In the July 14, 2011 Wall Street Journal, Sarah Needleman writes that sales of small businesses, as per bizbuysell.com, are up for the third straight year of year-over-year quarterly gains. However, prices are down.
The median asking price in this study was $239,000 and the median sales prices was $150,000. For comparison, the average price of the businesses my clients acquired over the last two years was $1,325,000.
Some of the more interesting quotes in the article are (and these apply to all sizes of small businesses):
“People [sellers] are getting more realistic.”
Sellers are finally starting to come to grips with fact that it’s not 2007.”
“People [sellers] can only sit on the sidelines for so long.”
“…our brokers have made it very clear to our clients that they’re going to have to take the place of the bank.”
Demographics and other factors say the above is a trend, not a singular occurrence. Expect more deals and at realistic prices.