WHERE TO LIST A BUSINESS FOR SALE 2020:
Enterprise Europe Network
Fakes to avoid
In this article we will explore the various market channels that are available to use – comparing their features and benefits, revealing user feedback and providing all the information required to make an informed decision about where to list your business for sale.
Daltons launched their website in 2002, though they have existed in print form since 1867; making them the UK’s oldest market channel.
As they were in the past, still today they are regarded as the number one medium for business listings, with a variety of advertising packages on offer.
They charge £269 for six months, £199 for three months and £129 for one month – they have a 25% reduction on prices currently, so these figures may increase in the future.
Daltons is a popular choice with small business owners, such as those selling shops, pubs, cafes, takeaways, beauty salons, newsagents and so on and it is probably the best channel for sellers of small businesses in the UK.
Here is what users have to say about the service on Trustpilot:
“I tried selling my cleaning business on different platforms for a few years but I was unable to get any inquiries. I then advertised my business on the Dalton platform in September 2019 using their 6 month package. I am happy to report that I received a call from a serious buyer in October 2019. This inquiry then led to the purchase of my business in November 2019 and I officially handed over the business in December, 2019. I had a very good experience using the Dalton platform”
“Had a large number of enquiries for my Cafe business but the realistic ones were quite easy to spot…Eventually sold to the fourth viewers after about 3 months.”
- Founded in 2010, https://www.rightbiz.co.uk is another well established listing channel – with relatively low charges too, starting from just £40 per month.
A lower advert response rate is a real possibility when compared with more expensive listing options, but if you have already invested in a well crafted ad – it may be worth a shot.
According to reviews however, the response rate doesn’t appear to be an issue. Here are just a couple:
“Rightbiz was by far, the most economical way to sell our business. It has the same reach and profile as its competitors but is cheaper to list on. By selling the business ourselves and not through an agent. We saved thousands of pounds. Highly recommended.”
“I found RightBiz very simple to use and the website generated a large number of enquiries. Thank you RightBiz.”
- https://www.businessesforsale.com is another worthy consideration, especially if you are seeking to tap into the international market, as this channel operates across several countries other than the UK.
They are running a generous promotion currently which promises a sale or your money back, costing just £199.
They also claim to be the world’s largest site of their kind – so this option offers both a wide reach and a money back guarantee.
Let’s take a look at some Trustpilot responses:
“Great service & hundreds of contacts!! I would highly recommend you use this site to advertise your business. I had many international & local replies to my ad & have met some interested buyers already! Very impressed!!”
“Yes, we are going through tough times with all the pandemic… Especially today, any genuine, knowledgeable and to-the-point advice – coupled with terrific customer service – not only makes a difference but also means a lot for the wellbeing of us, hard-working managers. This is how our experience with BusinessesForSale.com has been – exemplary, gold standard of advertising.”
Another reputable and widely known firm, who after having established themselves as a fax-back service in the 90s went onto become a print publication – the sales of which provide their revenue, hence why they allow you to list your business for free.
The only downside however, is that you would normally have to be turning over at least £300,000 annually to be able to list your business on this marketing portal.
If you do meet these criteria you will benefit from your company being advertised out to their large database of subscribers by daily email alerts and by post.
Here is one of the top reviews:
“An essential publication, particularly for those selling a business. My firm subscribes to the Business Sale Report and this has been of considerable value when acting for clients seeking acquisitions and also when acting for vendors. Sale particulars places on behalf of clients always produce significant volume of enquiries from interested parties”
- Another site owned by the same franchise; https://bizsale.co.uk is useful for smaller businesses with lower revenues of less than £500,000 and selling prices of less than £250,000. You can either sign up as a standard member and pay a one off fee every time you want to list a business or sign up as a premium member and get access to unlimited listings.
Here is a Facebook review from a satisfied user of the service:
“Best option out there for finding a buyer for a owner-operated business without leaving a bunch of money on the table.”
- https://www.dealopportunities.co.uk is a relatively new player, charging an annually recurring fee of £85 for their standard listing, which will remain active on the site for a year or until the ad is removed.
