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Businesses For Sale In Seattle Washington

There are many types of businesses for sale, and there are many ways to find these businesses. You can look on the Internet or search in the newspaper. You can also purchase a franchise. Once you have found and compared businesses, and are ready to make a purchase, there are a few things you should do before signing on the dotted line.

Finding businesses via the Internet:
Many web sites act as a go-between for people selling and buying businesses. Once you find one of these sites, follow a few easy steps to find a business that is right for you.

  1. What type of business are you interested in? Businesses are broken down into many categories, including auto dealerships, grocery stores, social services, museums, printing, and even leather products. Of course there are many more to choose from.
  2. What location are you looking in? Web sites break down businesses into states, cities, or regions.
  3. After you have selected a type of business and a location, a list of businesses for sale in the area will come up. Here you will be able to see the name of the business, the asking price, and sometimes other information (including the amount the business has been making annually, and the address at which the business is located).
  4. Many times you can click on the business for even more information. Sometimes the cost will be broken down into real estate value, product being sold with the business, etc. You may also be able to find out the age of the business, and whether or not the previous owner will provide training.
  5. Last of all, you will be given a contact name and information to find out more information and begin the process of purchasing the business.

Finding businesses for sale on the Internet might not be for you. If that is the case, you can look through the newspaper for business buying opportunities.

Finding a business in the newspaper:

The newspaper will often list the businesses that are for sale. If you do not subscribe to the newspaper, you may find the information you want on the newspaper’s web site (if they have one).

While looking on the Internet, or in the newspaper, you may come across franchise opportunities. Owning a franchise is somewhat different from owning your own business.

Franchises are another way to purchase businesses for sale. Franchises are national or regional chains that sell you one or more of their businesses. You are buying the business name and system, in essence, but there is more to it than that. You must continue to meet requirements set by the business owner. There are restrictions with franchises that you will not have with your own business.

Once you have found your potential business:
Once you found a business you are interested in, make sure you have the land and the building appraised. You should also have the building and the land inspected. Once you have done this, write out a detailed contract in order to avoid future problems.

The Impact of the Age Wave on Business Values

Over the next 15 years, the U.S. economy will experience an unprecedented increase in the number of businesses for sale as baby boomer entrepreneurs begin to retire. The result will be a significant increase in the number of available businesses. Experts believe this will create downward price pressure for many privately owned companies.

The baby boomer generation has been one of the most entrepreneurial generations in the history of our country. During the last 30 years over 5 million businesses with annual revenues ranging from $1 million to $75 million were founded. The owners of most of these businesses are now 50 years old or older and beginning to think about retirement. Recent studies by PriceWaterhouseCoopers, MassMutual and Marquette University showed that one out of two businesses will change hands between 2006 and 2016.

Ken Dychtwald, a nationally respected demographic expert and author of AgePower has written extensively on the topic of the aging of the baby boomer generation and advised multinational corporations and governments on how to prepare for the impact that the aging of our society will have on our economy, healthcare systems, infrastructure, etc. Dychtwald calls the aging of our population the “Age Wave”. He makes the persuasive case that demographic trends like this are predictable, unavoidable, and need to be understood and planned for so that they don’t overwhelm us. Dychtwald believes that, if properly understood, such trends can be tremendous opportunities.

Just as the Age Wave threatens the solvency of the Social Security system, the wave of private business owners seeking to retire will seriously strain, and possibly overwhelm, the available supply of buyers and the available capital for business transactions as these owners approach retirement. Given the significant increase in business owners wanting to retire over the next ten years, experts expect that the increased number of businesses for sale may create a case where supply exceeds demand. If we all think back to Economics 101, we know that when supply exceeds demand, prices tend to drop.

The American Family Business Survey sponsored by MassMutual showed that approximately 30% of these owners plan to sell their business to a third-party buyer. Another 30% plans to sell to a family member, while another 18% plan to sell in some manner to current employees. The remainder plan to close and liquidate the business.

For those business owners who intend to sell to a third-party, it will become increasingly important that they position their business to sell successfully in an increasingly competitive market. With one out of every two business owners looking to sell over the next 10 years, there will be a glut of businesses on the market. Now, more than ever, it will be important that a business owner focus should be on doing everything he or she can to increase the attractiveness, value, and salability of the businesses.

Tragically, the PriceWaterhouseCoopers study showed that approximately 75% of private business owners have no strategic exit plans in place. An additional 25% have done little or no estate planning. This is a recipe for disaster.

