Number of Small Businesses Changing Hands Dips Slightly, But Market Remains Ripe for Buyers & Sellers

BizBuySell.com's First Quarter 2019 Insight Report shows a slight stall in record breaking transaction pace, but financial indicators point to continued overall strength in the market

Small business transactions in the first quarter of 2019 experienced a modest year-over-year decline but remain at historically high levels, according to the latest BizBuySell Insight Report, a nationally recognized economic indicator that aggregates statistics from business-for-sale transactions reported by participating business brokers nationwide. A total of 2,504 sold businesses were reported in the first three months of 2019, a 6.5% decline from the same period last year. Similarly, Q4 2018 saw a 6% decrease from the same quarter in 2017.

2019 Q1 Closed Small Business Transactions

It is important to note that both 2017 and 2018 set new records for the most annual small business transactions since BizBuySell started reporting the data in 2007. So while reported deals are down slightly from a year ago, the market continues to be very active compared to the previous decade. In fact, Q1 2019 represents the second highest first quarter on record, trailing only 2018. It is too early to tell if the recent plateau marks any kind of market shift or not.  To gain additional perspective, BizBuySell also surveyed business owners and some leading brokers, the results of which are incorporated within this report.

A number of factors could be tempering the strong transaction growth rates seen in recent years. Most notably, these include the recent government shutdown, low unemployment, record profits, deal financing, and general uncertainty around the impact of administration policies relating to tariffs, immigration, and health care.  

“Main Street business sales may have been impacted in part due to a stronger economy where individuals are more satisfied as employees (not looking to purchase businesses) and business owners are seeing higher profits (not looking to sell their businesses)”,  said Jeff Snell, Chairman of the International Business Broker Association, the industry’s leading trade group. “Also, time to complete business transactions has increased marginally, potentially as a result of the Federal Government budget shut down which closed SBA loan guarantee processing offices.  However, broker optimism through 2019 remains strong”, Snell added.

“The business sale market still continues to perform strong in 2019 in terms of number of deals getting done and the multiples sellers are receiving. However, we are seeing signs that the market could become more challenging in the future with interest rates rising and financing becoming both more expensive and harder to acquire. This can make the buyer process lengthy and more difficult, which would suppress multiples and extend time to close”, said Jessica Fialkovich, President, Transworld Business Advisors of Denver.

Of course, it is also possible the past two quarters have been outliers and 2019 will continue on its multi-year growth trend in upcoming quarters. It is something to watch closely as data comes in over the rest of the year.  Inventory remains strong, with a 6.1% increase in listings in Q1 over the same quarter last year.

“After several years of record activity, it’s good to see that there are still plenty of listings coming on to the market, so the small decrease in activity may be more about buyers taking a cautious approach than a slowdown in the supply,” Bob House, President of BizBuySell.com & BizQuest.com, said.

Q1 2019 Small Business Financial Health

The financials of sold businesses in the first quarter remained healthy. The median revenue of sold businesses grew 6.5% from the same time last year to $540,000. Median cash flow was $116,830, a 2.6% dip from Q1 of 2018.

2019 Q1 Key Financials of Sold Small Businesses

Cash flows often fluctuate regularly based on the seasonality of businesses, but one factor that could have also affected this was the January government shutdown. In BizBuySell’s most recent poll of small business owners, 18% of respondents said their business was negatively affected by the shutdown, and of those, 40% said they still have not recovered. Owners cited their customers’ lost wages, less foot traffic at their locations, lost payments from government contractors and delays in SBA loans as the biggest reasons the shutdown hurt their business.

Business owners are also dealing with their taxes at this time. This tax filing season represents  the first full year under the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act, and so far owners are seeing mixed results. In the same BizBuySell survey, 22% of business owners who have already filed their tax returns this year said their taxes went down from 2018 compared to 14% who said taxes went up.

Q1 2019 Small Business Values

While financials remained relatively strong in the first quarter, the national median sale price of sold businesses dropped 8.2% from Q1 2018 to $225,000. Not surprisingly, the asking price of those businesses also dropped, a 4.6% dip to $250,000. This could be a symptom of smaller businesses being exchanged in Q1, as well as the slight cash flow drop from last year.  The average Cash Flow Multiple remained essentially unchanged at 2.33 (up 0.1%).

Interestingly, the median asking price of small businesses listed for sale in Q1 actually rose 4.6% to $275,000, suggesting there may be a growing divide between what owners believe their businesses are worth and what buyers are willing to pay. That sentiment is supported by the fact that the average number of days on the market for a sold business climbed 6.3%, reaching 185 days compared to 174 last year.  Time on market has increased the last three quarters.

2019 Q1 Small Businesses Sale Price vs Asking Price

Owners will certainly keep a close eye on how their valuations could be impacted by any changes in the economy. In fact, in BizBuySell’s poll, owners listed an economic recession as the top risk to their business. Over a third of those owners said they expect the next recession to occur within the next three years (only 9% felt it would happen in 2019). To prepare their business for these types of economic swings, respondents said they are trying to increase customer volume, diversify revenue flows and keep a higher cash reserve.  Beyond a recession, other concerns included a talent shortage (17%), larger competitors (12%), and government regulations (12%).

