Here are the three questions you’ll be asked when you sell your business, that if you don’t have the right answer to, could cost you big.

By the time most business owners decide to sell it will be too late to answer these three questions correctly. Considering that they are the first three questions you will be asked as a business seller, and that they are impossible to answer without forethought; getting the answers for them in advance will make your business more desirable, more sellable and yes, should get you more more money for your investment.

So here they are; the three questions that you have to know the answer to before you decide to sell.

  1. Why are you selling your business?
    More often than not, a business gets put on the market as a reaction to something such as the owner’s personal situation changing, the business losing money, industry problems or simply that the owner is tired of it. Under these circumstances, selling your business is a necessity- not a choice, which puts you as the seller on the back-foot in negotiations.
    So it falls to you to know why you’re selling before you want to sell. Quite simply; plan to sell. Telling a buyer that selling was part of your three year business plan, then showing them the plan, is much better than saying ‘I’m over it’.
  2. Can I get a copy of your financials?
    This one’s an easy one. If your answer isn’t a big ‘YES’, then you’re going to be making things very difficult for yourself. Buyers don’t buy without financials any more, banks don’t lend without financials (did they ever?) and to put a nail in the coffin, many business brokers won’t even take you on without financials.
    So in short, make your answer ‘Yes’ by keeping good, up-to-date records. Essentially, make a habit of good record keeping now and your business will be considerably more sellable down the line.
  3. How do you expect the business to perform in the future?
    ‘It has potential’ is not the right answer- but it’s easily the most common. This question is impossible to answer off-the-cuff because it needs forethought. Have your marketing plans ready, have copies of your business’s systems and growth plans. Having these ready is the difference between showing someone your business and selling someone your business. This may sound like a tremendous amount of work, but in reality, when you sell a business you aren’t actually selling how profitable your business is now; you are selling the future profitability of your business- and to sell them that, you need to prove it.
    So, get used to long term-planning and don’t stop when you decide to sell. Planning for profits you personally aren’t going to make might feel pointless but in reality you are making that profit when someone buys your business.

Is that all?

Of course not! There are plenty of questions you’ll get asked when selling your business. We picked these three because they are the three top ones you can plan for today for extra money in the bank when you sell.

Want to know more about selling your business? Call Xcllusive on 02 9817 3331 or click here to submit an enquiry and speak to an expert consultant today- Sell your business with certainty.

By Zoran Sarabaca

Principal Xcllusive Business Sales

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Survey 10: With buyer sentiment remaining relatively neutral, how did one business cause business buyer enquiries to jump by 17%?

With business-buyers’ positivity seemingly cemented to only slightly higher or lower than neutral, one would expect that the enquiry rate from that same group would mirror that sentiment. In contrast, this survey period, Xcllusive has seen an unexpectedly large jump in enquiries from business buyers. New buyer enquiries rose by over 9% this period and business enquiries overall rose by approximately 17%. In fact, May’s new buyer enquiries were the highest they’ve been in over 8 months. Which begs the question, when buyer sentiment is so neutral, why was there a surge in enquiries? Truthfully, we didn’t have to look far to find the answer:

One little accounting practice for sale.

Over the course of the business’s first week on the market it received four offers and more than double the enquiries that most businesses will get over the course of three months. A response rate this high is so rare that the last time we saw it was six months ago during the first week of marketing for the last accounting practice Xcllusive worked with.

This is what it is like to sell a business in an in-demand market. Which begs the question, what are the factors that are making accounting practices so attractive at the moment, and how can sellers in other industries mimic that?

Factors that make accounting practices attractive in the current market:

  • Security of income
  • Easy to incorporate into an existing business
  • Repeat business
  • Easy for existing accountants to operate
  • High necessity service
  • Easy to finance – NAB will finance 60% – 80% of total annual revenue
  • Low supply, high demand

Realistically, it will be difficult, if not impossible, for other industries to tick all of these boxes. For example, not all businesses can be incorporated into an existing business, nor is business finance easy to obtain for most businesses for sale. This too has been reflected in this month’s survey, with respondents returning the lowest result in 12 months in regards to their ability to obtain finance.

Not all businesses offer a high necessity service either, leaving us with only a handful of factors that can be addressed to bring a business up in the business sales market. Here’s a brief overview of how business sellers might do this for their business based on the key factors listed above:

Security of Income
This can be established by having a solid set of financials for at least the three most recent years. Generally though, the longer the business has been established with either consistent or growing profits, the better.

