Business buyers fall into different categories:
- Strategic investors: Large companies are have some strategic reasons to acquire smaller companies and merge them with their current operations. Some of the strategic reasons include economies of scale, synergies in purchasing, marketing and distribution synergies, cost efficiency synergies etc. . strategic investors receive an additional value from the business since the additional efficiencies and synergies with the newly acquired business translate into additional profits and therefore additional value extracted from the acquisition. For this reason, strategic investors pay higher prices for their acquisition targets than other types of investors. Strategic investors are generally the first target for a business broker/seller.
- Financial Investors: corporations and individuals who have large sums of money to invest but don't have the time and/or resources to actively manage the companies. Financial investors are only interested in the cash flow/profit of the business for sale. They see the purchased companies as any other investment opportunity such as the stock market, real estate or other investment opportunities. They are not looking for synergies. These investors are generally looking for businesses with existing management in place. There are particularly attracted by companies with a long and stable history of profits, which reduces the perceived risk of their investments.
- Retired/laid off Corporate Executives: There is a growing trend recently of corporate restructuring. Corporations are looking for younger and less expensive personnel. This put on the market a growing number or former corporate executives with long business experience and some lifetime savings. These executives have hard times finding new jobs because of their high wage expectations and some age discrimination in the market place. These executives could represent the ideal business buyers for middle market companies (between $1,000,000 and $5,000,000 in value). unfortunately, sometimes these executes tend to overanalyze business opportunities and have hard time making a purchase decision.
- New Immigrants: More than 200,000 immigrants come to Canada every year from which more than 40% come to Toronto GTA. Most of them them have hard time finding jobs matching their qualifications. We are are constantly being contacted by immigrants interested in buying small businesses. These immigrants have available financial resources, long business experience and most importantly the entrepreneurial spirit and hard work so necessary to succeed in small business.
Unfortunately only 10% of people looking to buy a business end up buying a business. Finding the right buyer for a business requires a lot of efforts and selection. A competent business broker will relieve the business seller from this selection process.