Q1 2019 Industry Breakdown

With total transactions decreasing slightly, most industries followed suit. Interestingly, however, the retail industry saw a significant bounce back after a slow final quarter of 2018. Total retail business transactions rose 25% compared to last quarter, but the increased transactions were accompanied by small declines in sale multiples and the sale-to-ask price ratio resulting in a drop in the median sale price from $229,000 to $187,000 quarter over quarter.

Similarly, restaurant transactions grew from a slower Q4 of 2018, and surpassed Q1 2018 sales as well. Unlike retail businesses, however, sale prices took a nice jump from $152,500 to $180,000 quarter over quarter. Other good news in the restaurant category includes over a 10% increase in both median revenue and median cash flow for all listed businesses, showing a healthy supply of quality restaurants remains available for purchase.

Finally, the manufacturing sector experienced a softer quarter compared to Q1 2018.  The 98 reported transactions represented a 16.2% decline, and the businesses that sold had lower revenues and cash flows than those from the year prior.  This led to a median sale price of $575,000, an 8% year over year decline.  The Cash Flow Multiple dipped slightly (-2.6%) to 2.79.

2019 Q1 Small Businesses Sales by Sector

Q1 2019 Top Performing Markets

At the city-specific level, Detroit saw the most significant increase in the number of sold businesses. The number of small businesses changing hands grew 114% from the same time last year, the largest such jump of all cities with 25 or more transactions during the quarter. San Francisco followed with a 62% increase in closed transactions from Q1 2018. Baltimore had the third highest growth rate at 41%. Major cities that saw a decrease included Orange County (down 48%), Atlanta (down 33%) and Orlando (down 31%).

2019 Q1 Top 10 Markets by Closed Small Businesses Transaction

For potential buyers, purchasing a business in Indianapolis became more expensive. The median asking price grew 40% to $400,000, the highest growth rate and the highest asking price in the nation (minimum 100 listings). Other markets with higher asking prices included Salt Lake City ($350,000), Providence ($345,000) and Minneapolis ($320,000).

2019 Q1 Top 10 Markets by Median Sale Price

Q1 2019 Differences by Deal Size

While most sold businesses on BizBuySell.com are deals closer to the $225,000 median sale price, there remains a strong representation of valuations over $1,000,000 as well. Over 300 of these businesses sold in Q1 2019, representing about 12% of total transactions. Owners of these high-valued businesses capitalized upon strong financials to earn an impressive .96 sale-to-asking price ratio. That’s compared to just a .91 ratio for all transactions.

2019 Q1 Industry Share of Sold Businesses by Sale Price

Deals over $1,000,000 can be complicated transactions, with more due diligence and negotiations, but those that sold in Q1 took an average of 194 days to sell, only nine days longer than deals of all sizes. The sellers of these bigger deals were rewarded with higher valuations with an average revenue multiple of .93 (compared to 0.58 for all deals) and an average cash flow multiple of 3.83 (compared to 2.33 for all deals).

2019 Q1 Key Metrics by Sales Price

Market Outlook

Despite the decline in reported transactions over the last two quarters, the market is still very active and continues to receive favorable tailwinds.These include an aging and retiring population of baby boomers looking to exit their businesses, strong business fundamentals with several years of growing revenues and profits, and readily available financing at historically low rates.In addition, there is strong interest among a new generation of entrepreneurs to take on these opportunities instead of working for someone else or risking a brand new start up.

Brokers seem to agree.“We are seeing more quality businesses coming on the market with good, clean books than I have seen in my 25+ years in the business”, said Matt Coletta, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, M&A Business Advisors.“We are seeing owners being less and less aggressive with running a ton of perks through their businesses, which can minimize taxes in a given year, but that reduced profit also reduces their valuation when it comes time to sell.Buyers are more attracted to profitable businesses with clean books and records, and even with increases in the prime lending rate, financing is still relatively cheap.”

“It will be interesting to see what the rest of 2019 holds for the industry”, said House. “We saw more brokers reporting sales in Q1 than in any prior quarter, but they reported fewer sales per broker than in recent quarters.It’s good to see more brokers coming into the industry, and if financing remains affordable and accessible and confidence levels high, we are optimistic this will translate to brokers closing more deals going forward.”

About the BizBuySell.com Insight Report

The BizBuySell Insight Report is a nationally-recognized economic indicator that tracks the health of the U.S. small business economy. Each quarter, BizBuySell analyzes sales and listing prices of small businesses across the United States based on approximately 50,000 businesses for sale and those recently sold, 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 on a voluntary basis by business brokers nationwide. Each report includes real small business data on over 70 major U.S. markets and across 65 small business industries.

BizBuySell is the largest business for sale marketplace online, receiving over a million visitors a month. 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. The website also features an extensive franchise directory as well as an easy-to-use business valuation tool.

