CHAPTER 4

Anticipating the Cost of Your Search

The first step in buying a small business is to find companies that are for sale at a reasonable price and that match the characteristics you want. We call this task searching, and much of this book explains how to search effectively.

You’ll discover that searching can be both time-consuming and expensive and that success depends a lot on your judgment and a bit of luck. Searching is difficult because the market for small businesses is opaque and fragmented. Potential sellers are reluctant to announce that their business is for sale, lest customers and employees begin to consider other options. So, you’ll either need to work through fragmented and secretive business brokers or reach out to business ...

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