Where Do Small Business Buyers Come From?

Before a small business begins the process of looking for a buyer for their business; they must first understand why they want to sell the business. I typically hear retirement for the main reason but I also see partner disputes, estate planning, burn out, and to many other interests. Whatever the reason a small business seller must commit to a process once that decision to sell is made.

I don’t want to discuss the process of selling a business but rather discuss the types of potential business buyers that are really feeding the small local markets. These buyers have access to more information and are becoming more sophisticated in their approach to buying a business.

Below are some examples of the categories of potential business buyers:

1. Retirees – There are over ten thousand individuals retiring every day in the United States. Many of the retirees want to remain active and/or do not have the financial security to retire. They have tremendous wisdom and knowledge and are quick at understanding a business with which they have an interest.

2. Business Competitors – As a small business owner, the thought of selling your business to a competitor with which you have competed with over the years is a difficult possibility to accept. However this group is typically y over looked, but may be the best possibility as expansion for them is always an option. They have the business knowledge and skills and most likely have the resources to acquire your business. The tricky part is to make sure that competitor is serious before disclosing confidential information. There are also synergistic buyers that may not be competitors but could benefit from the products and service your business may offer.

3. Family – Business owners will usually look at family members as a potential source of buyers. This may be done very early on for estate planning or later in the business life cycle as different family members express interest in working for the business. Also, extended family should be considered as a potential source. The issue with family members is that they may lack the capital to pay for the business and the conflicts that may arise for ongoing support. That separation of business and family may be difficult.

4. Key Employees – Your business is only as good as your staff and key employees. I see on many occasions key members of management may be the only option as if the business is sold to an external buyer, the key employees may not stay, making that sale difficult. Establishing clear line of communication with these group will create a better transition and potential exit strategy.

5. Money Buyers – These buyers are typically looking to buy a business strictly on some multiple of net cash flow of your business. They are the most demanding, most sophisticated and are hard negotiators. Some are looking to buy a job but most are looking for a return on their investment. For this group having accurate financial records is extremely important.

It is not easy to find the right buyer for your business to create a win/win scenario. It is self-serving but I highly recommend using n experienced business broker. In the Emerald Coast of Florida, my company, South Walton Business Brokers is the leader for connecting business buyers and sellers.

Google Re-Launches Small Business Portal: Google My Business

Google has launched a new portal catering to smaller, local businesses, designed to streamline the management of your Google presence. From this new single interface, you can now control your Google Search presence, Google+ and Google Maps, updating your business information across multiple platforms simultaneously. Beyond the obvious time savings, Google’s My Business portal holds more promising potential for SMBs.

Automatic Migration for Google+ and Google Places

If you’re already using Google+ or Google Places, you won’t have to do a thing – you’ll be automatically migrated to the new Google My Business dashboard. That means you’ll see some new features and have access to additional channels where you can gain visibility, without having to make sense of some complicated, manual migration process.

So, say you’ve used Google Places but haven’t made use of Google+ just yet. This move will expose businesses formerly using just one of the many Google properties to other beneficial outlets for gaining exposure.

Not using any Google property to promote your business? Go to Google My Business and click the blue “Get on Google” button in the upper-right area of the page. Fill in the information about your business, and you’ve just created a public persona on Google.

What Can You Do with Google My Business?

In addition to simply updating your business information across multiple platforms at once, there are other ways you can use the Google My Business dashboard:

• Foster follower growth on Google+. Google’s social network hasn’t reached the epic proportions of Facebook for everyday conversation, but given its tie-in to everything Google – including organic SEO – it’s an opportunity you don’t want to pass by. By sharing informative content, you can engage followers and even earn new business through Google+.

• Get +1s and positive reviews. Encourage your followers to write positive reviews and +1 your content for an SEO and reputation boost. Users can endorse products on Google Search, Maps, and even ads.

• Track user engagement. You won’t be flying blind when it comes to figuring out what’s working on Google+. Track user engagement for your Google+ Pages and posts for valuable insights. Once you identify the content that resonates most with your audience, create more of it to increase your exposure and boost your organic reach.

• Get information on other Google channels. In addition to Maps, Google+ and Search, the My Business dashboard includes information on your Google Analtyics and YouTube channels.

• Create and track AdWords Express campaigns. Yes, even paid search is present in Google My Business. You can not only create AdWords Express campaigns, but monitor performance as well, straight from your My Business dashboard.

Do you have a multi-location business? Not to worry: There’s a bulk-upload tool that will allow you to add them all at once, so that they can be managed from within a single My Business dashboard. Go to My Business Locations to access the bulk uploader.

Benefits to Google My Business

All of this absolutely provides time-saving benefits to business owners. But beyond that, there’s a lot to be gained from Google My Business:

• Put your company information at users’ fingertips. Google’s platforms, like Maps and Search, are already mobile-optimized. That means users searching for a business like yours using a smartphone or tablet can quickly locate your business, get directions, or call you directly from Google. For local businesses, this type of on-the-go visibility is increasingly important.

• Start conversations with people who matter. Google+ makes it easy to engage with your target audience. For instance, customers who review your business can make exceptional brand ambassadors – and when they post a review, they’re essentially giving you the opportunity to further engage them. Take advantage of it.

• Keep improving your Google presence. With Analytics built right in to your Google My Business Dashboard, you’ll have quick and easy access to key metrics. Organic visits took a nosedive this week? Seeing this in your dashboard will prompt you to investigate, allowing you to pinpoint problems before they wreak havoc on your profits. Ramp up your presence on Google by adding photos, responding to feedback, initiating conversation, following thought leaders and influencers, or starting a Google+ Hangout. The world of Google is at your fingertips.

• Easily add PPC to your other marketing efforts. With AdWords Express integrated with Google My Business, you can implement PPC campaigns that compliment your other marketing efforts – all with a complete overview of your current Google presence so that you can more closely integrate your marketing initiatives and achieve your goals.

• Manage it all on your mobile device. The Google My Business app lets you manage all of this from your smartphone or tablet, wherever you are.

• Gain valuable customer insights. Google My Business offers Insights, providing key data on how your customers are finding you. Easily see the number of clicks, how many users requested driving directions to your physical location, and more with Insights.

There’s a lot to explore within Google My Business. If you don’t yet have a Google My Business account, sign up now and start exploring the many ways you can get more visibility with Google.