Small Business Transactions Dip 1.6% in Second Quarter, According to BizBuySell.com Insight Report

BizBuySell
July 6, 2012

Despite slowing transaction rates in the second quarter, BizBuySell.com's Q2 2012 Insights Report indicates that year-to-date transactions for 2012 remain above 2011 numbers, suggesting that the business transaction marketplace still has sufficient momentum for modest recovery in 2012.

San Francisco, CA - July 6, 2012 -- BizBuySell.com, the Internet's largest business-for-sale marketplace, reported today that business-for-sale transactions were down 1.6% in the second quarter of 2012 as compared to the same period last year. Year-to-date business sales for 2012, however, remain above 2011 numbers. The results were included in BizBuySell's Second Quarter 2012 Insight Report, which aggregates business-for-sale transactions reported by participating business brokers nationwide.

2012 Q2 Closed Small Business Transactions

The results represent a small bump in the road to what has been a steadily improving trend line in the business-for-sale marketplace. In total, 1,603 closed transactions were recorded, a 1.6% drop from the same quarter last year. Year-to-date totals, however, remain on the rise as the 3,332 businesses sold in the first half of 2012 exceed the number sold in the first two quarters of 2011 by 1.2%.

"While we don't like to see a drop in reported small business transactions, our analysis suggests that this quarter's decline is a small hiccup in an otherwise consistent path to recovery," Mike Handelsman, group general manager of BizBuySell.com and BizQuest.com said. "Based on what we have heard from brokers, as well as our own experience, we are expecting a strong second half for 2012 that will continue the slow but steady improvement we've seen since small business sales activity began to strengthen in mid-2009."

Small Businesses Health Still Improving

Despite declining transaction volumes in Second Quarter 2012, other Insight Report statistics suggest that small businesses are financially healthier now than they have been in the recent past. Business revenues and cash flows, for example, both improved year over year. Businesses sold on BizBuySell.com in Q2 2012 had median revenues of $360,000, up from $340,000 in Q2 2011. The median annual cash flow for sold business in Q2 2012 was $86,508, an improvement from $85,000 in Q2 2011.

2012 Q2 Key Financials for Sold Small Businesses

Another trend throughout the recovery has been sellers setting more realistic asking prices for their businesses. That continued in the second quarter of 2012, with a median asking price of $236,750, down slightly from Q2 2011's $239,000.

"The improving health of small businesses combined with more realistic asking prices set us up for a strong second half in 2012," Handelsman said. "With acquisition financing gradually becoming more accessible, we expect buyers to increasingly invest in the market's inventory of fundamentally sound and reasonably priced businesses throughout the second half of the year."

Second Quarter Results Outpaced by Strong Results in First Quarter

According to BizBuySell.com, a more active than usual first quarter in 2012 could have contributed to the comparative downturn in the second quarter. The 1,729 businesses that were reported sold in the first quarter of 2012 marked the largest number of transactions since the fourth quarter of 2008, making the first quarter the most active in over three years. As a result, many brokers dedicated more time in the second quarter to acquiring new listings.

"Based on what we've heard from many brokers across the nation, the business-for-sale market was strong enough in late 2011 and early 2012 to sell inventory that had been sitting idle for months, even years, prior," Handelsman said. "The fact that year-to-date totals are still above 2011 totals supports this case and further inspires confidence that the second half of 2012 will continue the upward trend we've seen since we hit bottom in 2009."

Uncertainty Over Capital Gains Rate May Push Sales

Uncertainty regarding the future of Bush-era capital gains tax cuts may provide an additional impetus for a stronger second half of 2012. The 2010 Tax Relief Act extended the reduced maximum tax rate of 15 percent on adjusted net capital gains through 2012. That cut expires at the end of the year, however, and barring another extension or other governmental intervention, the tax rate will return to 20% in 2013, sharply cutting into proceeds from the sale of businesses.

"Business owners who are considering selling should realize the major impact this tax increase will have on their total takeaway and should start planning accordingly," Handelsman said. "Even if an owner thinks he or she can get a better closing price in 2013, the difference could be negated through a lower after-tax take if the tax cut isn't extended. Brokers and other advisors know this and will likely encourage owners to expedite the sales process in the next six months."

About the BizBuySell.com Insight Report

BizBuySell.com is the Internet's largest marketplace for buying or selling a small business. The company releases its BizBuySell.com Insight Report on a quarterly basis, reporting changes in closed transaction rates, valuation multiples and other economic indicators for the small business transaction market. Closed transactions are reported to BizBuySell.com by business brokers nationwide.

