The most frequently-asked question by those looking at the independent business scene is “How many are for sale?”. Right on the heels of that question comes another: “How many actually sell?”. 

Small business owners who are looking to sell may be wondering how many businesses are actually sold. Well, we’ve got the numbers for you. According to a study by BizBuySell, approximately 6.3 million businesses in the US fall into the categories of manufacturing, wholesale trade, retail trade, business and personal services, and household/miscellaneous services. Of those businesses, it’s estimated that around half will be sold within two years of being listed. 

Independent experts estimate that only one in six businesses with four or less employees sells, while the trend continues for businesses with five to nine employees. For larger businesses, the percentage is lower – only one in five. This information can give business owners peace of mind, showing that although the process of selling a business is not always easy, it’s not as difficult as some may think with the right team to help you. 

Unfortunately, the actual-sale percentage is lower for very small businesses. This is due to a variety of factors, such as unsubstantiated income or inaccurate financial information. Some owners may not be realistic in their pricing or simply aren’t serious about selling. Still, others may simply pay the bills and close their doors. However, there are things you can do to increase your chances of selling. For example, make sure your financial information is accurate and up-to-date. Be realistic about your pricing, and be serious about selling your business. These are just a few tips, but they can make a big difference in your chances of selling. 

No matter what the percentages show, the final arbiter of your selling price is the marketplace. So if you’re realistic about your company’s value and know that the marketplace is always the ultimate deciding factor, you’re in a good position to sell your business.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that all businesses can easily sell. It just means that a realistic seller who is aware of the marketplace’s power will always have an advantage. Contact our team at Gulf Coast Business Broker today to begin the process of selling your business.

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