NOTE: For the most recent statistics, please see the latest BizBuySell Insights Report


Media Contact:

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


Small Business Listing Metrics by Geography for First Quarter, 2019

Key metrics from businesses listed for sale on BizBuySell.com by market for Q1 2019

Market # of Businesses Listed Median Asking Price Median Revenue Asking Price to Revenue (average) Median Cash Flow Asking Price to Cash Flow (average)
Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY 117 $260,000 $520,000 0.78 $120,000 2.70
Albuquerque, NM 92 $299,500 $481,000 0.87 $129,136 3.38
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA 812 $280,000 $510,500 0.80 $121,197 3.06
Austin-Round Rock, TX 262 $298,250 $494,890 0.83 $123,357 2.85
Baltimore-Towson, MD 359 $275,000 $586,888 0.70 $125,000 2.77
Birmingham-Hoover, AL 84 $205,000 $411,000 0.73 $96,097 3.06
Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH 649 $270,000 $553,293 0.60 $128,000 2.52
Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT 177 $299,000 $732,000 0.50 $150,000 2.31
Buffalo-Niagara Falls, NY 52 $319,500 $425,000 0.90 $103,000 3.52
Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord, NC-SC 305 $270,000 $501,550 0.66 $119,610 3.01
Chicago-Naperville-Joliet, IL-IN-WI 778 $250,000 $517,101 0.81 $115,197 3.04
Cincinnati-Middletown, OH-KY-IN 154 $295,000 $555,567 0.75 $125,000 3.44
Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor, OH 163 $250,000 $734,505 0.52 $141,000 2.51
Columbus, OH 189 $250,000 $629,000 0.51 $131,573 2.40
Contra Costa-Alameda-Solano, CA 333 $249,900 $530,000 0.65 $120,000 2.80
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX 1304 $275,000 $484,024 0.78 $118,994 2.98
Dayton, OH 66 $329,500 $557,500 0.90 $120,000 3.39
Denver-Aurora, CO 786 $299,000 $614,500 0.68 $125,000 2.89
Detroit-Warren-Livonia, MI 353 $245,000 $450,000 0.77 $100,000 3.20
Durham, NC 52 $262,500 $578,315 0.67 $136,750 2.61
Fresno, CA 25 $425,000 $690,000 0.78 $172,961 3.94
Greensboro-High Point, NC 66 $300,000 $575,353 0.64 $153,527 3.22
Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT 171 $225,000 $522,000 0.55 $101,317 2.60
Honolulu, HI 27 $175,000 $384,000 0.78 $125,000 2.72
Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX 795 $249,000 $429,000 0.84 $111,609 3.07
Indianapolis-Carmel, IN 184 $400,000 $752,384 0.58 $159,350 2.67
Jacksonville, FL 343 $199,000 $423,659 0.77 $101,053 2.71
Kansas City, MO-KS 209 $300,000 $547,178 0.77 $139,351 3.03
Las Vegas-Paradise, NV 436 $195,000 $378,322 0.74 $100,000 2.66
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA 2416 $250,000 $480,000 0.81 $110,000 3.06
Louisville-Jefferson County, KY-IN 122 $299,000 $512,137 0.69 $119,809 3.01
Memphis, TN-MS-AR 78 $245,000 $520,428 0.61 $125,050 3.07
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Miami Beach, FL 1914 $275,000 $476,617 0.81 $119,517 2.97
Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI 94 $350,000 $695,193 0.73 $150,000 3.31
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI 442 $320,000 $637,675 0.73 $134,746 2.92
Nashville-Davidson--Murfreesboro, TN 264 $242,000 $511,886 0.65 $103,250 2.72
New Haven-Milford, CT 160 $277,000 $554,000 0.64 $125,000 2.41
New Jersey 2087 $250,000 $470,000 0.73 $120,000 2.73
New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, LA 60 $232,500 $388,136 0.72 $118,123 3.10
New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA 6518 $300,000 $650,000 0.63 $146,670 2.60
Oklahoma City, OK 134 $232,750 $365,669 0.88 $109,983 2.92
Orange County, CA 697 $225,000 $454,312 0.68 $100,000 2.69
Orlando-Kissimmee, FL 741 $200,000 $411,740 0.70 $102,800 2.70
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD 921 $279,000 $483,488 0.81 $120,000 2.91
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ 1342 $199,000 $400,000 0.66 $95,659 2.56
Pittsburgh, PA 137 $299,000 $441,500 0.89 $110,352 3.18
Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton, OR-WA 268 $274,500 $545,500 0.63 $110,000 2.77
Providence-New Bedford-Fall River, RI-MA 146 $345,000 $648,753 0.76 $139,174 3.04
Raleigh-Cary, NC 213 $240,000 $483,400 0.81 $106,000 2.82
Richmond, VA 170 $271,500 $515,500 0.62 $110,000 2.77
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA 564 $239,500 $526,952 0.67 $115,000 2.82
Rochester, NY 126 $202,500 $505,654 0.61 $89,982 2.91
Sacramento--Arden-Arcade--Roseville, CA 262 $199,000 $440,331 0.66 $93,583 2.54
Salt Lake City, UT 156 $350,000 $598,500 0.71 $152,492 2.95
San Antonio, TX 159 $250,000 $420,000 0.87 $100,000 3.31
San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA 456 $199,000 $424,500 0.69 $100,000 2.68
San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA 563 $295,000 $618,000 0.67 $140,000 2.74
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA 208 $296,900 $647,000 0.67 $132,925 2.93
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA 373 $299,000 $571,551 0.74 $130,000 2.97
St. Louis, MO-IL 171 $275,000 $552,000 0.79 $102,700 3.76
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL 1041 $240,000 $444,942 0.79 $109,797 2.73
Tucson, AZ 107 $200,000 $366,646 0.71 $120,000 2.47
Tulsa, OK 90 $312,000 $631,675 0.72 $120,000 2.88
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC 225 $180,000 $480,000 0.63 $91,910 2.90
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV 764 $250,000 $551,978 0.58 $120,000 2.64
Wichita, KS 29 $295,000 $464,830 0.67 $80,000 3.35
Winston-Salem, NC 30 $308,881 $576,285 0.67 $97,111 3.33
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Closed Small Business Transaction Metrics by Geographic Market for the Full-Year 2018