Media Contact:

Bobby Chilver
Walker Sands Communications
office: (312) 546-4712
email: robert.chilver@walkersands.com

Appendix: Additional Statistics from Small Business Transactions Reported to BizBuySell

2012 Q2 Small Business Sale Price Multiples

2012 Q2 Small Business Sale Price vs. Asking Price

2012 Q2 Small Business Sales by Sector

Members of the Media

Let us serve as expert sources for you on buying a business, selling a business, valuing a business and small business trends. Email us here or call Bob House at 844-420-0508


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Closed Small Business Transaction Metrics by Sector for the Full-Year 2015

Key metrics from transactions reported on BizBuySell.com by sector during 2015

BizBuySell.com
Time Period:
2015
 
Source:
BizBuySell.com
Sector Sub-Sector Number of Reported Sales Median Sales Price Median Asking Price Sales to Asking Price (average) Median Revenue Revenue Multiple (average) Median Cash Flow Cash Flow Multiple (average)
Agriculture Agriculture 4 $1,257,198 $1,189,500 1.18 $2,000,068 0.57 $298,153 3.91
Communications Communications 4 $625,000 $625,000 0.77 $2,224,000 0.29 $204,128 2.45
Construction Construction-Building 20 $275,000 $299,000 0.88 $1,200,000 0.34 $178,000 1.80
Construction-Heavy 5 $1,700,000 $2,500,000 0.93 $5,740,000 0.50 $560,000 3.14
Construction-Special Trades 105 $500,000 $537,000 0.90 $1,170,598 0.52 $240,207 2.21
Electric, Gas, Water, Sanitary Svcs Electric, Gas, Water, Sanitary Svcs 12 $1,899,000 $2,000,000 0.90 $1,153,483 0.70 $358,000 3.33
Internet Business Services (B2B) 70 $364,398 $395,000 0.90 $401,897 1.02 $157,430 2.54
Consumer Services (B2C) 76 $154,000 $175,000 0.87 $258,782 0.82 $97,443 1.96
Domain Name/Basic Site 3 $982,500 $1,025,250 0.85 $2,115,008 0.38 $264,663 2.64
General Internet 77 $137,500 $142,000 1.01 $120,022 1.53 $68,521 2.60
Software 10 $600,000 $650,000 0.98 $707,000 1.07 $215,316 3.72
Web Design/Tech Services 4 $342,500 $357,500 0.96 $245,975 1.42 $139,455 2.56
Manufacturing Apparel & finished fabrics 11 $150,000 $150,000 0.91 $252,285 0.65 $95,000 2.57
Chemicals & Allied Products 4 $555,000 $600,000 0.82 $762,968 0.64 $136,166 3.27
Electronic & Electrical Equip. 19 $800,000 $875,000 0.87 $1,034,965 0.71 $230,000 2.92
Fabricated Metal Products 71 $745,000 $795,000 0.90 $1,061,564 0.75 $280,150 2.82
Food and Kindred Products 24 $362,500 $392,500 0.88 $754,040 0.63 $111,214 3.34
Furniture and Fixtures 10 $502,500 $537,500 0.93 $748,389 0.51 $239,804 2.01
Industrial & Comm. Machinery 16 $694,800 $765,000 0.89 $966,030 0.81 $241,000 2.83
Lumber and Wood Products 13 $700,000 $750,000 0.83 $1,200,000 0.54 $186,795 2.71
Measuring & Analyzing Instr. 2 $985,000 $997,500 0.97 $654,500 1.34 $338,000 2.92
Miscellaneous 62 $450,000 $575,000 0.89 $1,034,819 0.68 $190,000 2.96
Paper & Allied Products 1 $999,998 $999,998 1.00 $1,881,203 0.53 $286,101 3.50
Primary Metal Industries 14 $470,500 $680,000 0.78 $707,581 0.75 $216,046 2.84
Printing, Publishing 55 $267,000 $347,000 0.84 $707,396 0.55 $150,605 2.24
Rubber and Plastic Products 9 $927,000 $1,200,000 0.86 $2,000,000 0.54 $250,000 3.84
Stone, Clay, Glass, Concrete 9 $450,000 $450,000 0.95 $850,000 0.69 $215,409 2.63
Tobacco Products 2 $4,615,000 $4,634,500 0.93 $4,427,418 0.99 $1,595,000 2.11
Transportation Equipment 3 $5,000,000 $5,000,000 0.88 $6,000,000 1.07 $1,133,000 3.90
Retail Apparel and Accessory Stores 88 $125,000 $156,500 0.88 $341,933 0.47 $93,407 1.89
Automotive Dealers 27 $355,000 $360,000 0.97 $947,223 0.46 $140,573 3.18
Bars/Taverns 279 $180,000 $220,000 0.88 $534,000 0.41 $105,692 2.12
