ACTUAL SMALL BUSINESS MULTIPLES & OTHER MEANINGFUL STATISTICS
You may not know this, but BizBuySell regularly publishes its "Insight Report", which summarizes actual data on thousands of small businesses that recently sold. I'm embarrassed to say that I was a full-year into my search before I stumbled upon the Insight Report, and surprisingly none of my searcher friends knew about it either. I like it for at least three reasons & I hope it will help you too. Here's a link to the Report: https://www.bizbuysell.com/insight-report/
[DISCLOSURE: I have no relationship of any kind w/BizBuySell. It was a shame that I went a full-year into my search without this info in hand, and I don't want you to do the same.]
1.) FACT-BASED NEGOTIATIONS: Brokers do a nice job of establishing a listing's asking price by using a one-size-fits-all valuation, which is almost always higher than actual valuations. The Insight Report's data allowed me to have fact-based conversations with prospective sellers and their brokers, and it is this kind of data that can save you thousands of dollars at the negotiation table.
2.) MEDIAN DAYS ON MARKET: Most sellers' don't realize that the sale process can take months or even years. They are often seduced by a broker who promises them "top dollar" in return for a 1-2 year contract that exclusively gives the broker the right to sell the business. Some businesses may never sell, and if they do, it will likely take a long time (avg. = 183 days, but keep in mind that this is understated b/c it doesn't include any of the businesses that end up not selling). The Insight Report's data for "Median Days on the Market" can objectively be shared & hopefully motivate sellers who may be holding out for a better deal to come along.
3.) KEY METRICS BY SALES PRICE: I appreciate how the Insight Report demonstrates how sale multiples can fluctuate by industry, geography, and by deal size (i.e. >$1M or less than $1M). As a buyer, this helped reinforce my "investment criteria" & helped establish a budget for my self-funded search.
P.S. Make sure to check out the interactive portion of the Insight Report: https://www.bizbuysell.com/news/insight-interactive