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How to Find and Evaluate Good Businesses for Sale

Buying existing businesses for sale from someone who is looking to profit from their business or retire is a great way to become an entrepreneur! You buy an already proven and profitable business, and then use your skills and acumen to grow it further. However, finding owners who want to sell is not always easy. Consider this your guide to finding and evaluating good businesses to buy.

Rarely advertised business opportunities

Most business sales are rarely known, largely because companies don’t want the word to get out to their employees and customers, who might panic about the change. Instead, most business owners looking to sell have no choice but to wait patiently for a quality buyer or use a broker to market their offerings.


Often small business attorneys may know of a client who wants to sell, however it is usually best to focus on a particular industry and simply contact the owners directly. To do this, simply start calling business owners in your target industry and ask if they know anyone who might be interested in selling their business. It often helps not to expect an immediate response, but to give them some time to think about it.

Instead, follow up after a week or two by mailing your business card along with an inquiry letter. Lastly, call back to see if they have any ideas. This strategy communicates the fact that you are a serious buyer. Even if the owners you talk to aren’t willing to sell, they usually know someone who is.

commercial newsletters

If the above strategy isn’t your cup of tea, or doesn’t get you quality leads, another thing you can do is try our trade newsletters or industry magazines. Often these will have classified ads for business owners in the industry looking to get out. These can be a great way to help you generate leads in a particular industry.

business magazines

Business publications, both those dealing with a particular region or particular industries, also have listings or even reviews of business owners who may be reaching retirement age. Many business owners at this stage of life want to retire, but can’t because they don’t know what to do with their business. You could be the answer, giving them a way to keep their legacy alive, but leaving more time for golf and the grandkids.

build your team

Finally, one of the best ways to find deals and evaluate opportunities is to surround yourself with a network of business professionals who can provide resources or advice. These should be investment bankers, lenders, business brokers, and venture capitalists. This way, you’ll not only be guaranteed to find a business to buy, but you’ll also have a team of advisors in your pocket who can help guide the way.

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