Blding Mat., Hardware, Garden 29 $375,000 $425,000 0.90 $1,206,910 0.36 $220,025 2.38
Convenience Stores 282 $170,000 $187,000 0.89 $602,500 0.39 $100,000 2.32
Florists 41 $95,000 $110,000 0.91 $325,000 0.36 $64,023 1.81
Gasoline Service Stations 216 $320,000 $375,000 0.86 $800,000 0.60 $166,000 2.60
General Merchandise Stores 37 $125,000 $150,000 0.90 $345,000 0.41 $84,000 1.78
Home Furniture & Furnishings 38 $265,500 $287,500 0.93 $748,814 0.41 $150,582 2.02
Liquor Stores 289 $305,000 $350,000 0.92 $776,408 0.44 $131,000 2.56
Marine Dealers & Equipment 4 $230,000 $229,000 0.98 $472,971 0.62 $118,545 2.87
Miscellaneous Retail 202 $200,000 $225,000 0.88 $476,000 0.47 $94,000 2.27
Other Eating & Drinking Places 247 $112,000 $145,000 0.86 $315,000 0.45 $62,960 2.03
Other Food Stores 75 $144,000 $150,000 0.89 $373,000 0.49 $70,000 2.13
Pet Shops & Supplies 20 $147,500 $185,000 0.89 $450,000 0.37 $76,100 2.06
Restaurants 1590 $155,000 $180,000 0.89 $500,000 0.39 $92,000 2.01
Supermarkets 51 $399,000 $495,000 0.88 $1,700,000 0.28 $223,896 2.25
Vending Machines 93 $119,400 $130,000 0.95 $409,663 0.48 $64,493 2.02
Service Agents & Brokers 38 $205,000 $225,000 0.87 $242,796 0.99 $80,000 2.35
Amusement & Recreation 90 $280,000 $300,000 0.90 $420,000 0.83 $117,848 2.53
Auto Repair, Parts & Services 227 $214,800 $250,000 0.88 $576,634 0.65 $120,412 2.43
Beauty Salons, Barber Shops 239 $75,000 $89,900 0.88 $240,611 0.46 $55,000 1.72
Computer & Software Services 33 $362,500 $437,000 0.89 $635,958 0.71 $137,980 2.44
Drycleaning/Laundry Services 316 $175,000 $194,900 0.91 $180,000 0.99 $67,600 2.86
Educational Services 126 $240,000 $250,000 0.90 $477,036 0.70 $119,000 2.50
Engineering & Accounting Svcs 57 $240,005 $270,000 0.92 $280,000 1.02 $130,000 2.24
Finance, Banking, Loans, etc. 39 $135,000 $179,000 0.90 $520,000 0.94 $142,000 2.32
Freight, Moving/Delivery 138 $500,000 $519,000 0.92 $676,267 0.71 $174,642 2.76
Health, Medical & Dental 342 $274,900 $300,000 0.90 $499,184 0.66 $138,000 2.42
Hotels & Other Lodging Places 62 $799,950 $849,500 0.85 $658,899 1.49 $191,046 4.12
Landscaping & Yard Services 158 $148,250 $150,000 0.94 $244,536 0.65 $98,303 1.69
Legal Services 6 $180,000 $230,000 0.89 $694,801 0.51 $169,805 1.23
Marine Repair, Parts & Services 6 $193,500 $197,500 0.96 $425,630 0.51 $143,416 1.15
Membership Organizations 5 $199,000 $199,000 0.85 $270,000 0.63 $70,777 2.44
Miscellaneous Repair Services 53 $343,000 $397,000 0.91 $501,500 0.63 $150,140 2.27
Miscellaneous Services 258 $150,000 $169,500 0.92 $289,155 0.73 $90,628 2.03
Motion Pictures 2 $188,000 $188,000 1.00 $344,872 0.55 $94,249 1.99
Museums, Art Galleries, Zoos 3 $139,000 $139,000 1.00 $327,500 0.42 $86,216 1.61
Other Business Services 286 $272,400 $282,500 0.92 $406,688 0.67 $111,279 2.23
Other Personal Services 182 $74,100 $82,061 0.94 $115,902 0.73 $77,500 1.47
Other Travel & Transportation 12 $450,000 $575,000 0.83 $1,108,000 0.78 $194,000 2.82
Passenger Transportation 20 $225,000 $324,500 0.87 $332,685 0.93 $109,258 2.20
Pet Care & Grooming 54 $125,000 $150,000 0.90 $294,508 0.76 $86,818 2.34
Social Services 4 $205,000 $237,000 0.88 $319,704 0.92 $73,621 2.76
Storage & Warehousing 7 $255,000 $395,000 0.60 $540,000 0.48 $175,000 1.50
Travel Agencies 10 $217,500 $250,000 0.88 $423,214 0.66 $127,000 1.62
Wholesale Durable Goods 60 $615,500 $624,500 0.91 $1,240,000 0.65 $210,532 2.70
Nondurable Goods 71 $170,000 $181,000 0.94 $492,974 0.50 $87,179 2.30
Other Non-classifiable Establishments 3 $1,862,500 $2,062,500 0.95 $1,498,899 1.19 $706,551 2.46

