May 5, 2023

You’re Ready To Buy. Here’s How To Find Someone Looking To Sell.

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You’re Ready To Buy. Here’s How To Find Someone Looking To Sell.

Unconventional Acquisitions

May 5, 2023

Business buyers taking action

With 30 million small businesses in the United States, 600k biting the dust, and 1 million shiny new ones emerging each year, why the heck would you even consider building your own from scratch?

And where the actual hell do you find a small business to buy? Is there a secret speakeasy you need an invite to? Do you need to cozy up to the cutthroat sharks from Shark Tank?

Relax. The answer is no. All you need is to know where to dig and be ready to flex those muscles. But first…

Know what you’re looking for

Diving headfirst into the M&A world, it’s crucial to zero in on the right types of sellers. You know, the ones you can swoop in and save.

Keep an eye out for potential sellers with these characteristics—even if their business doesn’t have a blinking neon “for sale” sign on it.

  • Baby boomers
  • Fatigued or nearing retirement
  • Eager to dissolve the family biz
  • Facing declining health
  • Considering a move or relocation
  • Lacking transition plans or successors

Though not foolproof, these characteristics can help you spot small business owners who may be more inclined to sell.

You may have heard us talk about the SOWS method:

Armed with these factors, you’re ready to hit the streets.

Search business listings, then stop in for a visit

BizBuySell is like Craigslist for business listings for an area or industry. Think Zillow but for business listings instead of real estate.

If you’re a newbie to your industry and need a crash course on pricing or how to structure a deal, start here.

But fair warning: BizBuySell is teeming with traffic. So, the deals can be pricier, and there’s an army of buyers elbowing their way through the listings (more competition).

Google is also your BFF, especially if you’re hunting for a business in a specific industry (like a laundromat or car wash) in your area. Just do a basic search for the type of business you’re interested in, and see what pops up close to your location.

If you can, dig up more dirt on the owner, the business, and the location. Your research here can serve as a basic sniff test to help you figure out if this is the type of establishment you’d like to learn more about.

If a business passes your initial screening, set up a time to pop in when you’re in the area or when the owner is in. Finding a small business really can be as simple as finding a good candidate, then hitting them up on the phone (yes, the old-school way) or shooting them an email to connect. If they have an Instagram or Facebook page, you can even shoot them a DM.

Even if you’re greener than green when it comes to buying a biz, any exposure and interaction you can have during this stage will set you up for future success.

Focus on picking up the phone and chatting with 5 local business owners a month until you feel a little more confident. The more conversations you have, the better idea you’ll get of the types of businesses that are a good fit for you.

Level up with BizScout

Ever wanted to scream in frustration while scouring the internet for off-market businesses? isn’t just another platform; it’s the cheat code to level up your business acquisition game and make the whole process a cakewalk.

So much so… we bought the company.

Instead of wasting hours on traditional marketplaces, BizScout takes your preferences and generates a customized list of off-market businesses that match your criteria. 

All you need is a few keywords, and it’ll generate a customized list of businesses that may be right for you. No more endless trolling for deals!

It’s the perfect tool to help you navigate the world of small business acquisitions more effectively. 

Attend conferences or meetups

If you’re focusing on a particular industry, you’ll save a ton of effort by figuring out where the small business owners in that space tend to congregate. Want to know the best bet to get ‘em all in one place?

A conference.

I mean…imagine waltzing into a room with thousands of other laundromat owners who already know the ropes (and who may even be interested in selling their small business).

Carve out a few hours to stop in, schmooze with people, and save yourself weeks hunched over your computer, scrolling through listings like a mad scientist.

Tap into your network

Social media is another goldmine for finding local businesses to buy. Chances are, one of your Facebook friends or Instagram followers knows someone with the kind of business you’re searching for (or they know someone who knows someone).

You may find that the small business owners your network connects you with aren’t quite ready to sell yet. That’s totally okay.

The key to leveraging your network is at least getting the conversation going with potential sellers. That way, you become their #1 pick should they decide to sell one day. Plus, they may know other small business owners who are interested in selling sooner.

Finding off-market deals

Okay, let’s get to the juicy part. The story goes that a mastermind member stumbled upon a hidden gem while getting their morning caffeine fix. In a casual conversation with the café owner, they discovered the owner was on the brink of retiring and hadn’t even considered listing the business for sale yet. With some smooth talking and a well-timed business card exchange, our mastermind member walked away with a piping hot off-market deal – and an extra shot of espresso in their latte.

That’s the beauty of off-market deals; they’re often hiding in plain sight, just waiting for someone with the right blend of curiosity and persistence to uncover them. The best part? The competition is virtually nonexistent, giving you the upper hand when negotiating and closing the deal.

Unrealistic or too good to be true?

There are more just like that one. Chris, another one of our members, just came on our Mastermind call as a guest and broke down his most recently closed plumbing deal. He called up an electrical contractor and a local business owner he knew. He let his business acquaintance know his plans for putting a handful of deals together to scale and exit.

Chris explained that he was looking to buy a plumbing company and wanted a partner that understood the home services industry. A partnership was born. The electrical contractor even knew exactly which plumber to contact. He made the call, and the deal just closed a few weeks ago.

So, keep your eyes peeled and your ears open. You never know when you’ll stumble upon your very own off-market treasure. It all comes down to having enough conversations about your business buying goals.

Wrapping it up

Finding a small business to buy doesn’t have to feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. With a little creativity, persistence, and a whole lot of networking, you can uncover some amazing off-market deals just waiting to be scooped up.

Remember, the key is to know what you’re looking for, be open to exploring different avenues, and never underestimate the power of a well-timed conversation.

Happy hunting!

This Week in Biz Buying:

🍎 Apple’s new savings account a $1 Billion hit in the first 4 days

🙅‍♀️ 3 Key Factors to Avoid in Deals, They Might Surprise You

🏦 Banking Troubles? JP Morgan acquires First Republic Bank  

🔥 M&A was back in Q1 of 2023, Pitchbook’s Global Report 

🚚 These Little Trucks from Japan are Making a BIG Wave

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