Key metrics from transactions reported on BizBuySell.com by market during 2018

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, NY 12 $769,995 $729,000 0.89 $802,000 0.88 $210,000 2.63
Albuquerque, NM 14 $249,000 $249,000 0.96 $876,000 0.48 $151,041 2.56
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA 298 $275,000 $248,350 0.90 $580,905 0.60 $117,420 2.52
Austin-Round Rock, TX 83 $249,500 $225,000 0.95 $527,751 0.59 $107,595 2.31
Baltimore-Towson, MD 101 $325,000 $300,000 0.92 $600,000 0.59 $145,650 2.32
Birmingham-Hoover, AL 24 $300,000 $225,000 0.89 $610,948 0.63 $150,000 2.56
Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH 185 $225,000 $200,000 0.89 $576,000 0.52 $112,000 2.10
Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT 47 $240,000 $182,000 0.92 $555,200 0.66 $140,000 2.22
Buffalo-Niagara Falls, NY 10 $215,000 $137,500 0.82 $691,000 0.72 $90,000 1.96
Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord, NC-SC 84 $425,000 $449,600 0.94 $777,015 0.59 $186,152 2.77
Chicago-Naperville-Joliet, IL-IN-WI 221 $297,000 $275,000 0.88 $608,901 0.51 $120,000 2.40
Cincinnati-Middletown, OH-KY-IN 39 $354,950 $318,045 0.87 $704,500 0.54 $143,321 2.64
Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor, OH 25 $349,995 $340,000 0.93 $500,000 0.50 $92,807 3.15
Columbus, OH 66 $237,450 $225,000 0.91 $505,249 0.48 $102,000 2.21
Contra Costa-Alameda-Solano, CA 95 $290,000 $260,000 0.91 $709,641 0.43 $127,401 2.13
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX 341 $227,000 $212,500 0.93 $480,000 0.60 $103,760 2.38
Dayton, OH 27 $273,000 $237,000 0.88 $493,469 0.58 $80,240 2.70
Denver-Aurora, CO 189 $304,498 $299,000 0.93 $680,000 0.59 $142,279 2.37
Detroit-Warren-Livonia, MI 151 $143,580 $134,900 0.91 $385,000 0.51 $80,025 1.86
Durham, NC 24 $350,000 $300,000 0.89 $769,964 0.96 $150,000 3.47
Fresno, CA 13 $79,000 $79,000 1.00 $110,000 0.57 $98,000 0.84
Greensboro-High Point, NC 11 $524,500 $512,500 0.93 $932,545 0.54 $204,227 2.50
Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT 32 $362,000 $330,000 0.94 $668,500 0.48 $140,000 2.46
Honolulu, HI 3 $275,000 $275,000 1.00 $1,100,000 0.25 $93,918 2.93
Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX 162 $172,750 $162,750 0.92 $401,500 0.59 $102,500 2.11
Indianapolis-Carmel, IN 61 $380,000 $362,500 0.94 $766,856 0.57 $188,954 2.47
Jacksonville, FL 75 $179,000 $140,000 0.89 $395,318 0.47 $80,797 1.89
Kansas City, MO-KS 60 $409,500 $395,000 0.90 $835,400 0.59 $154,252 2.49
Las Vegas-Paradise, NV 133 $139,500 $129,500 0.89 $300,000 0.56 $80,049 1.93
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA 691 $249,000 $208,500 0.91 $550,000 0.53 $120,000 2.22
Louisville-Jefferson County, KY-IN 32 $312,500 $299,500 0.91 $499,860 0.69 $118,909 2.46
Memphis, TN-MS-AR 44 $210,000 $210,000 0.93 $421,457 0.48 $100,000 2.03
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Miami Beach, FL 499 $199,250 $175,000 0.89 $381,752 0.58 $93,684 2.03
Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI 22 $550,000 $545,654 0.95 $956,000 0.69 $243,188 2.90
