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Do some small business window shopping

Monday, 19 November 2012 | By Taskmaster

taskmasterEarlier today, I read that the number of private businesses for sale has reached a record level of 29,060 for the September quarter, according to the BizExchange Index for Private Business Values.

 

Baby boomers selling their businesses ahead of retirement and children choosing not to take on their parent’s businesses are cited as two of the key reasons for businesses selling. I can’t say I blame them.

 

That said, with so many businesses hitting the market, Old Taskmaster’s spidey sense is tingling at a possible opportunity.

 

The obvious opportunity, for people in the planning stage, is to take a look at the market for established businesses in the industry you want to launch in. In some cases, buying an existing business might be preferable to starting up from scratch. At the very least, it will give you a feel for how much businesses in your industry are worth.

 

For established start-ups, such as Taskmaster Enterprises, this should be the ideal time to grow by acquisition. After all, what better time to buy than at the bottom of the market at the beginning of a recovery?

 

Sadly, most of the big banks are jittery about lending to small businesses, despite ads on TV talking up how much they are helping small businesses to grow. Despite claims to the contrary, it seems Barbara still rules “Bank World”.

 

That’s not to mention all the tax and regulatory nightmares that would come from a takeover. As much as the pollies swear they’re cutting red tape before each election, the amount of paperwork landing on Taskmaster’s desk always seems to increase.

 

However, even if you (or more likely, your bank manager) aren’t actually in the market to buy out a competitor right now, there’s no harm in looking to whether your competitors, or other businesses in your industry, are interested in selling.

 

After all, businesses up for sale are likely to share or disclose information they wouldn’t voluntarily put on the public record. Similarly, business owners looking to sell might be willing to discuss aspects of their business to someone they think is interested in buying – even in a casual conversation – where normally they’d just tell you to “get lost”.

 

So what are you waiting for? It’s time to go window shopping!

 

Get it done – today!