's multiple.  It does give a fairly close estimate, for those who are honest about their business.  For a more specific multiple, you will need to know how the multiples run on various industries and business sectors.  Often times a good Business Appraiser will work from your SIC code and select the best industry/business sector and it's multiples.  In every case, it is a judgement call, so being honest to yourself or a Business Appraiser is key.  Be aware that a potential buyer may also consider his/her view of your business situation and multiplier.

All Purpose, Simple, not Perfect but Good Business Valuation

SDE Total  X  Multiple = Potential Asking Price
 

How to List the Business

Now that you've determined a possible Asking Price, it's time to assemble a Business For Sale Listing and post your listing online.  Listen, if you want to find buyers, then you need to get your business in front of as many as you can.  Now, there you do need to consider being discrete, while reaching as many people as you can.

Discretion, Keeping it Quiet

Employees and existing customers get a little nervous when word hits the street of a business for sale.  Sometimes the competition fuels the message in order to take a bit of your market-share.  First, it is seldom a good idea to give your actual business name and address in a public Business For Sale Listing.  Save that for your Potential Buyer Packet, which you do not let out until you've qualified the potential buyer and secured an NDA.  Often a seller will list the county and state of a business for sale, holding the city and street address out for serious inquiries.  That said, you can be very creative and informative, as to the business title, description and financial data.  Also, it's a good idea to use a Contact Name, Phone and Email different from your own.  Listings of Businesses for Sale often contain contact information or provide a form to reach you.  Any personal identifiable information could be an issue.  Often an account for selling a business will need your true name and address, but that should be completely separate from the Contact Name, Phone and Email associated with the listing, if you wish to remain Discrete!

Where do you go? Go to BizLocal.com to Sell Your Business.

Visit BizLocal.com and Click "SELL" or Sell as "Individual Seller" to begin.

  1. Create a Seller Account with only a Name, Email and Phone.
  2. Enter your Listing Details & Upload an Image
  3. Select your Package and Checkout
While creating your listing, you will notice a couple key items.  Select relevant Categories.  Give it a strong title that attracts buyers.  Give it a Sub-Title/Quick Sales Pitch.  Enter as much detail as you can. Keyword suggestions are in a box, but you can add more keywords that relate to your business or product.  Keywords are important as they aid internal and external search engines.  Enter your financial information and other questions, including Reasons for Selling.
 
After completion, you will notice a Back Office link in the upper right header, giving you access to an easy Back Office suite to manage your listing.  You can manage your Account, Listings and Contacts.  An important feature is the ability to edit your listing, at any time.  You can even put it into Draft Mode, moving it from public access, if you feel you need to put more attention in the detail of it.  Also, each time your listing Card is viewed, we track it.  When it is clicked on... well that is tracked as well.  If the visitor is logged in or has an account with us, their email/username will be seen in your analytics.  The system also tracks referring url's.  This enables you to determine where your visitors are coming from.  In some cases, they may have found your business for sale from Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or a Blog.
 

Do some Self Promotion

That's right!  Now that your listing is live, you should promote it a bit.  From BizLocal's BackOffice, you can select your listing and push to Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest.  Visit the public side of BizLocal.com and go to Buy a Business to find your business.  View it and copy the link from your browser.  You will notice a 'Search Engine Friendly' url.  Now drop that in the signature live of your email account and include in various email correspondences, or simply use it in the body of an email to someone you would like to share it with.
 
Happy Selling!
 
DISCLAIMER: The author does not provide legal, taxation or investment advise. The author provides business services, in areas of marketing, advertising, web-presence and business consulting.  
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Selling a Business in Florida - Monday, February 3, 2014
Wow!  Businesses for Sale in Florida can be exciting!  Yes, the economy suffered, housing crashed, but a lot of businesses thrived.  Why?  Lower overhead and extremely pro-business State Taxes!

So, if you want to Sell a Business in Florida and desiring top-dollar from the buyer of your business,  read on!  Yes, you've probably seen some tough times.  In fact, your mind may only think about the hardships.  That said, you have some GREAT things to offer potential buyers, above and beyond your business!

Owners seeking to sell a business in Florida should take time to highlight some of these pro-business facts, along with the details of their business for sale.