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI 114 $379,500 $375,000 0.92 $634,665 0.65 $157,993 2.35
Nashville-Davidson--Murfreesboro, TN 147 $205,000 $200,000 0.95 $500,000 0.53 $106,283 2.30
New Haven-Milford, CT 25 $349,000 $275,000 0.88 $678,240 0.46 $120,000 2.08
New Jersey 346 $250,000 $250,000 0.93 $420,000 0.63 $113,000 2.35
New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, LA 16 $275,000 $275,000 0.87 $565,957 0.49 $155,758 2.69
New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA 672 $299,000 $270,000 0.90 $550,000 0.60 $145,308 2.23
Oklahoma City, OK 19 $242,500 $236,250 0.91 $479,000 0.45 $97,000 2.10
Orange County, CA 270 $195,000 $180,000 0.91 $456,164 0.52 $96,000 2.18
Orlando-Kissimmee, FL 269 $176,450 $151,250 0.91 $396,699 0.55 $92,704 1.89
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD 218 $355,000 $340,000 0.96 $630,123 0.60 $149,973 2.42
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ 238 $250,000 $222,000 0.94 $480,000 0.57 $121,195 2.05
Pittsburgh, PA 48 $397,000 $345,000 0.93 $769,674 0.58 $150,000 2.78
Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton, OR-WA 100 $258,000 $235,000 0.90 $466,000 0.64 $119,079 2.33
Providence-New Bedford-Fall River, RI-MA 36 $599,000 $575,000 0.94 $908,000 0.64 $168,000 3.33
Raleigh-Cary, NC 66 $280,000 $244,500 0.92 $507,500 0.59 $148,696 2.58
Richmond, VA 36 $224,500 $180,750 0.93 $612,500 0.49 $113,500 2.39
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA 165 $224,999 $185,000 0.89 $518,356 0.51 $106,964 1.94
Rochester, NY 32 $166,500 $160,000 0.89 $455,204 0.49 $67,152 2.22
Sacramento--Arden-Arcade--Roseville, CA 72 $229,900 $212,500 0.95 $452,466 0.56 $139,240 1.92
Salt Lake City, UT 54 $630,000 $600,000 0.94 $589,931 0.88 $171,045 2.85
San Antonio, TX 44 $90,000 $90,000 0.98 $207,689 0.56 $76,000 1.71
San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA 164 $270,000 $240,000 0.93 $568,070 0.59 $120,000 2.15
San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA 155 $295,000 $270,000 0.90 $652,393 0.52 $140,245 2.15
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA 70 $325,000 $212,000 0.86 $581,150 0.53 $113,000 1.89
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA 148 $425,000 $400,000 0.92 $750,000 0.52 $158,000 2.63
St. Louis, MO-IL 35 $450,000 $430,000 0.95 $958,841 0.62 $170,440 3.10
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL 539 $335,000 $325,000 0.97 $451,600 0.89 $134,705 2.68
Tucson, AZ 36 $125,000 $125,000 0.96 $363,000 0.50 $87,787 1.83
Tulsa, OK 17 $534,500 $470,000 0.94 $806,773 0.71 $209,699 2.52
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC 20 $134,000 $130,000 0.87 $427,378 0.37 $68,200 2.05
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV 285 $250,000 $235,000 0.92 $570,000 0.51 $117,000 2.12
Wichita, KS 20 $176,500 $147,000 0.89 $620,000 0.45 $86,500 2.47
Winston-Salem, NC 10 $352,200 $500,000 1.01 $680,056 0.77 $143,147 2.87
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Closed Small Business Transaction Metrics by Sector for the Full-Year 2018

