Changing the Way that Businesses Transition
When Alison Anderson was working for Community Futures in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan a plumber came to see her to ask how to sell his business through a succession plan. She explains, “He wanted to find a buyer without telling the world he was thinking of selling. When I looked, I couldn’t find the right websites to give him information.”
“I started SuccessionMatching.com for small and medium sized businesses and farms to help them transition their businesses in a cost-effective way,” Anderson continues.
SuccessionMatching.com is a membership platform where both business buyers and sellers pay a monthly fee to learn of opportunities and post their businesses. “We’ve been able to scale through partnerships and our payment model - but we don’t charge a percentage through transactions. Charging a monthly fee for buyers gets rid of the tire-kickers.”
The site’s privacy setting are also attractive to people interested in buying and selling. “Privacy is very important to both buyers and sellers so we incorporate privacy throughout the entire site,” shares Anderson.
As the average succession plan business transition takes two to seven years many business owners and buyers are underprepared. Less than nine percent of businesses have a succession plan and a large part of SuccessionMatching.com’s value lies in the education for both buyers and sellers.
“We ask the sellers, ‘Do you know what the transferable value of your business is and why?’ If they don’t know, we send them resources so they can work with their accountant or one of our accountant firms that are in our Preferred Partner Program to find that value,” Anderson said. “For the buyers, an example question is ‘Do you have access to financing?’ If they don’t, we introduce them to the financial institutions that we work with to help with the financing piece.”
Seventy percent of people that buy businesses are successful due to mentorship opportunities and many SuccessionMatching members will find a buyer and show them the ways to run the business successfully before they transition. One of Anderson’s memorable clients avoided the traditional auction to sell their farm and instead found a buyer on SuccessionMatching.com and showed them how to run the farm for two years before the handoff.
“If I could tell my younger self something I would tell myself to buy a business, not to start one.”
Founders: Alison Anderson
Incorporation Date: Feb 2012