  • Limited Corporate Taxes
  • Reasonable Consumer Sales Tax
  • No Personal Income Tax
  • Road and highway infrastructure makes it easy to travel
  • The state puts a lot of energy in attracting tourism
  • Housing is extremely affordable
  • Awesome night life for an Owner to relax
  • Great Dining experiences from Sidewalk to Fine Dining
  • ...and... Who doesn't love the beach?!

Of course, your business should be marketable.  If you are selling a business, make sure you've prepared your financial documents for the past 3 years, assembled some history on the business, it's founding and the strong points it enjoys in the market.  Buyers love it when the current owner expresses things they would have done differently.  This is due to your intimate knowledge about your business, it's weaknesses and market potentials.

You will need a reliable valuation for the business for sale, so buyers are confident in the asking price you are trying to sell the business for.  This is a point when a Broker, Consultant or Business Appraiser will come in handy.

Once complete, take some great photos and visit BizLocal.com to build your first advertisement of the business for sale.

Buy A Business
Sell A Business
Get Help! Call 1-800-785-2925
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Business For Sale Listing Websites Mobile Friendly - Monday, February 3, 2014

The last quarter of 2013 revealed that mobile and tablet friendly website designs had crossed from Trends to Necessity.  Several of our sites saw over 30% traffic from mobile and tablets and was one of the reasons for developing the BizLocal.com Business For Sale marketplace.


When last checked, ZERO websites that offered Business For Sale Listings were Responsive to Mobile/Tablets and the varied devices between.
In fact, a couple had a 'Mobile Version' but Mobile Version and Mobile Responsive are different things.  A year ago, mobile devices were somewhat standard, but began to grow very different.  How many different sizes of phones, tables, even pc's and laptops are there now?

To test one.... grab the edge of your browser and reduce the width.
You will see the web page reorganize to adapt as the screen size reduces in width, or it will not reorganize and reduce, requiring you to scroll to the right to see the rest of the page.

The following info graphic speaks volumes!
It was prepared in the fall of the year, but the message is still important!

By the way, if you own a business or bought a business, is your website responsive?
If not, call BizLocal! 1-800-785-2925 
Business For Sale Mobile Friendly Marketing
 

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How to Sell a Business - Business For Sale... - Monday, February 3, 2014
We've been through a challenging economy and are seeing tremendous indicators of a long-term upswing.  Business that have survive the last 4 years, did so by properly adjusting their business model and financial situation.  Prior to the collapse, many individuals were nearing retirement, however had to continue do to the turbulent changes that hit.

Does that sound like YOU?  Many people are in your shoes.  Proving stability through the tough times, a large number of businesses are ripe for qualified buyers.  An amazing number of business owners are considering sales, with an equally amazing number of potential buyers on the market.  Buyers see businesses, like yours, as great opportunities to step into a business that has already had the waste trimmed and budgets optimized.  By bring fresh energy and marketing efforts, they stand to do great things with your existing business.

How do I Sell my Business
One may ask "What is involved with selling my business?" The process of selling a business will vary from business to business.  Small businesses placed for sale may have limited, yet admirable financial documents.  Larger companies and manufacturers may have a series of complex records to sift and prepare.  To start with, all have a common need.  The need to determine how much to sell the business for.

Valuation of a Business For Sale
Valuation of a business often relies on the financials of the business, industry multipliers and some real insight into the business and industry conditions.  There are various services that offer cheap valuations, some for as low as $49.  These services often just give you an idea of what a similar business may have been recently listed for.  Listen, every business is unique!  Other services may run $500 or more.  Again, they may give you an idea, but you get what you pay for.  I have found that good business valuations often run $3000 to $5000 for a small business.  Some larger businesses often run $10k to $25k.  Again, every business is different, requiring greater or less research, resources, and/or experience from the individual or firm providing the valuation.

For basic do-it-your-self snap shots, checkout a previous article I posted that provides a formula for determining Seller Discretionary Earnings and a ruff method of picking a multiplier.
http://biz-local.blogspot.com/2014/01/how-to-sell-a-business-as-an-individual-seller.html

You should also get your CPA to generate 3 year report of Cash-Flow, as well as P&L Statements.  Be sure to include all disbursements to owner, family or for owner/family.  Things like an automotive lease, cell phones or draws.