Key metrics from transactions reported on BizBuySell.com by sector during 2018

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 Greenhouses 4 $279,000 $299,000 0.93 $800,000 0.35 $ 88,500 3.15
Agriculture Tree Farms and Orchards 4 $871,000 $965,000 0.90 $378,000 2.30 $179,000 4.87
Agriculture Other Agriculture Businesses 10 $1,150,000 $1,350,000 0.87 $1,971,118 0.64 $474,179 2.54
Communication and Media Magazines and Newspapers 9 $150,000 $165,000 0.87 $272,000 0.77 $ 98,242 1.90
Communication and Media Production Companies 4 $275,000 $275,000 0.91 $500,000 0.65 $185,000 2.04
Communication and Media Other Communication and Media Businesses 25 $450,000 $450,000 0.88 $641,677 0.71 $172,402 2.24
Construction Concrete Businesses 8 $1,200,000 $1,200,000 0.85 $1,200,000 0.78 $464,938 2.11
Construction Electrical and Mechanical Contracting Businesses 36 $803,000 $828,000 0.89 $1,398,555 0.50 $400,000 2.21
Construction Heavy Construction Businesses 7 $1,200,000 $1,300,000 0.93 $3,000,000 0.85 $400,000 3.72
Construction HVAC Businesses 75 $420,000 $437,000 0.93 $871,900 0.55 $219,649 2.24
Construction Plumbing Businesses 30 $439,000 $525,000 0.92 $975,000 0.54 $265,344 2.19
Construction Other Building and Construction Businesses 180 $450,000 $499,000 0.91 $1,380,199 0.42 $237,694 2.12
Manufacturing Auto, Boat and Aircraft Manufacturers 10 $944,043 $1,400,000 0.89 $1,500,000 0.61 $119,000 3.32
Manufacturing Chemical and Related Product Manufacturers 3 $775,000 $850,000 0.88 $788,383 0.73 $275,000 2.68
Manufacturing Clothing and Fabric Manufacturers 14 $500,000 $525,000 0.92 $1,136,797 0.99 $212,238 2.83
Manufacturing Electronic and Electrical Equipment Manufacturers 19 $550,000 $675,000 0.87 $1,230,903 0.54 $171,029 2.99
Manufacturing Energy and Petroleum Production Businesses 2 $550,000 $575,000 0.96 $932,900 0.59 $200,000 2.75
Manufacturing Food and Related Product Manufacturers 34 $636,000 $650,000 0.91 $900,456 0.60 $200,000 3.54
Manufacturing Furniture and Fixtures Manufacturers 14 $675,000 $750,000 0.90 $1,183,981 0.67 $219,867 2.79
Manufacturing Glass, Stone and Concrete Manufacturers 12 $550,000 $625,000 0.92 $1,003,702 0.74 $209,679 2.98
Manufacturing Industrial and Commercial Machinery Manufacturers 12 $1,200,000 $1,300,000 0.93 $1,513,363 0.89 $316,000 3.38
Manufacturing Lumber and Wood Products Manufacturers 25 $1,220,000 $1,337,500 0.96 $1,905,000 0.71 $380,724 3.15
Manufacturing Machine Shops and Tool Manufacturers 25 $705,000 $845,000 0.95 $833,524 0.85 $250,000 3.10
Manufacturing Medical Device and Product Manufacturers 8 $444,500 $548,500 0.85 $492,292 0.90 $160,613 2.63
Manufacturing Metal Product Manufacturers 61 $587,500 $750,000 0.88 $1,323,204 0.69 $303,500 3.24
Manufacturing Mining Businesses 4 $8,500,000 $8,950,000 0.95 $9,573,673 0.89 $1,925,732 4.41
Manufacturing Packaging Businesses 4 $217,288 $225,000 0.93 $702,579 0.41 $ 89,797 2.09
Manufacturing Paper Manufacturers and Printing Businesses 41 $367,500 $462,000 0.85 $694,273 0.59 $166,020 2.76
Manufacturing Rubber and Plastic Products Manufacturers 13 $1,050,000 $1,012,500 1.02 $1,057,628 0.84 $332,500 2.99
Manufacturing Sign Manufacturers and Businesses 31 $655,000 $712,500 0.87 $951,273 0.64 $279,000 2.43
Manufacturing Other Manufacturing Businesses 63 $1,250,000 $1,300,000 0.93 $1,478,491 0.85 $399,971 2.98
Mining Mining Businesses 4 $8,500,000 $8,950,000 0.95 $9,573,673 0.89 $1,925,732 4.41
Online and Technology Cell Phone and Computer Repair and Service Businesses 18 $187,500 $202,500 0.94 $451,637 0.66 $108,524 2.19
Online and Technology Graphic and Web Design Businesses 9 $326,000 $362,000 0.93 $401,516 0.67 $128,483 2.47
Online and Technology IT and Software Service Businesses 22 $850,000 $895,000 0.95 $1,148,559 0.92 $266,686 2.85
Online and Technology Software and App Companies 17 $1,550,000 $1,600,000 0.88 $783,355 1.82 $382,152 3.65
Online and Technology Websites and Ecommerce Businesses 353 $475,000 $495,000 0.99 $581,723 1.00 $172,402 2.99
Online and Technology Other Online and Technology Businesses 60 $465,000 $465,000 0.96 $759,846 1.01 $196,408 2.79
Online and Technology Real Estate Businesses 42 $900,000 $975,000 0.95 $1,528,000 1.69 $400,000 4.50
Retail Art Galleries 3 $1,187,500 $1,197,500 0.89 $641,620 1.28 $194,799 4.22
Retail Bakeries 85 $120,000 $159,000 0.88 $340,254 0.42 $ 80,000 1.79
Retail Bars, Pubs and Taverns 343 $255,000 $285,000 0.91 $596,000 0.48 $100,000 2.60
