Historically, starting and growing a business has been the sign of a successful entrepreneur. Today, however, the most successful entrepreneurs don’t make their mark by starting their own business. Instead, they thrive by learning how to buy and sell businesses.
While some business owners retain lifelong ownership, the vast majority do not. Given this, you need to think about your business as an investment. Whether you already own a business or you’re purchasing one for the first time, you should already be thinking about how you’ll increase the value of your investment for the moment of sale.
At Murphy Business®, we have a unique understanding of what it takes to buy and sell businesses. Below, we’ve collected eight expert tips so that you can learn how to buy and sell businesses like a business broker.
Buy and Sell Businesses Like an Expert
1. Hone Your Negotiation Skills. Negotiations used to be an everyday occurrence for most people. Now that everything has a fixed price tag, that’s no longer the case. If you’re planning to buy and sell businesses, you’ll need to develop your negotiation skills. You’ll also need to keep in mind that different kids of negotiations require different tactics.
2. Find Out What Depresses Market Value. Many business sellers are shocked to learn that their business is much less valuable than they initially thought. A business may be profitable, but if its owner plays an indispensable role or it lacks a diversity of revenue streams, these factors will depress its market value. Identifying these kinds of factors can help buyers avoid over-valued, high-risk investments. Sellers, meanwhile, can address these weaknesses before selling.
3. Learn How to Quickly Increase Market Value. Whether you’re buying or selling a business, you should learn different strategies for increasing a business’s market value. If you’re a seller and you’re underwhelmed by the value of your business, it’s possible to increase your valuation with the right steps. If you’re buying a business, these same tactics could allow you to scoop up a low-cost business and flip it within a few years at a much higher figure.
4. Know Where to Look. If you want to buy and sell businesses, you need to know where to look for buyers and listings. At Murphy Business, we have access to a number of exclusive business brokerage associations, which allow our clients to reach a wider, higher-quality pool of targets. Sellers get access to national and global buyers, while buyers can gain access to thousands of confidential and non-public business listings.
5. Target Serious Buyers and/or Sellers. When you buy and sell businesses for a living, you quickly learn to gauge the sincerity of different sellers and buyers. This is an indispensable skill if you’re on either side of a business transaction. If you’re unable to qualify buyers or listings, you could waste weeks or months (not to mention substantial funds) on a transaction that never comes to pass.
6. Understand the Emotions Behind Business Sales. From the outside, business sales might seem like a cut-and-dry process. Once you start to buy and sell businesses, you quickly learn that this isn’t the case. At Murphy Business, many of our business transfers involve small business owners who are selling for the first time. Selling a business is an emotional event for many of these sellers, so it’s important that both sides understand the emotional as well as financial stakes of the transaction.
7. Get a Grip on Financing Options. As a business buyer, you’ll want to research financing to ensure sufficient funds for purchase. Even as a seller, it’s a good idea to learn about financing options. At Murphy Business, we will often assist buyers with financing, even when we’re representing the seller. Buyer financing ensures fewer headaches for sellers, and because we’re familiar with the local area, we can point buyers in the right direction for local financing.
8. Surround Yourself with Experts & Specialists. Buying and selling businesses can be lucrative, but it’s rarely easy, and it’s always complicated. Even the most experienced buyers and sellers depend on professional advisors, including accountants, tax specialists, lawyers, and business brokers. While it costs money to surround yourself with a team of qualified experts, doing so will save you countless hours, steer you clear of costly mistakes, and help you optimize your return on investment.
Discover why so many entrepreneurs buy and sell businesses with help from Murphy Business! Call (888) 561-3243 today for more information about our business brokerage services.