Repeat Business
Most businesses do have some form of repeat business, but rarely is this recorded. Take steps to firstly establish what portion of your business is built through repeat business, and secondly, establish a method to ensure maximum retention of this group when a new vendor takes over.

Ease of Operation
All businesses have their own idiosyncrasies in the way that they are run. To a buyer though, these idiosyncrasies will be perceived as elements of operation that will make running the business difficult. To allay this concern, offer to your buyers a training period in which they can learn the ropes. A buyer will feel comfortable buying a business once they know that they will be able to maintain and grow it.

The results of this month’s survey have indicated that confidence in the current buyers market is still low, meaning that business sellers must take steps to boost confidence in their own business rather than simply waiting for a confident buyer. Accounting practices naturally do this, the result of which is that the buyer response is higher than the average buyer response even before the global financial crisis. In this market, this kind of response is difficult for sellers in other industries to aspire to; but aspire they must. By taking the right steps and the right preparation, and most importantly, helping a buyer see the value in his or her business, a business seller can find the right buyer and most importantly, get them across the line.

Survey Results:

By Zoran Sarabaca

Xcllusive Business Sales
Sell your business with Certainty

* Disclaimer: This survey was distributed to over 2,150 people through the Xcllusive database. The information generated is from a series of questions asked in that survey. All of the results can be found on the Xcllusive website www.xcllusive.com.au. Please note Xcllusive does not guarantee the findings are free from errors and that this survey is not to be considered as business advice.

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Survey 9: Are the difficulties in obtaining finance negatively affecting perceptions of pricing and availability?

This survey period saw a substantial non-consecutive dip in buyer positivity. The biggest drop in positivity occurred in the pricing and availability of businesses for sale on the market in which positivity dropped by a massive 13.1%. Alarming though this drop is, business pricing is almost always the primary barrier to reconcile between buyer and seller and can be affected by any number of factors. A business may in fact be overpriced, but it may also be the case that buyers’ perceptions of value and/or attainability may also be down.

For example, buyers’ perceptions of attainability will almost certainly be affected by their ability to obtain finance, thus making the purchase more achievable. With business loans in Australia still being stifled by the European credit crisis, some major banks have announced fresh rate hikes for business loans. Under these circumstances it’s not in the least bit surprising that with business buyers getting hit on both sides of the finance hurdle, positivity in this area has dropped by 7.7% this survey cycle. That said, despite this sudden drop, it appears that we are still better off than we were a year ago.

The final notable drops came from buyers’ positivity towards the likelihood of buying a business and their positivity towards buyer a business in the current market. These saw a 7.35% and a 4.23% drop respectively. The good news is that despite these drops, perceptions of these fields still remain in the positive.

Overall, it was not a good month for buyer positivity, with dips in all areas. One thing that can be taken away from this is that despite a generally negative market, businesses are still being bought and sold, and where deals are being made there is always opportunity.

By Zoran Sarabaca

Xcllusive Business Sales
Sell your business with Certainty

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The Survey- What’s being asked and what’s being said. Period 10.

Click here to be taken straight to the survey!

There are five questions being asked of each entrant. Response was given as a number between one and ten, ‘one’ being a negative response, and ‘ten’ being a positive response.

The questions addressed the following areas:

Question 1: Addresses how likely it is that buyers feel they are going to find a business for sale that suits them in the next six months.

Question 2: Addresses how positive buyers feel about buying a business.

Question 3: Addresses how buyers see the current economic and business climate changing over the next 6 months

Question 4: Addresses how easy buyers feel it would be to finance a business purchase in the current climate

Questions 5: Addresses how buyers feel about the current supply of businesses on the market.

The current results are as follows

 

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How rising unemployment may affect the business sales market and the saleability of your business

Three months ago I was at my local hotel and noticed a new member of the bar staff. He looked out of place amongst the others behind the bar so I struck up a conversation. Turns out, he used to be a financial analyst with one of Australia’s biggest financial institutions.

These are strange times we live in.

With many major corporations and financial institutions announcing mass layoffs over the past few weeks, a new wave of negativity has been injected into the market. Despite this, recent survey results have actually showed an increase in both a buyer’s likelihood of buying a business (6.9%+) and positivity towards buying a business today (3.1%+)

Given the doom and gloom being reported at the moment, these results may seem incongruous with current events, however they actually tie in quite closely with the motivations that spur business buyers. The motivation for buying a business changes with the economic climate. In positive times the business buyer pool is largely populated with securely employed individuals looking to take a risk by leaving their jobs with the intention of making higher profits than their jobs can provide. In uncertain times however, this motivation couldn’t be farther from their minds.