Retail Bike Shops 7 $207,500 $217,500 0.96 $436,203 0.51 $ 76,000 2.72
Retail Breweries 10 $572,500 $507,500 0.95 $810,391 0.84 $120,310 3.74
Retail Building Material and Hardware Stores 35 $600,000 $675,000 0.91 $1,827,000 0.46 $238,000 2.90
Retail Car Dealerships 30 $700,000 $874,950 0.81 $2,451,519 0.43 $269,472 2.93
Retail Clothing and Accessory Stores 121 $177,500 $202,000 0.90 $441,029 0.46 $ 95,400 2.04
Retail Coffee Shops and Cafes 187 $150,000 $162,500 0.92 $361,000 0.44 $ 79,620 2.14
Retail Convenience Stores 273 $175,000 $199,500 0.90 $654,500 0.35 $ 94,620 2.35
Retail Dollar Stores 8 $175,000 $179,000 0.98 $500,000 0.36 $114,800 1.81
Retail Donut Shops 31 $165,500 $185,000 0.94 $357,606 0.65 $ 97,500 3.60
Retail Equipment Rental and Dealers 5 $299,000 $400,000 0.76 $1,200,000 0.47 $120,475 2.44
Retail Flower Shops 57 $110,000 $125,000 0.90 $337,170 0.47 $ 72,193 2.00
Retail Food Trucks 6 $100,000 $115,000 0.95 $182,000 0.64 $ 60,000 1.64
Retail Furniture and Furnishings Stores 365 $225,000 $245,000 0.94 $710,310 0.56 $123,970 2.46
Retail Gas Stations 300 $225,000 $225,000 0.98 $633,150 0.51 $120,000 2.56
Retail Grocery Stores and Supermarkets 66 $465,000 $490,000 0.94 $1,325,000 0.37 $165,000 3.20
Retail Health Food and Nutrition Businesses 18 $249,000 $249,500 0.89 $639,838 0.42 $ 94,700 2.59
Retail Ice Cream and Frozen Yogurt Shops 175 $135,000 $164,000 0.92 $302,159 0.52 $ 70,178 2.05
Retail Jewelry Stores 8 $165,000 $211,995 0.89 $242,500 0.77 $ 71,494 2.39
Retail Juice Bars 24 $325,000 $327,500 0.93 $679,705 0.52 $115,392 2.20
Retail Liquor Stores 301 $332,500 $349,998 0.91 $900,000 0.44 $139,050 2.85
Retail Marine/Boat Services and Dealers 16 $375,000 $395,000 0.90 $1,100,000 0.54 $150,000 2.58
Retail Nursery and Garden Centers 9 $785,000 $612,500 1.15 $997,500 0.76 $208,607 3.55
Retail Pawn Shops 4 $100,000 $199,900 0.72 $440,000 0.44 $115,691 1.36
Retail Pet Stores and Supply Businesses 21 $197,500 $246,500 0.88 $633,898 0.42 $ 96,830 2.24
Retail Pharmacies 35 $227,500 $245,000 0.96 $1,450,000 0.36 $150,500 2.22
Retail Restaurants 2195 $180,000 $200,000 0.90 $582,826 0.38 $106,008 2.08
Retail Smoke Shops 23 $101,000 $105,000 0.97 $375,000 0.36 $ 84,000 1.60
Retail Truck Stops 6 $3,850,000 $4,000,000 0.96 $9,000,000 0.43 $750,000 5.13
Retail Vending Machine Businesses 46 $153,000 $165,000 0.95 $300,000 0.70 $ 77,400 2.34
Retail Other Retail Businesses 196 $200,000 $225,000 0.90 $517,813 0.48 $100,036 2.20
Service Businesses Accounting Businesses and Tax Practices 81 $227,500 $259,000 0.91 $295,002 0.97 $163,944 2.03
Service Businesses Architecture and Engineering Firms 9 $500,000 $495,000 0.87 $924,442 0.73 $193,322 2.34
Service Businesses Assisted Living and Nursing Homes 22 $325,000 $350,000 0.92 $321,316 1.52 $111,000 4.20
Service Businesses Auto Repair and Service Shops 268 $277,500 $300,000 0.91 $660,000 0.57 $146,085 2.43
Service Businesses Banking and Loan Businesses 11 $152,000 $159,000 0.95 $695,000 0.31 $164,000 1.28
Service Businesses Bed and Breakfasts 12 $887,500 $1,024,500 0.86 $294,618 3.04 $105,853 8.37
Service Businesses Bowling Alleys 2 $399,000 $399,000 1.00 $458,660 0.87 $224,455 1.78
Service Businesses Car Washes 42 $600,000 $649,000 0.92 $575,000 1.48 $225,000 4.29
Service Businesses Catering Companies 5 $289,000 $299,000 0.91 $400,025 0.59 $101,300 2.26
Service Businesses Cleaning Businesses 97 $236,000 $255,000 0.92 $337,258 0.71 $120,000 2.12
Service Businesses Commercial Laundry Businesses 14 $274,750 $314,750 0.91 $283,490 1.24 $115,896 2.86
Service Businesses Dance, Pilates and Yoga Studios 13 $125,000 $189,500 0.80 $378,299 0.51 $ 55,187 2.29
Service Businesses Day Care and Child Care Centers 91 $300,000 $350,000 0.93 $539,477 0.78 $112,000 3.43
Service Businesses Dental Practices 13 $314,500 $360,000 0.90 $495,364 0.64 $191,565 1.75
Service Businesses Dog Daycare and Boarding Businesses 18 $220,000 $270,000 0.91 $390,644 0.80 $105,870 2.49
Service Businesses Dry Cleaners 158 $167,000 $190,000 0.88 $249,715 0.76 $ 84,500 2.27
Service Businesses Golf Courses and Service Businesses 5 $169,000 $179,000 0.86 $470,000 0.43 $114,380 1.50
Service Businesses Gyms and Fitness Centers 63 $182,000 $195,000 0.91 $294,201 0.69 $ 78,321 2.21
Service Businesses Hair Salons and Barber Shops 213 $ 99,000 $100,000 0.89 $250,000 0.42 $ 57,568 1.83
