between a full asset liquidation with everything sold off, maybe to different buyers, from a business that’s closing, and the sale of a going operation to a bargain hunter who expects to revitalize the failing company.
Campbell, CA (Vocus) September 9, 2009
A number of buyers and sellers of San Francisco Bay Area small businesses for sale are expected to participate in an innovative event at which hard-to-sell enterprises will be available for purchase at liquidation prices, according to an announcement on the small business blog page at BizBen.com - businesses for sale in California.
The business opportunity liquidation sale will take place in the San Jose area, September 19th. “Think of speed dating for businesses,” said Peter Siegel, MBA, founder and CEO of BizBen.com. He explained that buyers get a list with brief descriptions of each company included so they can make offers during the four-hour event. Most sellers will be available and will be ready to accept or respond to the offers. Also accelerated is the due-diligence phase, with each buyer expected to remove contingencies or get the deposit back within two days following the deal’s ratification.
That’s a fraction of the time ordinarily allowed for examining books and records and looking over other aspects of a business on which an offer has been made. Small business sellers in the program are highly motivated for the quick transaction. Some cite health reasons and others are holding businesses that are bleeding money and are struggling to keep the doors open. A rider to the listing agreement with Business Team--the California- based business brokerage that created the program, and sponsors the September event--grants the brokerage a seller’s authority to conduct the “liquidation.”
“But there’s a distinction,” said Siegel, “between a full asset liquidation with everything sold off, maybe to different buyers, from a business that’s closing, and the sale of a going operation to a bargain hunter who expects to revitalize the failing company.” In most cases, this strategy for selling a café, retail store, distribution service or other kind of small or mid-sized business opportunity has the blessings of the landlord and existing lenders. The buyers, according to Siegel, “must be strong. They should have experience in the particular business, plus working capital. Obviously, buyers need a high tolerance for risk.”
He added that the business credentials and financial strength are required of buyers so their transactions get approved by landlords and lenders. “Those are the people who could squash a deal. But if they can replace an owner who is having trouble, and get a new tenant and borrower able to keep the business going, it’s to their benefit to work with the seller and the business broker.
Business Team sponsored a similar event, during a recession several years ago, succeeding in placing new owners in 80% of the businesses for sale. Business Team organizers said “buyers were lined up all the way down the hall,” in front of the company’s offices.
This year’s event will be held at its Campbell (San Jose suburb) location. Among the success stories was the “bail out” of a carpet installation business owner, whose “liquidation” deal, and help from Business Team, resolved his serious problems with vendors, employees and taxing authorities.”
“This is a tough time for business sales,” Siegel noted. “Added to uncertainty in the market because of the economy, there’s a shortage of money available from lending institutions to help finance deals. “That’s why this program is a great idea. It helps sellers who need to get out of their businesses for sale and out of debt.'