In September of last year we sold a business to an individual who was leaving their middle management job because they weren’t certain that the job was going to remain secure. This person’s motivations are a perfect example of why many people are buying businesses today: to take control of their financial future and secure their income through investment. With the recent layoffs in middle management, it is expected that this motivation will be the driving force behind many business sales in the months to come.

With this motivation also comes a change in the criteria that most attracts buyers. In times of more certainty, buyers are willing to take more risks in exchange for potential high profits. Though the motivation for high profits still remains, the stability of the business is becoming increasingly more important than it already was for this new pool of buyers. High-profit, high-risk businesses are becoming significantly harder to find buyers for at premium prices, and the reason is this: at the moment buyers are more concerned with financial security than increasing their wealth. It is for this reason that the profit multiplier used to value businesses is dropping.

So how will this affect your business? The more protected your business is, the more likely it is to sell. The factors that are most important to buyers today are as follows-

  • Length of operation
  • Even spread of suppliers
  • Even spread of clients
  • Good lease length with options
  • Solid and thorough financials
  • Limited competition with reasonable barriers to entry

This is not to say that buyers weren’t concerned with these things in the past, but more to say that in the past these factors could be more easily offset by high profits. In contrast, in today’s market they affect the business’s ability to sell or even receive enquiries unless the price is dropped dramatically.

The main point to be taken away from this is that there is a new wave of cautious buyers entering the market. These buyers are in a position where buying a business is increasingly becoming a necessity, but as they are coming from otherwise stable jobs they will be looking for equal stability in their investment. Businesses with higher risk factors will still sell, but it is vital that the risk is offset in the price for which it is marketed. Having more buyers is always a good thing, but the game is changing, and how you play it will determine your success.

By Zoran Sarabaca

Xcllusive Business Sales
Sell your business with Certainty

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Is there really a ‘best time’ to sell your business?

Just how important is timing when selling your business? To answer this question we take a look at the relationship between timing and performance and assess how these factors can affect your eventual selling price.

For most sellers, regardless of their reasons for selling, the goal of a business sale is to get the best price possible for their hard work. One of the most crucial elements in determining a price is the business’s current and most recent performance. It is therefore of the utmost importance to take a rational and measured approach to using this information to not only establish a price for which the business will most likely sell, but also and perhaps more importantly, inform the seller on whether or not now is a good time to sell.

Choosing when to sell a business is not an exact science, and can be even less so in an uncertain economic climate, but there are certain truths that simply don’t change. What follows is an analysis of the three most common trends in a business’s performance as well as suggestions on how to use this information to your advantage.

1. Declining performance or ailing industry.

It is not at all uncommon for business sellers to wait until this point to sell their business. The problems with selling your business whilst it is on a decline may be obvious from the outside, but for many hard working business owners, the problems are often quite hard to accept or even see.

Quite simply, you cannot price the business on historical sales because the trend indicates that those profits are diminishing. So what are your options? The first is to price the business on the most recent year’s profits or lower. This is often a hard decision to execute given the emotional attachment one can have with their business, but in order to attract a buyer it may be the only viable course of action. The second option is to continue running the business until you can demonstrate that that business performance is picking up or levelling out. Though this course of action may mean a few more years in the business, a consistent and steadily performing business is significantly more likely to sell than a declining business, even at the right price.

2. Slightly varied or sustained performance in steady industry

Businesses in this position tend to have a much higher sales success rate than business’s in decline. In these situations, the price is generally based upon the average of the last three to five years’ profits. The important thing to remember if you are selling a business in this state is; you cannot relax whilst the business is on the market. It may not be a quick sale, and given that the strength of consistent businesses is the implication of sustained and unthreatened income, if profits falter, or

drop two years in a row, the primary strength of the business is lost. Far too many businesses in this position have not sold because the owner started to wind down their efforts before the business was sold. The last 100 metres in a marathon can often be the most important.

3. Rising performance in a steady or climbing industry

As one might expect, businesses in a state of growth are the most likely to sell. They tend to sell quicker, gain more enquiries and sell for higher prices. The irony of this is that in situations when a business is most ripe for selling, the owner is the least likely to sell. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing of course; if everybody sold their business as soon as it exhibited signs of growth, nobody would make any money. The point is; if you are thinking of selling, you shouldn’t wait until your business is in decline, a state that is the least appealing to buyers, before you decide to ‘cash in’. Buyers are prepared to pay a lot more for increasing profits.