Service Businesses Home Health Care Businesses 64 $275,000 $300,000 0.92 $778,101 0.51 $145,000 2.40
Service Businesses Hotels 29 $5,800,000 $6,000,000 0.97 $1,625,000 3.57 $637,000 9.11
Service Businesses Insurance Agencies 57 $432,500 $562,500 0.93 $351,206 1.46 $125,000 3.28
Service Businesses Junk and Salvage Yards 3 $3,500,000 $1,990,000 1.76 $3,700,000 0.95 $600,000 5.83
Service Businesses Landscaping and Yard Service Businesses 106 $174,000 $199,000 0.91 $353,342 0.60 $101,492 1.81
Service Businesses Laundromats and Coin Laundry Businesses 87 $150,000 $160,000 0.91 $132,952 1.12 $ 60,000 2.83
Service Businesses Legal Services and Law Firms 11 $400,000 $400,000 0.87 $480,000 0.57 $150,000 1.79
Service Businesses Limo and Passenger Transportation Businesses 20 $640,000 $725,000 0.90 $1,100,000 0.64 $250,000 2.41
Service Businesses Locksmith Businesses 1 $190,000 $195,000 0.97 $188,852 1.01 $112,102 1.69
Service Businesses Massage Businesses 15 $167,750 $174,500 0.97 $650,000 0.33 $131,908 1.75
Service Businesses Medical Billing Businesses 5 $1,430,000 $1,550,000 0.96 $2,419,500 0.55 $625,000 2.81
Service Businesses Medical Practices 22 $360,000 $349,000 0.96 $628,445 0.71 $174,633 2.44
Service Businesses Motels 20 $812,500 $849,950 0.92 $353,700 2.32 $154,106 4.75
Service Businesses Moving and Shipping Businesses 49 $309,000 $325,000 0.95 $520,616 0.56 $142,589 2.44
Service Businesses Nail Salons 22 $173,000 $220,000 0.90 $423,434 0.42 $150,000 1.51
Service Businesses Pest Control Businesses 7 $273,350 $375,000 0.84 $231,487 1.27 $119,983 2.21
Service Businesses Pet Grooming Businesses 30 $ 80,000 $100,000 0.89 $268,294 0.65 $ 70,208 1.95
Service Businesses Preschools 8 $575,000 $612,500 0.86 $629,500 1.29 $271,000 3.06
Service Businesses Property Management Businesses 33 $220,000 $225,000 0.89 $309,220 0.73 $111,363 2.19
Service Businesses Routes 354 $175,692 $179,000 0.96 $467,168 0.67 $111,000 2.02
Service Businesses Schools 12 $270,000 $300,000 0.92 $332,500 0.97 $124,350 2.68
Service Businesses Security Businesses 7 $160,000 $197,000 0.87 $298,023 0.78 $ 58,390 2.70
Service Businesses Spas 35 $255,000 $270,000 0.89 $480,000 0.51 $120,000 1.86
Service Businesses Staffing Agencies 26 $500,000 $550,000 0.97 $1,153,936 0.37 $281,903 2.70
Service Businesses Storage Facilities and Warehouses 12 $250,000 $250,000 0.88 $1,452,299 0.27 $190,000 1.78
Service Businesses Tanning Salons 12 $ 78,500 $ 83,500 0.96 $180,330 0.56 $ 69,050 1.71
Service Businesses Towing Companies 5 $415,000 $512,500 0.85 $772,500 0.76 $165,000 2.89
Service Businesses Travel Agencies 2 $ 45,000 $ 99,000 0.45 $157,314 0.29 $ 64,095 0.70
Service Businesses Trucking Companies 23 $649,500 $674,500 0.90 $917,680 0.63 $229,767 2.84
Service Businesses Waste Management and Recycling Businesses 9 $750,000 $812,500 0.87 $847,500 0.75 $277,000 2.66
Service Businesses Other Automotive and Boat Businesses 7 $167,500 $190,000 0.89 $158,482 1.24 $ 57,019 3.40
Service Businesses Other Beauty and Personal Care Businesses 9 $105,500 $115,000 0.86 $226,607 0.50 $ 55,687 1.62
Service Businesses Other Education and Children Businesses 37 $165,000 $174,900 0.91 $320,000 0.62 $ 93,000 2.26
Service Businesses Other Entertainment and Recreation Businesses 70 $207,500 $242,500 0.91 $305,361 0.77 $ 97,963 2.65
Service Businesses Other Financial Services Businesses 21 $712,500 $712,500 1.00 $563,861 0.93 $321,110 2.34
Service Businesses Other Health Care and Fitness Businesses 103 $294,500 $350,000 0.92 $486,448 0.76 $127,804 2.36
Service Businesses Other Pet Service Businesses 7 $537,500 $552,500 0.97 $628,001 0.83 $214,744 2.54
Service Businesses Other Service Businesses 439 $215,000 $235,000 0.94 $350,260 0.67 $127,973 1.99
Service Businesses Other Transportation and Storage Businesses 35 $350,000 $399,000 0.90 $578,000 0.66 $197,000 2.15
Service Businesses Other Travel Businesses 1 $299,000 $299,000 1.00 $260,000 1.15 $130,000 2.30
Wholesale and Distributors Durable Goods Wholesalers and Distributors 73 $609,000 $650,000 0.94 $1,304,489 0.59 $216,529 2.82
Wholesale and Distributors Nondurable Goods Wholesalers and Distributors 53 $190,000 $190,000 0.96 $405,000 0.56 $ 80,392 2.43
Wholesale and Distributors Other Wholesalers and Distributors 24 $271,950 $275,498 0.99 $1,000,000 0.42 $150,018 2.65
Other All Non-Classifiable Establishments 17 $577,500 $640,000 0.92 $570,511 0.97 $198,110 2.87
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