Many business owners probably have asked themselves this question. There are many unique and different types of business. Some fill very small niches while others have carved out a unique product or service while still others require a unique or very specialized talent, knowledge or experience. An owner of a “unique” or at least unusual business may feel that there is no one out there who would buy it.

Almost all businesses are saleable, but the big question is: Is the seller willing to sell? Because of Internet marketing and other new technologies, business brokerage professionals know how to reach potential buyers world-wide. Somewhere there is a buyer for almost every business. Locating the right buyer is the job of the business broker professional, who recognizes that the seller’s willingness to sell is the key. Why is a seller selling; what is important and what is not. If a business owner just wants to see what the market might pay for the business; or hopes to “make a killing” on a sale – it most likely won’t sell.

Gauging what is most important in the selling process is very important. Following are some critical factors that every seller or would-be seller should assess:

  • Full price
  • Down payment
  • Keeping existing employees
  • New owner’s plans for the business
  • Confidentiality
  • Selling costs
  • Buyer qualifications
  • Keeping the business locally
  • Providing jobs for children/relatives
  • Structure of the sale

There may be other factors that are important. Keep in mind that every one comes with a string attached. What are the most important ones? Will you bend on them? Will you lose a sale over it? Businesses with a broad appeal and a successful track record are in a much better position to stand firm on the important factors. The unique or niche businesses or those with a less stellar track record may have to be willing to bend on any or all.

Sellers should tell their business broker professional what is really important – and take note of the one or two factors that could be “deal-breakers.”  Remember: almost all business can be sold, but every sale requires a willing buyer – and a willing seller.