Business Buyers…What are they looking for?

Both Bloomberg Businessweek and BizBuySell, the leading online marketplace for businesses for sale, recently conducted   surveys answering the following questions:  Who are the Business Buyers? and What are they looking for?

First, why do people want to own or start their own business?

According to Businessweek, when prospective buyers were asked, “Why do you prefer working independently?”  the responses were:

  • Like to have control over work
  • Like to control when and how projects get done
  • Dislike working with teammates who don’t do their share
  • Recognition is important to me
  • Difficult to reach consensus in a team setting
  • People who work independently get ahead

When BizBuySell asked, “What are the primary reasons you are looking to purchase a business?” the responses were:

  • “Better income opportunity” (55%)
  • “Be my own boss”
  • “Better lifestyle”
  • “Currently own and looking to expand”
  • “Want a side business”

The survey from BizBuySell.com also produced answers to some of the other questions asked about who the buyer is.  For example:

  • 75% stated that they were looking for businesses priced under $500,000
  • 33% of those searching the website for businesses were 18 to 34 years old; 42% were 35 to 49 years old and 21% were 50 years old plus.
  • 43% percent were female, 57% were male.
  • Interestingly, 45% had previously purchased a business and 48% currently owned a business.
  • When asked what type of business they were interested in and instructed to check any that apply, the results were as follows:  Established Business 93% | Pre-Owned Franchise 28% | New Franchise 17% | Start-up/Website 17%

The following search breakdown by type of business in order of interest (restaurants being first) is based on almost 850,000 searches.  (Only the top 16 are listed.)

  1. Restaurants
  2. Gas Stations
  3. Convenience Stores
  4. Liquor Stores
  5. Bars/Taverns
  6. Dry Cleaning/Laundries
  7. Hotels & Other Lodging Places
  8. Other Eating & Drinking Places
  9. Beauty Salons, Barber Shops
  10. Auto Repair, Parts & Services
  11. Internet Businesses
  12. Health, Medical, & Dental
  13. Manufacturing
  14. Retailing Businesses
  15. Supermarkets
  16. Vending Machines

And finally, a very telling comment from the Bloomberg Businessweek article, concerning job loyalty:

I’d rather know that I’m going to lay myself off than get BLINDSIDED by a boss and have security lead me out of the building.

 

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