Record Number of Small Businesses Sold in First Quarter of 2017

BizBuySell.com, the Internet’s largest business-for-sale marketplace, reported recently a record number of first quarter sold business transactions in early 2017.

A total of 2,368 closed transactions were reported in the first quarter of 2017, a 29 percent increase from this time last year. Though the spike in small business transactions may be partly due to a rush of buyers and sellers looking to close deals around the New Year, a healthy economy, strong small business financials, and access to financing are also enticing more buyers and sellers to the market.

Businesses sold in the first quarter grossed a median revenue of $518,159, an 8.4 percent increase the first quarter of 2016.  Median cash flow also increased, up 6.6 percent year-over-year to $117,275.  These key financial indicators are the highest totals since BizBuySell first started tracking data in 2007.

“After a record-setting year of small business transactions in 2016, it’s great to see continued small business growth in early 2017,” said Bob House, president of BizBuySell.com and BizQuest.com. “Not only are more small businesses changing hands, but healthy financials are positioning these new owners for continued success. While the number of business transactions may stabilize throughout the remainder of the year, all signs point to a bright future for small businesses overall.”

Over the past few quarters, the number of small businesses listed for sale has steadily increased. That trend carried over into 2017 as total listings increased 3.8 percent from last year. These newly-listed businesses boast growing median revenues and cash flows, suggesting there’s still a strong supply of healthy businesses available for interested buyers. Baby Boomers looking to capitalize on today’s favorable conditions and exit small business ownership for retirement are fueling the market supply. At the same time, younger buyers are finding attractive, healthier businesses for sale with greater access to lending, again pointing to a well-balanced market.

“While we anticipate transaction levels should stabilize over the next few months, all small business indicators point to a healthy market for buying and selling in 2017,” said Bob House. “A strong supply of attractive listings and qualified buyers, and an administration looking to reduce costs for small businesses should fuel the market over the upcoming months.”

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William Bruce is an Accredited Business Broker and Appraiser assisting buyers and sellers of privately held businesses in the transfer of ownership.  He participated in this survey by BizBuySell.com.  His practice includes consulting services nationally on issues of business valuation and transfer.  He currently serves as president of the American Business Brokers Association.  He may be reached at (251) 990-5934 or by email at Will@WilliamBruce.org.  His business brokerage website may be viewed at www.WilliamBruce.net.

About William Bruce

President, American Business Brokers Association / Business Broker and Accredited Business Intermediary assisting business buyers and sellers with the transfer of ownership since 1986 / Author: How to Buy a Business.
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