Tips for Finding a Business Owner Trying to Sell

Buying an existing business that is already successful is one of the best ways to become your own boss. Existing businesses offer a major advantage over starting from scratch because they are already established and have proven that they can compete effectively within the marketplace. CPA Sales

The challenge to buying an established business is finding an owner that wants to sell. Unlike in real estate, you won’t see too many “for sale” signs outside a company office; such a sign would be unsettling for the employees and customers and very bad for the bottom line.

To locate an owner that is looking to sell, it is helpful to start getting to know local business owners in your area. There are numerous ways to do this. Here are three of the best methods for finding the right business to purchase:

Contact Owners within your Targeted Industry: One good way to find prospective sellers in your area is to start contacting the business owners directly. However, do not ask them straight up if they want to sell. Instead, ask them if they know anyone in the area that wants to sell their business. You may choose to contact them with a letter or a phone call, whichever way you feel the most comfortable. One of the most effective ways is with a personalized letter and a follow up phone call. Once you have them on the phone, you never know where that will lead. They may or may not know the right person, but chances are they can point you in the right direction.

Attend Local Networking Events: If you are an aspiring entrepreneur, it is good practice to network with other like-minded individuals. One of the best ways to do this is attend local gatherings such as Chamber of Commerce ‘meet and greets.’ While at the event, you will have the opportunity to get to know business owners in your targeted industry in a relaxed setting where you can ask about potential sellers. There is no substitute to getting to know the players in your industry face to face.

Consult a Local Business Broker: Area business brokers are likely to have more inside information on prospective sellers than most other people. After all, this is what they do day in and day out. Find a local business intermediary that specializes in the industry you want to enter. For example, if you are looking to buy a CPA practice, talk to a local business broker with expertise in accounting practice sales.

If you follow these three methods, you should soon have at least a handful of potential leads. From there, you can narrow them down to the two or three prospects that seem that best fit your needs. Be sure to do your due diligence and check out each business thoroughly before you buy so you do not end up with a costly mistake down the road.

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