You'd Better Shop Around

What do sellers look for?

Okay, so you know what you want in a business. But what are sellers seeking in a buyer?

"While sellers want to sell, they also want a new owner who can make the business successful because in most cases, you'll owe them money," says Tom West, founder of the International Business Brokerage Association.

Here are a few things that sellers look for in a buyer:

  • Financial ability to pay the down payment and future payments.
  • Knowledge, or at least a good understanding, of how to successfully run a business.
  • A willingness to learn whatever it takes to make that particular business a success.
  • A realistic understanding of how much income can be generated from the business each year.

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This article was originally published in the August 1999 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: You'd Better Shop Around.

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