Though these examples represent a simplified breakdown of what can be an incredibly complex and varied landscape, in all cases, the businesses are priced on their historical and current profits, that is, a relatively short period of time in which the profits are compared in order to project the businesses future performance. It seems that the timing of your business’s profit cycle is therefore central to what kind of return you will get for your investment. So when choosing when to sell your business, if you want the highest price possible, don’t be afraid to make a move whilst your business is improving. It can make the difference between negotiating with one buyer who wants to pay you less, and choosing between a handful of buyers who are fighting to pay you more.

By Zoran Sarabaca
Xcllusive Business Sales
Sell your business with certainty

 

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Selling accounting practices in today’s environment: Five things you can do so you never need clawbacks.

The past few years have seen some changes within the business sales industry, with a noticeable swing in favour of business buyers. Though is more true for certain industries, it couldn’t be less true for accounting practices. The increasing demand for accounting practices for sale has lead to a number of changes in the way that buyers are seeking these businesses, as well as the way in which they’re valued.

Historically, accounting practices were valued at between 50 – 120 cents in the dollar based on market value. So, for example, if the turnover was $1M and the business was valued at $0.70 to the dollar, the business would sell for $700k. This method, despite being used by most professional practices is not without its drawbacks. Being based heavily on the turnover, this method often does not take into account the efficiency of the practice in that higher profit margins are not necessarily rewarded. Furthermore, accounting practices are also hit with clawback clauses under this valuation method, with only 55-70% paid up front. The remaining percentage is usually paid after a 12-month period or similar, subject to the success of the business during that time. Clawback clauses can often be something of a problem for accountants wishing to sell their practice, particularly as once the business sells, the departing owner has no control over its success or failure, despite being financially tied to it.

Overall, this valuation method, though effective, has often left business owners out of pocket due to these clawbacks and a lack of reward to practices with higher profit margins. With an increase in demand for accounting practices however, and a newer generation of buyers entering the industry, it appears that this method is being phased out in favour of Return on Investement (ROI).

As it does with other business types, the ROI method of appraisal takes into account risk versus profit, as opposed to Market Value versus turnover. This shift heralds a substantial change in the way that accounting practices are valued and though there are a number of factors contributing to it, the reason for this change seems to largely be the result of the newer generation of buyers entering the market.

The newer generation of buyers are increasingly accepting ROI valuations for accounting practices. Being that it is the more common valuation method across all industries, these new buyers bring with them an expectation that they paying a price based on the potential future profits as opposed to the current turnover.

With this shift, comes a handful of advantages to well structured businesses. The immediate advantage is that well structured, more profitable practices will be rewarded under this valuation method. The secondary advantage is that it effectively removes the need for clawbacks as the risks that are usually associated with clawbacks (ie. loss of clients), are factored into calculating the ROI. This opens up accounting practice owners to higher immediate returns when it comes time to sell, but it also means that different approaches need to be used during the sale in order to take achieve those returns.

The main issue with circumventing the expectation for clawbacks is the culture of clawbacks associated with accounting practices. In almost no other field are these expected, and though there are good reasons why clawbacks are used in accounting practice sales, there are things that business owners can do to remove their necessity.

The primary reason that clawbacks are used is that there is minimal certainty in regards to which clients will remain with the practice one you have left. In order to address this uncertainty an appropriate handover method must be devised and more in-depth sales document needs to be prepared. The idea is to remove uncertainty through information.  Here are five tips to follow if you are considering selling your practice and want to avoid clawbacks all together.

1)   Be more transparent. Provide an in-depth break down of current clients.
Though this information is usually provided during the due diligence phase, a breakdown of client numbers is absolutely essential to lessening the need for clawbacks. This information is used by buyers to make their biggest purchasing decisions, and should be made as transparent as possible in order to reduce uncertainty in the purchase. You should endeavour to provide, to the best of your abilities, the following information: 

  • Breakup of clients per return type
  • Spread of fee Income
  • Geographical Location of clients
  • Client time with the practice
  • Taxable income per client

2)   Provide accurate descriptions of your relationships to your top clients.
There are two primary reasons why clients will leave a practice after a handover. The first is everyday reasons (change of situation, bankruptcy, death etc), the second is as a result of the handover.  Everyday reasons are addressed in point four of this list, but for the most part, these are just a part of the business. What buyers are really worried about is losing bigger clients as a result of the sale. It is for this reason that they need to be firstly made aware of your relationship to your biggest clients. This means a description of tasks you undertake for them, your history, primary points of contact and the steps you intent to take to enable the new owner to forge a new relationship with these clients. The types of steps you can take are as follows.