Source: Small business transactions reported on BizBuySell.com during 2015

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Closed Small Business Transaction Metrics by Geographic Market for the Full-Year 2015

Key metrics from transactions reported on BizBuySell.com by market during 2015

BizBuySell.com
Time Period:
2015
 
Source:
BizBuySell.com
Market # of Reported Sales Median Sale Price Median Asking Price Sales to Asking Price (average) Median Revenue Revenue Multiple (average) Median Cash Flow Cash Flow Multiple (average)
Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY11$336,000$336,0000.91$607,5810.80$164,1652.73
Albuquerque, NM8$135,000$179,0000.85$328,3350.63$87,4991.73
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA224$170,000$194,9000.86$362,4270.66$94,0002.25
Austin-Round Rock, TX65$250,000$257,0000.93$409,9380.73$112,1172.14
Baltimore-Towson, MD92$390,000$409,9980.92$825,0000.63$167,0412.39
Birmingham-Hoover, AL22$215,000$230,0000.87$734,0000.41$105,2942.19
Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH219$171,840$180,0000.92$468,0000.62$105,0001.98
Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT35$206,000$230,0000.84$420,7000.46$126,5001.82
Buffalo-Niagara Falls, NY10$273,600$273,6000.98$720,0000.80$125,2323.14
Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord, NC-SC49$349,000$349,0000.95$700,0000.54$159,5882.44
Chicago-Naperville-Joliet, IL-IN-WI194$215,000$257,5000.85$490,0000.55$106,5442.27
Cincinnati-Middletown, OH-KY-IN16$177,500$195,0000.85$414,2930.48$92,0002.69
Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor, OH27$249,000$265,0000.89$547,0480.49$103,0002.42
Columbus, OH37$120,000$153,0000.86$316,4010.43$90,0001.75
Contra Costa-Alameda-Solano, CA59$269,000$295,0000.94$463,9190.72$110,0002.17
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX227$175,000$199,5000.91$471,4670.61$97,7632.36
Dayton, OH12$259,000$259,0001.01$305,0000.63$80,0003.09
Denver-Aurora, CO117$256,000$307,4500.92$590,0000.52$120,2052.32
Detroit-Warren-Livonia, MI86$130,000$159,0000.88$320,0890.64$79,8212.49
Durham, NC8$271,250$335,0000.80$738,5120.36$116,9452.30
Fresno, CA7$110,000$110,0001.00$66,8001.78$59,0002.23
Greensboro-High Point, NC4$399,000$399,0000.99$697,3861.04$113,9343.26
Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT37$180,000$199,0000.85$540,0000.42$101,8001.91
Honolulu, HI5$450,000$900,0000.50$1,500,0000.30$300,0001.50
Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX135$195,000$215,0000.92$363,0000.58$99,4812.13
Indianapolis-Carmel, IN24$225,000$238,0000.90$400,0000.51$101,0001.83
Jacksonville, FL52$141,891$150,0000.87$400,0000.58$79,2201.98
Kansas City, MO-KS31$341,250$372,5000.91$614,6050.70$160,2582.58
Las Vegas-Paradise, NV61$110,000$125,0000.85$263,5930.54$74,0001.96
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA461$185,000$200,0000.89$421,0000.62$96,0942.20
Louisville-Jefferson County, KY-IN27$199,000$249,0000.87$360,0000.59$104,0002.39
Memphis, TN-MS-AR23$350,000$395,0000.89$800,0000.62$165,0002.59
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Miami Beach, FL460$165,000$194,5000.89$347,7350.57$88,9062.03
Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI17$625,500$695,0000.85$600,0000.77$174,9912.91
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI58$250,000$299,0000.90$539,0000.64$103,9592.70
Nashville-Davidson--Murfreesboro, TN99$200,000$225,0000.88$550,0000.48$100,0002.14
New Haven-Milford, CT21$370,000$450,0000.85$744,3880.54$187,0002.18
New Jersey169$270,000$299,0000.91$475,0000.76$126,7182.55
New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, LA9$390,000$390,0000.93$690,7680.80$115,4603.67