For £125 you get a premium listing; which buys you advert space on their platform as well as being included in their newsletter which is issued to subscribers.
Here is a recent user review:
“Deal Opportunities is a good service, but it is limited by its reach and can take some time to generate interest. Sold eventually however, so a satisfied customer!”
- https://www.businessbroker.net is a good option for those whose business are not geographically limited, as it targets the US market and receives around 150,000 visitors per month.
For a two-month advert you will pay $129.95 for a standard listing and $149.95 for a premium listing.
Four month listings cost $199.95 for standard and $249.95 for premium – and the six month listing option will cost $249.95 for standard and $299.95 for premium.
If your infrastructure is all digital, and your business model only requires a website to function for example, this may be appealing to foriegn buyers.
Here is one of the reviews businessbroker.net received recently:
“A great channel for disposing of digital assets. Managed to sell my E-commerce store in just 4 months! Big thank you!”
- https://www.bizbuysell.com is one of the largest sites of its kind worldwide, but targets the US market primarily.
Charges begin at $50 and vary depending on your requirements.
As mentioned previously, if your business is based online you will have no issues advertising on such a market channel.
If you require a UK buyer, it is not the best choice for you.
The top review on Trustpilot is not at all favourable:
“Worst company to sell or buy businesses. No customer support, all staff sitting in their office are illiterate. I’ll never recommend them to anyone.”
Some Reddit users claim that while the website is reputable, many listings can contain overblown numbers and simply low quality businesses.
Independent research into the provider would be necessary if you are considering listing your business on this site.
https://www.bizquest.com merged with the aforementioned company in 2017.
- https://een.ec.europa.eu is the URL for the Enterprise Europe Network which is funded by the European Union.
Claiming to be the world’s largest support network for SME’s; it consists of approximately 3,000 experts across 600 member organisations in over 60 countries.
It’s function is to connect businesses with other businesses in order to facilitate international activity and cooperation.
It also boasts the largest database of business opportunities in Europe, which can be accessed via their website’s search engine.
Although you cannot advertise directly in their database, you can network with a massive supply of potentially interested parties known as; “Network Partners”.
Here is some feedback from a Enterprise Europe Network user:
“EEN’s ongoing collaboration with Innovate UK and their international colleagues across their 66 EEN member countries continues to deliver real benefit to businesses, helping them to innovate and grow – nationally and internationally.
During the past 18 months, their advisers and specialists have helped businesses raise £57.6m in funding and finance, advised 6,456 SMEs, and intensively coached and mentored more than 1,000 companies.”
In return for signing up to Dealstream, you will be afforded unlimited free listings, the use of matchmaking software and an audience of over 500,000 active members internationally.
Structuring itself as a social network for entrepreneurs, but also hosting business listings – Dealstream is a great place to network and dispose of assets alike.
Its primary target audience is US based, though there is a section for potential buyers of UK businesses – and as mentioned in the previous sections, if your business is digital, you are not limited by location.
A great option for owners who want everything consolidated in one place and who want to cut out the middlemen who are usually crucial to transactions.
Bizdaq is unique in that they have rejected the traditional way of selling a business by dispensing with brokers, accountants and solicitors.
This has allowed for some significant savings to be passed onto the business owner – it does mean however, that the owner will have to do a bit more of the work, but the website guides the user through everything.
The site will even provide a valuation and then assist in producing a template to be used in the listing.
MyBizdaq facilitates the entire transaction process; allowing vendors to accept offers and sign contracts all on the site.
Charging £95 per month or £390 for six months and being linked with other top brokers such as DaltonsBusiness – Bizdaq is a frontrunner for convenience, usability and buyer-reach.
Below are some Trustpilot reviews, conveying the general opinion of users:
“The service so far has been fantastic! My agent was really helpful and my advert was placed online within hours. Hoping for a quick sale!”
“Excellent service thank you so much for a prompt & quick service Martin, within 1hr, the convenience store is up & ready on the Market.”
