Welcome to the archives for NewsTalk, an IBJ blog published from November 2007 through December 2010.

Fearful business buyers

April 22, 2009
You might think people would be hankering to buy businesses, what with the frail economy tripping trap doors beneath more and more jobs.

Not so, says the managing partner of the stateâ??s largest business brokerage.

Ed Mysogland says the Web site for Sunbelt Indiana Business Resource is getting more hits. But the actual number of serious inquiries is at similar levels to the same period last year and even the year before, when the economy was still roaring.

Why? Mysogland is left to speculate. But his informed opinion is that fear of risk is still a formidable barrier to entry. Younger people shouldering responsibility for children and carrying mortgages and student loans are particularly skeptical about taking on additional risk.

â??Most people will think twice about small-business ownership,â?? he says. â??Getting a paycheck every week doesnâ??t sound so bad.â??

Itâ??s not as if good deals arenâ??t available. Businesses are selling for less largely because their revenues and profits are down. Restaurants are still going for 25 percent to 50 percent of revenue, but the total sale prices have slipped because most restaurants are generating less revenue.

What about you? Are you considering buying a business or starting one? What do you think about conditions?
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