Need help?

Buying an existing business from an owner who’s retiring, relocating or cashing out is a great way to become an entrepreneur. Buying is particularly interesting as most of the legwork is already done by the existing business owner. Plus, you don’t have to go through the long process of figuring out a business model that works, monetization techniques, etc. and go straight to expansion and growing profits.


Before you start searching for companies for sale, it’s important to be clear on what kind of a company you want to buy, as the strategies for finding them would be different. Depending on your strengths, experience and requirements, you should think about the following –

  • Industry and domain - What industry are you looking at? Depending on your skillset and experience, you have to zero-in on which domain you want to get into.
  • Size of the business - While you might be tempted to buy companies which are growing rapidly and profitably, they often come at a cost. Many entrepreneurs end up buying business that have a big scale (in terms of revenue, team size, etc.) without actually having the ability to run it. You have to understand the size of the business you can successfully buy
  • Stage of the business - Are you looking for a business which has shown stable profits over the past few years, or one that’s growing its’ revenue rapidly but is yet to break even? Do you want something pre or post product-market fit? Having clarity on the same will help streamline the search
  • Location of the business - Are you seeking to go global with acquisitions around the globe? If you are aiming for an international expansion strategy then using global business for sale platforms such as SMERGERS will be useful.


How to find companies for sale

Most business owners do not openly discuss about selling their business. Some of them may not even think of selling, unless someone makes an offer the entrepreneur is willing to accept. Typically they use confidential mediums such a trusted broker or online platforms such as SMERGERS to reach out and connect with relevant parties who may acquire their business. It is important to keep this information private so that employees, customers and suppliers do not become nervous about a change in ownership. So while finding companies for sale, it’s important to keep in mind that the best ones are hidden beneath the surface.


Having said that, here are a few ways buyers try to find businesses for sale

  • Identifying businesses and directly calling business owners - While this seems like a reasonable approach, it’s typically not the preferred approach as business owners shy away from openly discussing their business for sale. If you want to follow this approach you can avail the services of a middle man who can connect with the business to understand their strategic interests and accordingly introduce you both. At SMERGERS we help our clients to assess the interest level before making introductions between parties.
  • Industry networking events and conferences - All industries have a local body which meets frequently to discuss challenges and the way forward for the industry. Attending such events and networking with business owners help a great deal in understanding the market conditions and reasons why anyone would look to exit.
  • Through auditors/lawyers whose clients might look to sell - This approach was the most common approach before internet became popular. Reaching out to lawyers and auditors has also proven to be a good way to find companies for sale as they may have clients who’re looking to exit from their business.
  • Online Mergers & Acquisitions Websites - While there are several business listing websites, very few of them like SMERGERS provide you a confidential and secure mechanism to help business buyers find and connect with business owners who are seeking to sell their company.
  • Hiring a Business Broker - Business brokers specialize in buying and selling of businesses. You can reach out to business brokers who operate in your domain and avail their services. Most business brokers use online platforms to find companies for sale, but will eliminate the hassle of going through all the data by yourself and also hand hold you through the entire process till completion of transaction.

Pro Tips

Finding companies for sale and completing the transaction is not an easy task, so we’ve compiled a couple of tips that can help you with the same.

  • Don’t be over enthusiastic - The process of buying a company takes time. Finding SMBs for sale is tricky as most business owners are secretive about their interest in selling their company. Also, business owners are always courted by enthusiastic buyers who lose interest quickly, so use a calm approach when talking to business owners
  • Talking directly to business owners - Over time, it’s been proven that talking directly to business owners increases the chances of sale, over working with middlemen and intermediaries. Once introduction is made, keep the conversations directly between you and the business owner, unless it is really required to go through the middleman.
  • You’ll lose the deal unless you know how to put together a worthwhile bid - Many times, buyers find sellers in domains they’re interested in, but lose the deal as they couldn’t put together a winning offer. Even before you find the company you’d like to buy, work with your team (of bankers, lawyers and auditors) to learn and understand exactly how to make a bid, including valuation of companies, due diligence required, financing arrangements for the buyout, etc.