3)   Devise a handover period designed to help the incoming owner keep as many clients as possible.
The handover period begins prior to the conclusion of the sale and concludes after the sale has taken place. The primary outcome of a good handover period with accounting practices is to help the incoming owner retain as many clients as possible. It is also advisable that you arrange to call your biggest clients or even visit them with the new owner to facilitate the introduction.  This type of handover period will involve more work from your end, but you keep in mind that if you do it well, you will be significantly reducing the risk of loss of clients to the new owner. By reducing this loss, you are removing, or at the very least, lessening the need for clawbacks.

4)   Provide realistic projections of loss of clients based on history of lost clients.
With your client base protected to the best of your abilities, it may also be worth preparing a projection of client retention over an average year. Include, to the best of your knowledge, how many clients were lost/became inactive, how many clients were gained and the ways in which they were gained. It is important to be open and frank with your analysis. If the majority of your clients are gained through standard marketing then fantastic, however, if a notable portion of new clients are gained through professional referrals it is worth reporting. This type of warts and all approach will increase a buyer’s trust in you and the business, and allow them to make educated decisions rather than risky guesses.

5)   Prepare a sales document outlining the business to be given to enquirers. Make sure you cover the above four points.
Having prepared your clients as well as your business, the final piece of the puzzle is to present it. It’s important to remain frank and open in your sales document. Obviously, the primary purpose of a Sales Memorandum is to sell your business, but it must present the business realistically. Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes. Who’s opinion would you trust more: a mechanic who tells you all the good and bad about a car, or a used car salesmen who tells you it’s a ’dream to drive’? Don’t simply ‘sell’ your business to a buyer, but help them understand it from the inside out. The only reason for having clawbacks in the first place is to offset risk, and if you can remove the risk, you will not have to negate it. As part of this document you should also endeavour to provide, to the best of your abilities, the following information:

  • Full P&L for at least the last three years and YTD
  • Marketing breakup and explanation
  • Annual income month-by month for all three years
  • Skills and qualifications of all the staff within the practice
  • Skills and level of involvement of the owner.

You may find that you feel uncomfortable reporting negatively on your business in this fashion. This is absolutely understandable, and indeed, you should be painting the best possible picture of your business for prospective buyers. Consider this though: Clawbacks exist to protect against risk. If clients are lost during the clawback period you will not get paid for that portion of the business at the conclusion of that period anyway. During this time you have little to no control over any aspect of the business or economy in general and if, heaven forbid, the business suffers severely after you leave, you are held financially accountable despite having no input. The alternative offered here is that you provide a reasonable and honest opinion of the businesses future performance and factor that into your price today. This approach could be the difference between getting paid less later, or more today.

By Zoran Sarabaca
Principal of Xcllusive Business Sales Pty Ltd
Sell your business with Certainty


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Survey 7: With buyer confidence in the pricing and availability of businesses for sale dipping, could this be an opportunity or an indication of things to come?

The past six months worth of results had begun to show some very clear trends, all of which have been completely inverted this survey period, making this one of the biggest turnaround periods we’ve had. Some of these dips may seem alarming, however when it comes to business sales, every cloud has its silver lining.

One of the larger turnarounds came from the ability-to-finance-a-business-purchase question (4), in which confidence had been climbing steadily since June. This survey, confidence in this field dropped almost 8%.  The unique property of this question is that lending restrictions in Australia, set by the larger lenders, haven’t changed much at all in the past two years. This would suggest that responses to this question are often one of sentiment rather than practice. Perhaps the regular media coverage of the worsening financial situation in Europe is affecting perceptions here in Australia; we’ll just have to wait and see.

Questions (1) and (2) which pertain to the likelihood-of-buying-a-business and the positivity-of-buying-a-business-today followed their usual trend of moving in tandem, only this month their upward trend took a small downwards turn. The good news is that though confidence in these areas has dropped, they were only small drops and though it’s only by a hair-width, they remain in the positive.

