What is a business worth?

BizBuySell, an Internet-based marketplace for buying or selling small businesses, have announced that for the first time business owners and buyers can find out the value of a business at no cost by using its unique "Valuation Report."

The new feature allows users looking to sell an existing business, or hoping to buy the business of their dreams, quickly and accurately determine a fair asking price based on factors such as business type and location. It is exclusive to BizBuySell and has not previously been available for free.

"The value of a particular business is something almost all business owners and buyers are curious about, but have not had this level of access to in the past," Mike Handelsman, General Manager of BizBuySell, said. "By using the free Valuation Report, all business sellers and buyers now have a place to start, which greatly simplifies the process of selling or buying a business."

How the Valuation Report works:

BizBuySell's free Valuation Report analyses actual comparables of the site's 48,000+ current businesses for sale and over 30,000 recently sold businesses, providing business owners and buyers insight into a chosen business industry.

The report is customizable, so users can choose factors such as geographic area, gross income and cash flow ranges to analyse the worth of a business. Business owners and buyers can even include specific businesses for sale or sold on the site out of over 50 industries.

As an example, if a retail store owner in South Africa looking to sell his or her business wanted to find out the average asking price for similar establishments, the owner could run a report based on comparable businesses for sale on the site. The report breaks up information into a Gross Income Analysis and Cash Flow Analysis, as well as a listing of the specific businesses used as comparables in the report. The report generates a suggested asking price for the business using both gross income and cash flow multipliers.

Users can refine reports as many times as they wish by changing the scope of the location, gross income, cash flow and asking prices of the businesses analysed.

Buying, selling or just evaluating:

Once business sellers and buyers have used the free Valuation Report to determine the average pricing information for comparable establishments, they can use the information to pursue buying or selling a business with more confidence and better information. Sellers can price their businesses for sale competitively so they are likely to sell faster, while business buyers can search and negotiate with a better understanding of what a fair price might be.

Also, for the first time, curious business owners who do not plan to sell immediately or at all can use BizBuySell as a source to find out the value of their business.

"Before, users had to be relatively committed to buying or selling before spending money to value a business," Handelsman said. "Now, for the first time, people in all stages of the buying or selling process - from casually interested to actively looking - have access to this valuable and hard-to-find information."

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BizBuySell is the Internet's largest and most heavily trafficked business for sale marketplace, with more business for sale listings, more unique users, and more search activity than any other service.