New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA398$280,000$300,0000.89$600,0000.67$144,0002.29
Oklahoma City, OK19$230,000$350,0000.86$881,6080.47$137,9842.29
Orange County, CA177$187,500$199,9950.90$397,0000.58$90,0002.25
Orlando-Kissimmee, FL183$125,000$135,0000.90$273,2640.56$79,6141.93
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD138$250,000$275,0000.91$534,0000.68$140,0002.36
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ227$125,000$150,0000.91$336,6870.56$80,0001.96
Pittsburgh, PA25$400,000$452,0000.89$800,0000.49$170,0002.26
Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton, OR-WA75$195,000$227,0000.90$487,1510.51$98,5002.45
Providence-New Bedford-Fall River, RI-MA30$160,000$225,0000.92$449,0000.55$98,0002.53
Raleigh-Cary, NC47$340,000$425,0000.91$625,0000.66$157,2792.52
Richmond, VA37$145,000$170,0000.86$767,0000.54$85,0002.09
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA95$268,995$299,0000.90$695,0220.51$125,1682.38
Rochester, NY15$200,000$250,0000.82$910,0000.33$175,0001.58
Sacramento--Arden-Arcade--Roseville, CA50$140,000$150,0000.94$240,0000.73$70,0002.53
Salt Lake City, UT49$425,000$435,0000.89$634,5390.70$154,7462.59
San Antonio, TX25$216,000$239,0000.89$535,6360.65$128,6162.22
San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA128$150,000$185,0000.89$342,0360.64$84,6122.09
San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA106$123,750$160,0000.91$249,5000.83$85,8562.17
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA57$185,000$225,0000.91$489,6950.59$121,9381.90
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA83$252,500$275,0000.92$555,0000.66$140,3002.41
St. Louis, MO-IL28$190,000$227,5000.90$655,8140.52$84,4442.78
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL251$130,000$149,0000.93$296,4000.59$81,3201.95
Tucson, AZ22$180,000$199,0000.92$397,5530.57$71,0602.40
Tulsa, OK5$262,500$280,0000.92$460,5300.45$95,6762.93
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC29$185,000$198,0000.84$432,3550.57$74,6702.33
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV151$235,000$279,0000.86$600,0000.54$120,0002.16
Wichita, KS3$140,000$155,0000.93$209,7001.05$40,0003.13
Winston-Salem, NC3$129,000$140,0000.92$1,270,0000.10$140,0000.92

Source: Small business transactions reported on BizBuySell.com during 2015

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About BizBuySell

BizBuySell is the Internet's largest business for sale marketplace. Since 1996, BizBuySell has offered tools that make it easy for business owners and brokers to sell a business, and potential buyers to find the business of their dreams. BizBuySell currently has an inventory of approximately businesses - spanning 80 countries - for sale at any one time and receives more than monthly visits. The site also features an extensive franchise directory as well as an easy-to-use business valuation tool. Please visit www.bizbuysell.com for more information.

BizBuySell was founded in 1996 and in 2012 became a division of CoStar Group, Inc. (NASDAQ - CSGP) - commercial real estate's leading provider of information and analytic services. CoStar conducts expansive, ongoing research to produce and maintain the largest and most comprehensive database of commercial real estate information and offers a suite of online services enabling clients to analyze, interpret and gain unmatched insight on commercial property values, market conditions and current availabilities. For more information, visit www.costar.com.


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