Confidence in business pricing and availability (5) dropped over 6% this survey period heralding its first drop in 12 months. The results to this question have always been a point of interest for us as it is widely accepted that it is a buyer’s market in the business sales industry. (see AIBB’s Australian Businesses for Sale – Market Indicator) Businesses that used to sell for four and five times profit are now selling for two and three times. The fact is, there are some very well priced businesses out there, with a handful of confident buyers taking advantage of them. Five years ago you were paying as much as twice as what you’re paying for businesses now, meaning that if you can finance your purchase, now may be one of the better times to buy low. Though this is not assured, we can assume that once confidence returns, it is likely that business prices will begin to rise again. Which brings us to the final question.

The big surprise came from the question relating to buyer positivity towards the business and economic climate over the next six months (3), which saw its first serious rise since the survey started over 12 months ago. Jumping almost 9% in positivity, buyers’ perceptions of the changing market have moved swiftly back into the neutral after a year of increasing negativity. It could just be a one off result, but it could also be an indication of things to come.

So, is ‘now’ a good time to buy? Realistically, it could go either way and it’s anybody’s guess until we see economic stability return. That said, the fact still remains that businesses are selling for less than they were five years ago, but as to whether you should buy now; that’s up to you.


As usual, we are happy to bring you an analysis of these bi-monthly results as they come in, but we can’t do it without the results. If you have an interest in the outcomes of these figures please take the time to fill in the survey. It’s just five quick questions and it should take you under 60 seconds.  Your ongoing assistance in gathering this information is extremely important to us in that it enables us to present up-to-date and relevant information to you. Thanks again in advance for your time. Click here to take the survey.

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Survey Month 6: It looks like the upward trend is continuing!

This most recent survey draws to a close the first year of testing and remarkably, has returned to most positive results yet.

The biggest surprise comes from the ability-to-finance-a-business-purchase question (4) in which respondents reported that it would be 4.6% easier to purchase a business than it was two months ago. This rise may not sound like much, but considering that as little as six months ago the finance question was returning steadily falling results, this rebound is extremely positive.

In the business related questions, the question pertaining to business pricing and availability (5) returned a 4.7% increase on the last survey, and the likelihood-of-buying-a-business question (1) jumped 4.8%. The smallest increase came from the positivity-of-buying-a-business-today question (2), returning only a 2.1% increase. That said, question (2) is still returning the highest results of all other fields

The only question to continue returning declining results is the question relating to buyer positivity towards the business and economic climate over the next six months (3). This decline is interesting considering that all other fields are on the rise. It remains to be seen whether the expectation will follow the trend, or the trend, the expectation.

It should be noted that despite all of these increases, the results, though improving, are still only returning average, or slightly above average results. The exciting thing is that if these results continue on their current trend we could be seeing some very serious improvements within the next few months. The reason we can predict this is that in all the results returned, we are starting to see some very clear trends, and the most part, all of those trends are on the up.

The next survey will see the first results returned that would allow us to compare the current market directly with the results a year ago. Once again, we can’t do this without your help so if you’ve got a minute, we’d love to hear from you.

Click here to go to the survey
(just five quick questions)

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Survey Month Five – The Results are looking up!

The end of our tenth month of survey results has seen the upward trend in buyer confidence continue- even after the US stock market crash. The big surprise came from the finance related question. Buyers’ positivity towards their ability to obtain finance for a business purchase increased by a surprising 8.45%, easily the biggest increase yet in any field. Though this still leaves it at around 50% positivity we’re quietly hoping that this is the beginning of a new trend, as an increased ability to obtain finance would reduce the strain on both business buyers and business sellers alike.

Unsurprisingly, of all the fields asked, the only one to trend negatively was the question pertaining to how buyers see the economic and business climate changing over the next six months. This saw almost a 3% drop.

All other fields (likely hood of finding a business, positivity towards buying a business, impressions of the current supply of businesses) saw, on average, an increase of positivity of 3.17% leaving them not quite as good as they were ten months ago but certainly better than six months ago.

So what could this mean for you? As buyer positivity increases we may begin to see more sellers taking advantage of the opportunity of finding a buyer in a positive market. This could mean more good businesses on the market but only time will tell.

We’re really interested in how you feel the market is progressing and would love to get your opinion on it. If you’ve got 30 seconds and would like to go into this year’s final draw to win one of SIX iPod shuffles (that’s right, one more this time) click here to take part in the survey!

Click here to take part in the 2012 survey.

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