Online mediums are fast emerging as a default medium to find companies for sale from across the world. You can browse the list of companies for sale on SMERGERS here.

Share this with your network

Industry Watch
The Indian healthcare market is expected to reach ₹ 24 lakh crore by 2022 from ₹ 9 lakh crore in 2016 growing at a CAGR of 17.7% driven by rising incomes, greater awareness, prevalence of lifestyle diseases and increasing penetration of medical
Nutraceuticals (also called health supplements) are specially processed or formulated foods designed to satisfy particular dietary requirements and/or provide medicinal or health benefits. They generally contain extracts from plant & animal sources,
The Apparel industry or the Ready-Made Garments (RMG) Industry is the largest segment of the Indian Textiles and Apparel (T&A) Industry accounting for approximately 50% of the total industry. Given that apparel manufacturing is economically viable
Facility Management (FM) refers to the use of a third-party service providers to maintain a part or entire building facility in a professional manner. It is increasingly gaining popularity amongst commercial as well as residential clients driven by
Fuel additives are fuel-soluble chemicals added in small quantities to enhance the properties of the fuel, improve fuel handling and fuel performance. The rapidly increasing demand for hydrocarbon fuels from transportation and power industries have
Automobile industry facing a tough time as vehicle demand is sluggish. Valuations of companies on the lower end. Autocomponent industry is also expected to witness a flat growth this fiscal because of weak automobile demand. The industry will remain
Fitness industry in India is worth Rs.4,500 crore and is growing at 16-18% annually and is expected to cross Rs.7,000 crore by 2017. The industry is fragmented with majority of the market dominated by unorganized and independent gyms outlets. The
Low utilization rates and weak demand from realty and infrastructure sectors is driving consolidation in the Indian cement industry. More mergers & acquisitions are expected in the medium-to-long-term as valuations are attractive to buyers and
The ecommerce space in India is still evolving and companies have limited history. Many of them function at negative operating cashflows and are dependent on investments from venture capital firms. Using traditional valuation methods like DCF
Demand for electronics hardware in India is projected to grow at 25% compared to only 15% growth in production, expected to create a demand supply gap of Rs.14.8 lakh crores by FY20. This creates a unique opportunity for electronics companies
The Staffing Industry includes companies which list employment vacancies, place applicants in employment, supply temporary workforce and all other employment related services. Market size of the Indian staffing industry was INR 26,650 crore in 2014
The food processing industry in India is getting a shot in the arm with increased focus from the government and policy makers, higher involvement of scientists to help increase food processing productivity, and establishment of mega food parks
Advertising spends in India are expected to grow 12.6% year on year to Rs 48,977 crore for the year 2015. The ad spend in 2014 was Rs. 43,490 crore, which reflected a 12.5% increase over 2013. Firms in the advertising industry prepare advertisements
The worldwide ERP software grew by 6.4% in 2014 to reach $27B market size. The segment is anticipated to garner $41 billion in sales by 2020 with a CAGR of 7.2% during 2014-2020. ERP software is second fastest growing segments within Enterprise
Global acquisitions by Indian IT firms rising with a majority of the transactions happening in Europe and North America. Primary reasons driving these acquisitions are increasing local presence in the US and Europe, acquiring employees with a
It is widely believed that India has not fully leveraged its strength in the Manufacturing sector in the last decade, but the sector is expected to emerge stronger in next decade as companies innovate and adopt new business models. To support this
Pharmaceutical industry seems to be entering a growth phase after a muted growth over the last few quarters. Valuations of pharma companies fairly high as they are expected to perform. Indian Pharmaceuticals industry is the world’s third largest in
The Indian restaurant industry is highly unorganized and fragmented but is getting rapidly organized with Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) segment leading the way. Private Equity and Venture Capital firms have shown increased interest in this sector
The salon industry in India is largely unorganized but is getting organized at a fast pace. The average per person spending on salons in India is a minuscule of spending in other locations such as North America, Europe, and Asia. Even a small growth
India is world’s second largest producer of textile and apparel after China. China is slowly reducing its focus on textiles and this has had a positive impact on the Indian textile and apparel industry. But not everything in the garden is rosy as