Where do I list my Business For Sale
The big question... Where is the best place to list your business for sale?  You are about to engage in Marketing your Business For Sale.  You seek potential Buyers as Contacts/Leads.  In many ways, you are about to go into the business of selling your business.

Marketing and Advertising require you to be Smart.  Reaching as many potential buyers as possible, but more specifically, qualified buyers.  Lot's of websites generate 'Leads'.  Cull through them, and you will notice the large number of bogus names, emails and phone numbers.  Your marketing and advertising efforts need to reach real people.  Now, there will probably be fewer contacts, but they should be richer in value.

About BizLocal.com
BizLocal.com was specifically built to use modern technology, in area of software, databases, page optimizations, mobile and tablet friendliness and search engine penetration.

You will want to prepare a few things to place a listing.
Try and include as much of the following information as you can;
  • Length of time in business
  • How many employees
  • Is the location good for business
  • Comparable's to businesses in the area
  • Give some general information on the company
  • Financial Information
  • Let them know about any bonuses the business may have, i.e websites
  • Always include a few phone numbers that you can be reached at
WAIT! This is important.
Many Businesses face turmoil in their employees or customer base when it becomes public knowledge, that you want to sell your business.
When placing your listing, consider using a County verses a City for location specific data, don't use the actual business name and consider details that may need to be broader in the public eye.
Once you qualify a potential buyer, you may be able to deliver greater details.
Not every business needs to worry about this, but do consider it as you prepare to market the business.
Contact [email protected] if you would like a generic email address, that no one else would recognize, at BizLocal, or other help on keeping it quiet!

Now, ready to Sell your Business?
Visit this page to list your Business For Sale NOW!
Or call: 1-800-785-2925
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Business Strengthens.. Gently, but looking Good - Monday, February 3, 2014
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, The Producer Price Index for finished goods showed an admirable gain of 0.4 percent in December, seasonably adjusted.  Through earlier stages of processing, prices of producers of intermediate goods rose by 0.6 in December.  Additionally, Crude Goods index climbed 2.4 percent.

These mild increases are a good sign.  They fall short of fueling an overpriced market, while demonstrating a strengthening economy that can afford gentle growth.

Why is this BLS Report this Important?

For the past couple of years, we've faced a very challenging economy and business atmosphere.  Some saw huge success, while most were in a virtual survival mode.  As we enter 2014, the feeling through many of my business associates and clients is a slight feeling of relief.  The nail-biting years of 2012 and 2013 are behind us and indications are of a good 2014.  Currently, I don't see anyone exuberant over 2014, more of a cautious deep breath of and relax for a moment as businesses get into a regular routine again.

Frugal or Penny Pinching Tight-Wads

Successful business for 2014 will occur with caution, in every area of expense.  This includes labor, cost of goods and materials, marketing and advertising, as well as direct overhead and office expenses.  More of a hands-on and active management style will show forth in 2014, as the need for frugality clashes with very real needs for a properly compensated workforce, proper working conditions, quality in materials, products and services, as well as good marketing and advertising activities.  It won't be easy, but it will be much better than 2012 and 2013.

What does that mean for Businesses for Sale?

As mentioned in other articles, those Businesses that have survived 2012 and 2013, mostly did so with tribulation that challenged them to tighten many areas of weakness.  These companies are like steal pulled from an oven and cast into a vat of oil to harden it.  If you are looking at a New Franchise for Sale, you will also notice the Franchise has probably been refined and tightened a bit through the past couple years of experience.  Buyers, you have opportunities to look at New Franchises and existing Businesses that could be in a better position for growth and profitability than ever before in history.  The economy is strengthening and I have found many Businesses for Sale to be in a great position for the future.

Looking to Sell a Business or Buy a Business?
BizLocal.com has thousands of Businesses for Sale, as well as opportunities for individuals and brokers to sell a business by listing it online.  Visit BizLocal.com today!

