Small Business Sellers Express Market Confidence

BizBuySell’s Second Quarter Insight Report found the number of businesses listed for sale reached its highest level since 2009.

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Small business owners are feeling more confident that they can successfully exit their businesses, according to BizBuySell’s Seller Confidence Score which grew to 62 after two consecutive years at 56.

A majority of small business owners (58 percent) believe they can receive more money for their businesses than they could last year. Additionally, more than 90 percent were optimistic enough to say they will be able to achieve the same or an even higher sale price next year.

Responses to both survey questions were more optimistic than responses to identical survey questions last year.

"Small business sales optimism will likely continue for the foreseeable future," Bob House, general manager of BizBuySell, told eWEEK. "Even though the international markets have been volatile in recent months, the U.S. economy has remained relatively strong, and data from our quarterly Insight Report shows small business financials continue to improve. Healthy business financials are likely behind the recent surge in business-for-sale listings."

BizBuySell’s Second Quarter Insight Report found the number of businesses listed for sale reached its highest level since 2009, suggesting owners are feeling more confident they can receive a good price for their business in today’s market.

House said a good supply of new business listings should continue coming on the market as baby boomers continue to retire in large numbers.

Sellers also indicated an increased number of buyers in the market this year. When asked to identify the biggest issues limiting their ability to sell, just 12 percent said they couldn't find a buyer -- a significant drop from the 27 percent who indicated a shortage of buyers in 2014.

Perhaps even more importantly, 43 percent of sellers said they have no issues and could successfully exit their businesses right now, compared to just 23 percent who felt the same level of confidence last year.

Respondents reported a clear favorite in the presidential race, with 42 percent of sellers and 34 percent of buyers indicating that Donald Trump is the candidate most likely to improve the small business environment.

Hillary Clinton was the next most popular candidate for both groups, but at only 13 percent and 16 percent.

Buyers and sellers appear to respond favorably to Trump's policies on taxes and the economy.

When asked to identify the issue they are most interested in during the election cycle, sellers that favored Trump listed tax reform, economic policy and health care.

"Trump is also a successful businessman himself, and that likely inspires confidence from small business buyers and sellers," House said. "I also think Republicans are generally perceived as more pro-business than Democrats. Trump is also likely benefiting from brand awareness among a crowded field of lesser-known candidates while we are still early in the election cycle."