I know of a fantastic confection retail concept with one location in Cambria, Calif., that wants to sell but is having trouble in this economy. The owner doesn’t have family or employees she can sell to, so she’s looking for an outright buyer. She hasn’t found any real estate agents or brokers in the area that deal with selling businesses. And although the owner does have the business listed on a couple web sites, she’s still having trouble. Are you aware of any small business resources that this owner could utilize to garner more attention from prospective buyers? —Mike Kraus, Los Angeles
To sell effectively online at business sale web sites like BizBuySell.com, create a company profile and outfit it with quality photos and accurate financial data. These sites aren’t for everyone. Some owners have better luck working with a professional. To find a business broker near you, check out the International Business Brokers Association, or IBBA, says Anthony J. Citrolo, a principal at New York Business Brokerage, a business brokerage firm in Melville, N.Y.
If after landing a stellar broker, the owner still has difficulty attracting buyers, she should ensure that there’s nothing out of order with her company. Perhaps buyers are shunning her company because the financials are a wreck? Then again, she may simply be charging too high a price.
To avoid these issues, she should focus on whipping the store and her company’s financials into shape before showing her business to potential buyers. (For our story on preparing a company to sell, click here).
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