“So far the process of advertising my business on Bizdaq has been very easy. I have been taken through the various steps by the agent and within the hour my advert was live and accurate from my description given. I hope that it now generates suitable interest and that I can pass it onto another designer to carry forward and grow the business.”
- https://www.business-opportunities.biz was founded in 2002 and is described by the owner as being a resource for small business entrepreneurs which provides information, opportunities and business ideas.
They encourage you to fill in a form if you would like to advertise to their viewership.
A Facebook review left on their page certainly speaks of satisfaction:
“Business Opportunities is one of the best values we’ve found to market our tax business start-up system. In a previous year we made a comparable investment in a similar digital marketing program and it was a losing proposition. In contrast, with Business Opportunities we immediately started to receive qualified leads. Our representative, Kevin Culp, has served us in what I can best describe as a concierge. He provided outstanding assistance in every step of the process and multiple opportunities for us to obtain additional exposure to their very large database of prospects seeking to invest in a business opportunity. Unlike other options that we’ve tried, Business Opportunities delivered what they promised and much more!”
RightMove is best known as a marketing channel for residential properties, though it does list commercial properties too.
The only issue is that owners cannot list directly with RightMove and are required to go through an agent.
As mentioned previously however, Bizdaq claims to be connected with RightMove, so investing in a Bizdaq listing may gain you exposure to RightMove visitors.
RightMove is best suited to Offices, Retail Premises, Leisure Premises, Hospitality, Industrial Units and warehouses as opposed to traditional shops or services.
Here’s what users have commented:
“Very helpful customer care department, got back to me via email quickly and with a thorough answer to my query.”
“Unlike so many companies, Rightmove does their utmost to ensure that information is correct and if it isn’t they correct it quickly when it is brought to their attention. Very unusual nowadays, and commendable.”
- https://www.loopnet.com is another portal with a US focus, specialising in commercial property and boasting a vast number of visitors to its site.
Loopnet is free to list and displays an immense range of commercial properties; they also have a search engine that will retrieve listings based on the search location inputted.
One user commented the following:
“Our company uses LoopNet in several ways. (1) We use LoopNet to advertise open listings from available open land parcels to rentable space in existing buildings to buildings that are in the pipeline to be built. (2) We use it to look up potential customers. (3) Advertisement for our area and company availability.”
- https://www.flippa.com is a popular listing site for digital businesses and assets, such as websites and domains.
It is an expensive option as Flippa takes a significant percentage directly from the sale price, though for many small businesses owners this may be the only viable option.
The format of Flippa is similar to online markets such as eBay, where buyers engage in competitive bidding – which can drive up price.
One downside though, is that Flippa allows for public comments to be left against businesses, so when the comments are negative the business owner has a sort of mark against their business and their advert.
This is what people have to say about Flippa:
“I was becoming frustrated because I’m not that tech savvy, almost ready to quit when…. Antoinette calmed me down and encouraged me that it wasn’t too hard then walked me through the steps until it was complete. She is why I’m staying and transferring my 190 Domains to Flippa. Thanks for everything Antoinette…”
“Easy-to-use platform for listing my website for sale. However, I feel that the 10% fee is a bit steep.”
Fakes to avoid
There are many fake marketplaces out there that one needs to be cautious about.
Before parting with your money and listing your business on a website, you must do your research and check that the site is reputable. There are numerous pretender marketplaces that give the appearance of being old, well established marketplaces but that are in fact best avoided.
All of the options listed in this article are trustworthy market channels and you can be sure that you won’t experience any charlatanry on their websites.
Selecting a market channel
In order to select a market channel you need to consider what is most appropriate to your business and your personal situation.
If you are a larger business you may wish to opt for an older and more established platform such as Daltons, whereas, if you are a totally digital business you may select a channel with international reach such as BusinessBrokers.net.
Annual revenue, sector and cost of listing all play a part also, and require consideration.
This list is not exhaustive, but should provide enough information to enable owners to make an informed decision in terms of where to list a business for sale in the UK.