Buying a Small Business

I'm guessing this is the right place for this question...

For those of you who are small business owners perhaps you can help. If someone were interested in buying an existing small business where would they go to find businesses for sale?

Ask the owner of the one you like.  Mine has been for sale since the day I opened it.  Since I love it, I never got a price offer to move me to sell.  But, you just never know........

I don't have one in mind that I like. I am sure that some type of marketplace for selling your business exists. I don't own one so i don't know. That is why i am asking where that exists if it does.

what’s the attraction here? You just want to own a business, any business? Seems to me this might work better in reverse- think more about what you are interested in, where your expertise lies, what you think you’d be good at and narrow it down. 

and I’d guess that other than franchises, this is less of an advertised thing than you’d think and more of a word of mouth. I think most people who start a business think of what they are passionate about and start a business around that. 

I am asking small business owners in the area who may have listed their business for sale in the past, or currently are listing their business, where they did the listing or where they are doing that listing now. That is the only question.

There are brokers.  For example,

sign up for an annoying volume of e-mails if you like.  I suspect many of the listings are like jgberkeley's - anything's for sale at the right price.

If you're interested in local retail businesses, you might consult with the Maplewood Village Alliance or South Orange Village Center Alliance. Ben Salmon at Kitchen a la Mode in S.O. seems very knowledgable about the local market, as are others.

More broadly, to get a sense of what types of businesses are out there I'd look at media such as Inc., Entrepreneur. The Washington Post has a small business section. And there are publications and sites such as Small Business Today, Small Business Trends, Business2Community.

I understood the question. It just feels backwards to me. I’d think the first step would be to have an interest, a passion, a certain type of experience before you think about starting or buying a business. Then you start or seek out one that fits that interest or experience. I think a person just wanting to own a business for the sake of owning a business is probably not such a common route and may not be the most successful route. Good luck though. Hope whatever it is, it’s successful.

I dont think it is at all unusual.   a list of available businesses may let the future business person look for something that may interest him/her.  just be sure to know what you are getting into-and dont think that you can buy a local small business and have others run it successfully for you.  and if it is a restaurant type business -be prepared to put in at least 80 hours a week.

If you do not understand the product/service 100%, and how that industry works in terms of pricing, financing, possibly installation and service, then you are in deep trouble going in more or less blind.

You can rely on experienced employees only up to a point.  Once they start their own competing business, you will be out of business.

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