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Finding the Right Business for You

Once you’ve decided on your sector, you'll need to draw up a shortlist of prospects. Here are some tips and tricks for doing this on

Once you’ve decided which industry you want to enter – although you may wish to keep your options open – you'll need to draw up a shortlist of prospects.

We explain the ways – such as price, location and owner-financed opportunities – to drill down the businesses that suit your circumstances.

Once you’ve found the business you like, you can submit enquiries to the owners to find out more.

If you’ve already decided which sector to buy your business in – or you may still be open-minded – now it’s time to narrow your search further. When you’re browsing businesses for sale the choice can be overwhelming – running into thousands of, say, restaurants for sale in Australia!

Below are some variables by which you can filter your search for any sector you’re seeking, down to a more manageable choice.

Search filters


How much are you willing and able to invest and borrow in total? This will dramatically reduce your list of viable options – unless of course, you can afford even the most expensive businesses and set a floor on the price range too.

Are you willing to consider businesses across the state? Perhaps you’re up for relocating to anywhere in Australia or even around the world. Bear in mind there is also a filter for relocatable businesses.

Sales revenue or cash flow

 You can also filter results by key financials.

Age of listing and price reduced  

The longer a business has been on the market, the keener (perhaps desperate) the seller might be to sell up and therefore be more willing to compromise. Similarly, price-reduced businesses indicate that sellers are struggling to find a buyer, often because they’ve overpriced the business – although they may simply be keen for a quick sale.

However, while these filters could be a route to a bargain, some buyers can be put off by a business that potentially, no one seems to want.

Leasehold or freehold/ real property  

If you buy the property outright you’ll be unburdened thereafter by rent payments – but you are adding a significant premium to the asking price.


A franchise resale means that you buy into an established brand and receive training and ongoing support.

It also buys you a tried-and-tested formula – although this is a negative if you want complete entrepreneurial freedom.

In receivership /administration 

An appealing option if your budget is tight and/or you like a challenge. But don’t fool yourself – it will be an enormous challenge!

Owner financed 

This means the seller is willing to part-finance the deal – in other words, accept a portion of the asking price in instalments.

This stretches your budget further and shows that the seller trusts that their business will thrive in your hands as they know that you’ll be able to fulfil your repayments.

Accommodation included  

Do you want to live where you work?

It cuts out commuting costs and time (a valuable asset for an entrepreneur). It also bumps up the price significantly – although it usually gives you more spending power if you have an existing home to sell first. Particularly common in sectors like B&Bs, farms, and retailers.

Miscellaneous filters

You can also narrow your search down to family-run businesses; those you can operate from home (often websites), midmarket businesses and ‘unique’ businesses.

Once you’ve found a business – or several businesses – that you like, then you can submit enquiries to the owners – free of charge – to find out more and perhaps arrange negotiations.

Faye Ferris

About the author

APAC Sales & Marketing Director for, the world’s most popular website for buying and selling businesses globally and attracting over 1.2 Million visitors each month. To contact Faye please email [email protected]