An exit plan is a comprehensive, integrated plan that asks and answers all of the personal, business, legal, financial, tax and estate issues that are involved in exiting from a privately owned business. This plan shows business owners how to begin positioning themselves and their businesses so that the owners accomplish all of their personal, financial and business goals when they exit.

Given the number of companies coming to market, business owners will need to focus on improving profitability, building a management team, and growing revenue in order to make their companies more attractive and maximize the proceeds they receive at the time of exit.

Exit planning delivers tangible results for savvy business owners. It is not uncommon for companies that have invested the time and effort to prepare themselves for sale to sell for a significant premium over companies that come to market unprepared. In addition, with good planning business owners are often able to reduce or in some cases eliminate the capital gains taxes due at the time of sale. This dramatically increases the after-tax net proceeds that owners keep. But the most often overlooked component of exit planning, and perhaps the most important, is the peace of mind that comes when a business owner knows that he or she is being proactive and taking charge of the future, rather than waiting passively to let the future take care of itself — after all, deciding how and when to exit a privately owned business is perhaps the single most important financial and personal decision in a business owner’s lifetime.


1. Baby boomers were born between 1945 and 1961. The oldest is now 60 years old, the youngest is now 44.

2. As baby boomers start to retire the number of business owners wanting to sell their businesses each year will increased fivefold over 2005. This trend will continue for the next 10 years.

3. Selling your business during the first half of the “age wave” (2005-2010) will provide the best chance of maximizing its value because younger baby boomers retiring from corporate jobs will be active buyers. In the later half of the age wave these new entrepreneurs will also be looking to exit.

4. The economy is currently expanding and we are entering a strong economic cycle which creates a good environment in which to sell.

5. Private equity groups and strategic buyers are actively looking to make middle market acquisitions.

6. Capital gains rates are at a 60 year low.

To get started on the exit planning process as well as the selling process, get informed. Seek information from the best independent and objective sources possible. One good place to start is to talk with trusted advisors like your attorney, accountant, financial advisor, or an investment banker who focuses on privately held businesses.

Catapult Your Business-How to Get Customers to Chase You Instead of the Other Way Around

I was thinking about the statement:

The Small Business Administration tells us that 80% of all small businesses will not make it more than 2 years, and by 5 years 90% will have gone out of business.

If that is the case, then why does every business out there try to be like the others? Most copy everything right down to the way everyone else in the same industry lays out their office.

The reasons I get from clients

  • They don’t want to reinvent the wheel.
  • They want to learn from those that have done it because it will save time and money.
  • Can we then assume that they are all wrong? Yes! At least 80% of them!

    Finding How to Be Different Will Bring More Success Faster Than Trying to Be Like Everyone Else

    For most companies there is someone just like you on literally every street corner in the world. Isn’t it a little hard to get noticed standing in a crowd that all look alike?

    If you want to be noticed, don’t you have to look different, do something that would make you stand head and shoulders above that crowd?

    I’m going to give you two points here that, if you decide to follow them, will make your business so visible that people are chasing you to buy from you instead of the other way around. It will make your business a magnet, pulling customers in.

  • Find what makes you unique (we’ll discuss that later).
  • Find what is different about the 20% of businesses that are succeeding. (I’m not saying copy them and look like them either. I’m suggesting that they have something we can learn from).
  • Learn what the other 80% of all business are doing so we can avoid it.
  • Finding Your Unique Selling Proposition, That Thing that Makes you so visible above the crowd that they are chasing you

    When I’m working with my executive business coaching clients I spend a significant amount of our time trying to find what would make my clients different. This one idea alone can make you super successful if you find your
    powerful unique selling proposition.

  • List your products/services/features
  • Let’s start a worksheet on a piece of paper. On the far left create a column called Products/Features/Services, and list all of your products, your features, your services down that column. List each on their own line down the left side.

  • Benefits–Why Buy the Product/Service?
  • Next to that create a column, label it, “Benefits, What would a client get from buying my product or service. This is an answer to “Why buy my product (service).”

    Don’t worry about perfection here. This is a thought process that will get better the more you think about it, and until you start writing down your thoughts it isn’t going to get better. So start now. This is a process. You’ll find that your early answers will be rather weak and wishy washy. You might not think so when you first write them down, but I’ll guarantee that the more you review this each time you’ll look back and realize how far off target you’ve been when talking about your product before, and probably still are in the early phases of what we are doing right now.

