This article are provided for information purposes only, and are not intended as legal advice.

It is all about timing when buying a business

November 19th, 2009

You are looking to buy a business for months and can’t find the one that you want.  Is it you, is it the time of year or are you looking in all the wrong places?   It could be one or a combination of all three of those things. We are a month away from Christmas and the market will start to slow down typically around December 1 and will not pick up again until January 15.  Why does this happen?  Many business advisors take holidays in the month of December.  No one likes to be in negotiations during the holiday period.  Some people have children in private schools and many of these do not go back to school until a week after the kids in the public school system return.   As a result, they are not back until the end of the first week of January. Once advisors get back, it takes them a week until they clear their desk, figure out what they have missed and now they start to look for new business.


When you go to sell a house, do you typically list your house just before Christmas?  Most people do not.  It is holiday time in December and the last thing that you want is people going through your place when you are trying to prepare for the festivities.  Sames thing happens with a business.  No one wants you in the business when it is slow, the owner is trying to go on holidays.  Many businesses shut down for a week or two in December and others use the time to catch up on paperwork.


If you are looking to buy a business and you see that there are no sales or orders, the phone does not ring, would you be interested in this business?  For many businesses, outside of the retail business, December is a slow month. Few things are purchased between Christmas and New Years.  It may be a good time to close the sale of a business but why show a business to a potential investor in your slowest time of year?


The same problem happens in the summer. In July and August, many business owners want to take a holiday therefore they will not list their business for sale in these months either. If you know that it will take several months to sell your business, why list when you are not there?


In summary, December 1 to January 15 and July and August are typically slow times of year that will have less new businesses for sale listings than other months. Are you looking in the right place for a business for sale.  If want to get a weekly update of new business listings on The Business Place then please register

Filed under: Buying a business — Gary Landa @ 11:58 am

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