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Selling the business11/7
Looking for input from someone who has already gone through the process. Thanks.
You really aren't selling a job either. You are selling machinery and maybe the building if you own it. Any past customer will not give the new owner any loyalty at all since they hired you and your reputation for the job. Plenty of places to sell used machinery, not many to get good prices though.
What Rich says is true, I have been through the process myself as well as watching the results of shop sales of friends.
Most small shop sales involve some sort of balloon payment 3-5 years down the road. Unfortunately most shops sold don't survive that long. Do not carry paper. If you can get an all cash price as a going business take it. However, anyone with the ability to purchase a complete shop for hard cash is rarely going to do it. Most new buyers are hoping to pay for the purchase by adding a few customers and jacking up prices to existing customers (assuming they stay). It rarely works.
Good luck. The small shop operates on too personable level to transition to a new owner successfully. Smart buyers know this too.
I'm not really interested in the reasons why it wouldn't work. I bought this business from a previous owner and have made a nice chunk of money... I know it can work since I've been through the process.
My question is about the best way to search for a buyer. A quick google search brings up a bunch of websites (globalbx, bizben, bizbuysell, etc) that have small shops listed. I will probably advertise on one or more of those sites, but am looking for other ideas as well.
Call a broker and have a sit down with one. They will tell you alot of stuff thats good to know even if you don't go with them. A good one can cast a much wider net than you can on your own. And the fee normally is about 10%.
Maybe it worked for you, so why are you selling it? I sold my business twice. The first sale didn't get very far, I got the "my wife won't let me", and the second sale was to one of my employee's Father. He wanted a partnership. Long story short, it cost me a boat load of money to resurrect my business. Including fixing his wife's screw ups with the state. Hope you have better luck than I did!
It can work. I bought a 21 year old biz from an elderly couple. They carried the paper for $550000 for 7 years. Both of us used a business broker so the seller paid 10%. I kept one of the owners on for a couple of years part time to transition the customers. Worked great for both of us.
I sold my shop 12 years ago as a turnkey operation in montreal,canada. The buyer was a young man that wanted to start a business. My sales were steady for many years with growth each year and my name was well known in the city for quality work. My employees all stayed on and i spent 3 months training him for which i received a percentage of the sales for that period. i got a 50% deposit with the balance payable monthly over 12 months. Took closer to 16 months,but it enabled me to move to florida and start another shop here. I am 66 years old now and my reputation here has been growing and i get alot of work from Houzz and my website and hope to sell the business in another 4 years G-d Willing. Harold.