Sign up for our Business Buyer's newsletter!
Receive tips on buying and selling businesses from the BizQuest experts.
Enter Email Address:
We respect your privacy.
Read our Privacy Policy.



Home > Tools and Resources > Buying a Business > A Statistical Breakdown of the 20,000 Business for Sale Listings on Bizquest

A Statistical Breakdown of the 20,000 Business for Sale Listings on Bizquest

By The BizQuest Staff
Contact The BizQuest Staff

Print Print   Email Email  

There are currently more than 20,000 active business for sale listings on Bizquest, divided among 27 industries. Based on information in the Bizquest database, this article will answer the following questions:

  1. Which industries have the most listings? The fewest?
  2. Which industries are buyers most interested in? Least interested in?
  3. Which industries have the highest revenue and cash flow? The lowest?

Bonus Question: Which industries have the best cash-flow to revenue ratio? The worst?

Before we start, we want to point out that there is nothing scientific about this study. We are simply reporting the data that we have in the Bizquest database. But it is interesting to look at! So, without further ado...

Which industries have the most listings? The fewest?

The industry with the most listings by far is Food and Beverage, which outnumbers the second industry, Retail Stores, by nearly two to one.

Here are the top five:

  1. Food and Beverage
  2. Retail Stores
  3. Auto Related
  4. Business Services
  5. Manufacturing

The five industries with the fewest listings are:

  1. Financial
  2. Moving, Storage and Delivery
  3. Internet Related
  4. Chemicals
  5. Office

What is particularly interesting about this is that three of the five industries with the fewest listings are in the top five in terms of buyer popularity.

Which industries are buyers most interested in? Least interested in?

The most popular industry as measured by the average number of views a listing in each industry receives, is Internet Related. This industry is one of the bottom five in terms of number of listings, but is the most popular industry for buyers.

Again, this is not a scientific study. It is certainly possible that the buyer interest in the Internet Related industry is skewed significantly higher by the fact that Bizquest is an Internet website, and that buyers are using the Internet to view these listings. Still, we think that these numbers are reflective of a significant and growing trend towards interest among buyers in Internet related businesses.

The rest of the top five most popular industries are:

  1. Internet Related
  2. Chemicals
  3. Technology
  4. Financial
  5. Wholesale and Distribution.

The least popular industries are:

  1. Food and Beverage
  2. Retail Stores
  3. Building and Construction Services
  4. Hair and Beauty
  5. Home and Office Furniture

Recall that Food and Beverage and Retail Stores are the two largest industries by number of listings. Again, it may simply be that the industries with the most listings get fewer hits per listing, and the smaller industries get more hits per listing because buyers are not looking past the first couple of pages of results when they do a search. If so, then those of you with listings in the Retail Stores or Food and Beverage industries should definitely consider upgrading to a Featured listing to ensure that your listing is always shown first.

Which industries have the highest revenue and cash flow? Which have the lowest?

The industry with by far the highest revenue average, at more than $20M, is Chemicals. There are only 37 listings in this industry, so this is clearly not a representative sample. The next four highest revenue industries all have averages of between $3M to $4M.

Here are the top five:

  1. Chemicals
  2. Wholesale and Distribution
  3. Building and Construction Services
  4. Transportation
  5. Manufacturing.

The lowest five industries in terms of revenue are:

  1. General Merchandise
  2. Clothing and Fashion
  3. Educational
  4. Personal
  5. Hair and Beauty

The top five industries by cash flow are:

  1. Chemicals
  2. Transportation
  3. Financial
  4. Manufacturing
  5. Building and Construction Services.

And the bottom five are:

  1. Clothing and Fashion
  2. Retail Stores
  3. Personal
  4. General Merchandise
  5. Hair and Beauty

Bonus Question: Which industries have the best cash-flow to revenue ratio? The worst?
The top five industries by ratio of cash-flow to revenue are:

  1. Personal
  2. Home and Garden
  3. Hair and Beauty
  4. Educational
  5. Real Estate

And the bottom five are:

  1. Health and Medical
  2. Moving, Storage and Delivery
  3. Building and Construction Services
  4. Wholesale and Distribution
  5. Chemicals

It's interesting to note that none of these top five is among the top five in terms of buyer popularity (in fact one of them is in the bottom five), but two of these bottom five listings are among the top five in buyer popularity.

It's also interesting that the bottom three are exactly the same as the top three in terms of total revenue. It seems the more you make, the less you get to keep!

Print Print   Email Email  

Related BizQuest Articles

Recent Buying a Business Articles | View All