    Make sure that, as you write the answers in each column to the right, that they line up with a product or service on the same line of the first column. So, answer the same question for each product or service.

  • Why Buy It From Me?
  • The next column to the right is “Why buy it from me?” In other words, if someone has already decided to buy the product based on the benefit you just wrote in the 2nd column, and IF there really is someone just like me on every street corner, then give a reason why they should buy from you, or even better, why should you be noticed above that crowd on every street corner. A quick suggestion: Before you go where everyone else goes–your answer shouldn’t have anything to do with being less expensive. If you go there you’ll lose. Everybody else is already there. You’ll just be looking like everybody else anyway. Take your best shot at this, we’ll come back and get it better later.

  • Make the “Benefits” and the “Why Buy It From Me” ….MEASURABLE
  • Now, the last column:

    o Take both the Why buy the product?

    o And Why Buy it from me?

    o And turn them into measurable results.

    Finding the right measurable result is where you’ll find your opportunity to stand out above the crowd, where you’ll find a statement that will make your company a magnet to customers.

    I want you to step back and really look at all of those answers. Did you answer all of the questions based on what benefit the customer really receives? Or was it still about the product/service, was it kind of iffy, wishy washy, weak?.

    I’ll use one of my client’s businesses. He is a business coach as well. I coach the coaches, a business advisor to business advisors. His product is business coaching, training, sales training.

    Now for the benefit a customer might receive: It’s almost too easy to say education, better skills, but that’s not digging deep enough.

  • Why would the customer want education and better skills?
  • What is the final result if we keep asking why this, why this, why this until we get to the bottom line.


    Increased business, increased bottom line, easier to run business. In my opinion that is still a little weak. But let’s move on so that you get the idea. And I suggest you do the same. Get the ideas down at first. Then, after completing all of the other columns come back and look at it with the new ideas that will have been generated.

    Why buy it from me?

    It’s a little too easy to say that he gives them training, or does it at a better price than others. If he digs deep enough, he gives them results instead of training. Where most companies provide training for a day, he’ll ask the client what he wants and dig for that deeper answer, and then focus on delivering results, not just training. Still not where I want it. It’s still weak.

    For the measurements:

    Small business clients that act on the ideas they generate together double their business in 3-4 weeks, and he’ll guarantee a 2:1 ROI on his fee.

    Now if I go back to Why buy it from me, and add, “giving results (and how much, make it measurable, do you double a business? A really good coach can.), and doing it in 3-4 weeks” instead of just some time we’re starting to reach that really powerful statement.

    Using what you find in the measurable part in your marketing, in your elevator speech, you’ll find people noticing you for a change. You’ll start to see marketing results go up 5-10 times. When you use this in a networking event you’ll have the room coming over to find out more.

    Most of my clients really balk when we start talking about “make it measurable.” They are usually afraid to have to commit to something. And many have never even thought about what kinds of results could be measured.

    I’ll get answers like “How can I put a measurement on it? I have so many different products. They are so different I can’t give you ONE answer.” Or, gee I don’t feel comfortable committing that I can do that.

    I’ll not let them get away with that. Pick an average, pick the best you’ve ever done, the worst you’ve ever done. This is a thought process. And then let’s put something down on paper that you are willing to commit to. Let’s write down something that says, “most of our clients will get this…..” “the typical client will get this….”, and “I will absolutely guarantee that a client will get this…”

    At first, many of my clients will feel that they are having to commit to something they don’t want to commit to. Well, guess what? That’s what will make you different. Pay close attention. These are the KEYs to catapulting your business forward.

  • Very few commit to THE RESULTS they will deliver.
  • Making it measurable will deliver a product that SO VISIBLY stands out above everyone else that you WILL be noticed.
  • Everyone else is selling generic stuff on every street corner. Just make sure that your statement is true and deliverable.

    Believe me it works. I have people running over to me after chamber introductions to hear more. Or sometimes to say, “You can’t really do that….can you?”

    Back to my coaching client example: Sales went through the roof when he was willing to stand up and commit to doubling someone’s business, or doubling the output of some specific part of a business, if they, in turn, would just act on the ideas, and then guarantee a 2:1 ROI against the fee. That’s measurable. That’s a very visible, clear definition of results.

    Measurable results in an elevator speech, ads, brochures, wherever your getting out there to be seen will become so powerful of a statement that your business will magnetically be pulling customers in faster than you could possibly imagine.