Sunday, September 18, 2016

What I see in the Market for Small Businesses - Buy a Business - Sell a Business

Well, spoiler alert, there is no market for small businesses.

I made this video to explain why.

You see for a ‘market’ to exist, you need many buyers, sellers and a product or commodity.  For example, there is a market for 4-door used cars and a market for 3-bedroom homes in each town and city, but small businesses are very individual.  They’re unique.

Therefore, they each have their own market!

In the video I give an example of the process engineer who will never buy the highly profitable flower shop.  I used to see it all the time when I owned my business brokerage.

As far as pricing goes, it doesn’t change much over time except if certain industries are perceived to be more or less risky.  Business are valued on their cash flow and what the buyer is willing to pay is based on their perception of the risk that the cash will continue to flow into the future.

There is one exception though.  It’s an old story about market manipulation.

I’ve seen first-hand that government programs meant to encourage immigrant investors are causing price bubbles in certain categories.  Convenience stores, franchise food locations, Laundromats, gas stations.

Anywhere someone with limited English can run a simple business and quickly learn enough words to make change and serve customers.

I recently worked on a case where a newcomer was willing to overpay by 40%... because he was up against a time-limit and if he didn’t buy a business he would lose a $75,000 deposit that he had made to get into the country.

Welcome to Canada, let us into your wallet.  I bet he feels all warm and fuzzy about igloos, beavers and maple syrup.

Just like in any market where politicians and civil servants decide to meddle, an artificial urgency has been created and business sellers are taking full advantage of these victims created by government policy.

For a full education and help on buying a business, visit

To learn how I can help you sell your business yourself, visit

If you’d like to learn how to create high returns by making local private lending and lease deals, check out The Local Investing Academy starts in September.  For a quick introduction, read Invest Local.  It’s available from Amazon stores worldwide or as a .pdf here:

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Do you live in the Maritimes?  I’ve got workshops coming up on buying and selling businesses in the fall.  Book now

Thanks and I’ll see you next time. 

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