I have always been an early adopter, back when getting on the internet was still a slow and painful process with dialup, I was looking at businesses for sale on bizbuysell.com. I was amazed that I could browse listings from across the country and was no longer limited to the “Business For Sale” listings in the local classifieds. So in 1998, I found a business that interested me online and purchased it.
Today the ability to buy or sell a business has been revolutionized by technology. Still faithful to bizbuysell.com, I am signed up to receive business listings by email for categories I am interested in. Like a kid looking at the Sears Wishbook, I peruse businesses for sale every morning.
BizBuySell.com has executed well on their core mission – “the Internets Largest Business for Sale Marketplace” with over 50,000 businesses listed for sale. From a buyer’s perspective the benefits are the search capabilities of searching by category, location, price, gross income, cash flow or my personal favorite keyword. For seller’s the benefits are you can market your business worldwide and you can choose to list your business for sale with or without a broker.
The website hasn’t really changed much over the years and is needing improvement. For instance, their site does not work properly on the iPad and you have to know the secret handshake to scroll the listings (two fingers since no scroll bars appear on their site) and you cannot subscribe to listings by RSS. The keyword search only searches listing titles and not the description which is a pity. Last week, bizbuysell.com finally announced a mobile version of their site and noted that 15% of their 500,000 uniques per month were coming from mobile devices. The mobile site is a bit overdue and appears to be lacking in any new features, but it is a good indication that they may improve their technology.
While I still consider bizbuysell.com a must if you are buying or selling a business, there are many other resources available today that harness the power of the internet to connect buyers and sellers.
More online marketplaces with businesses for sale:
- Globalbx (their keyword search tool does search the description!)
- Flippa is a marketplace just for websites. Be careful with listings on flippa as there can be many scams listed on this site.
Linkedin Groups are a great way to connect and ask advice or learn from experts. Take a look at these linkedin groups I Want to Buy a Business, Business Buying and Selling Network, Internet Business Buyers, SellBizToday or Companies For Sale.
Currently, I am most interested in buying websites or web properties so here is a more specialized list of resources for internet businesses.
A few business brokers that specialize in web properties:
Flip Filter has tools and advice for buying and selling websites. The monthly newsletter called A-List is informative and entertaining about website properties and the current market conditions – I highly recommend subscribing to the newsletter that is expertly written by Justin Gilchrist. Also don’t miss Justin’s list of resources How to Find Websites for Sale
Experienced People is a forum for people interested in buying and selling websites. If you are new to buying websites, this forum is a must.
If you think you might want to buy a business in the future, start using some of these resources now and get used to the lingo and metrics used in the listings. How do you find businesses for sale? Let me know in the comments.