Source: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/ppi.pdf
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When Selling a Business, Be Prepared for some Questions - Monday, February 3, 2014
Potential Buyers often take time to do a bit of research, review all information you provide and ask some important questions.  This is part of the selling process and you should prepare for these questions.
 

Why are you Selling your Business?

Often the first question that comes up.  There are a couple of reasons.  It is an ice-breaker.  It get's a conversation started.  It tends to get the seller to talk about personal issues with the Business being sold.  It can catch you unaware and cause a fumble!  So, Why are you Selling your Business?  Be honest, it's ok to tell the truth.  Have you reached an age, where you are bored.. seeking something new? Are you ready to retire and relax in the mountains?   Are you tired of employees and the business side of things?  Is the business making little or no money?  Whatever your reason, be straight and honest.
 

What is the Background and History of your Business?

Again, a great ice-breaker and an opportunity to share the passion of the Business and your passion for it.  A viable business often has a story and is often the cause for customers and sales.  This is an opportunity to share how the Business positioned itself in the beginning, how it operated and how it is positioned for the future.  It's also a good opportunity to share what you'd do different, if you stay in the business for a few more years.  This data let's a potential buyer know what they should consider changing or doing, from your point of view.
 

Where does the Revenue come from?

Serious buyers will get into the numbers and ask a lot of questions.  Your Income Statement, P&L and Owner's Benefits.  The buyer wants to know how they will generate revenue, where it comes from, how it stacks up against expenses and what's in it for them!  It's not uncommon for a Small Business to include an Owner's Draw, annual Country Club Membership, annual Zoo Membership, Cell Phone, even a Leased Car.  All of these should be spelled out as Owner's Benefits, as they are not directly necessary expenses for the ongoing operations of the business... except for they provide the Owner to exist!
 
 
Many more questions will be asked.  Most important is to be honest.  Before these calls come in, take time to write down some notes about your business.  The simple activity of writing them down is a great memory-jogger and helps you to be prepared and comfortable for the questions to come.
 
To Get Started Selling YOUR Business, go to BizLocal.com and click SELL!
 
Author: Scott H Leonard, Founder BizLocal
Contact: 1-800-785-2925
Website: BizLocal.com
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BizLocal LLC Announces New Business Structure to serve the Business for Sale Marketplace - Monday, February 3, 2014
BizLocal LLC announced today that as part of its initiative to expand support of local businesses, it has restructured its entire business model and redeveloped its web-platform.

Online PR News – 29-January-2014 –BizLocal.com is now offering an online marketplace for Individual Business Owners to advertise their Business for sale and Brokers to advertise their entire portfolio. The new business model brings a focus on the needs of Business Owners and Business Brokers in the critical transitional time of selling a local business.

Development of a new web-platform was necessary, in order to introduce the latest technologies to the Business for Sale Marketplace. Buyers and Sellers will enjoy a modern and easy to navigate website. The web-platform enables sellers to easily list their business for sale and communicate with potential buyers. Brokers can add their listings, as well as manage agents/listing representatives. Both Individual Sellers and Brokers have access to the rich analytic data of impressions and views by listings.

"Today’s announcement marks the next stage in the highly successful evolution of our BizLocal, which could not have been achieved without the significant contribution of both business owners and brokers. Their involvement allowed us to provide specific tools and features not available elsewhere.” said Scott Leonard, BizLocal's President

“Previously, we've provided consulting, marketing, advertising, websites, hosting and other services to business. I see this addition to our business as a great move. The Business for Sale marketplace has some existing and admirable companies. However, the newer technologies which BizLocal utilizes will lead the industry into the future.” continued Mr. Leonard
Business owners seeking to sell a business are invited to visit BizLocal.com to list their advertisement. Brokers are also invited to take advantage of the system. Brokers having large portfolios or desiring assistance to facilitate importing of data may call our office for free assistance.

BizLocal LLC
BizLocal is an expert in advertising, web services and business development. We believe that personalized service and simple user-friendly applications are key to loyal customers, and success. For more information on BizLocal and its services, please visit BizLocal.com or follow us on Facebook (/BizLocal), Twitter (@BizLocal).

Scott H Leonard
BizLocal LLC
Dallas, TX
800-785-2925
http://bizlocal.com
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