Where to Buy a Business …

- June 27, 2012 3 MIN READ


Shoe String is about to acquire it’s first business a year after launching, I must admit though, this purchase is really a case of right place right time, or should I say – right tweet right time. Seriously, I happened to be watching my twitter feed whilst eating a meatball subway [yum] and I saw a tweet come up announcing that a publication that had been around since the 1980’s was shutting down – *vulture moment* – google rank check, quick website check, email to introduce myself to the owner, phone call with the owner and in 48 hours I was one of three serious parties that [from that very tweet] were genuinely interested in taking it to the next level and talking dollars.

We will make an announcement soon, once everything is legally and financially finalised, but I have to say – this “Acquisition” process is FUN – I always thought it was an activity reserved for the “big boys” not a startup like me, and in the last few weeks since all of this happened I have noticed a total shift in the way I think about my business and the way I think about myself within my business. Basically I now think of Shoe String Media Group as A MEDIA GROUP which means I need to act like the CEO of a Media Group, and that doesn’t mean starting another title from scratch like we did “Startups” it means looking at what is available in the marketplace to buy, asking ourselves – Does it align with our goals? and Can we make money from this right away? and then going for it.

Since busting out my “Inner Gina” – I have discovered that “Acquisition Therapy” can become quite addictive, however finding out what is for sale is not nearly as accessible as one might think, so I have put together a few of the places where one who is in the market, of seeing what is ON the market may like to go and do some “Business Shopping” literally …


Mergers and Acquisitions Australia

Someone with some decent web design skills should probably give them a call, but in terms of information, these guys have it broken down in terms of location, retail and non retail and the profits and forecasts on the businesses they are showcasing.

Business for Sale

Every industry across Australia, great for putting a business up for sale as well. Great to really get an idea for what is going on out in the marketplace, allowing you to sniff out opportunities.

Business Brokers

I am starting to see these people as real estate agents for business – but much cooler. A quick Google Search will bring up the ones in your local area, some specialise in certain industries, such as hospitality or finance, others are geographically driven such as a suburb. See The Profit Advantage Group or Lloyds Business Brokers for examples. Or go to the Australian Institue of Business Brokers.


This site is from the same team that bought you 99designs and Learnable. It is an auction site for online businesses and websites. Most have the details of revenue made by the sites and some are failed businesses with strong website addresses that a savvy acquisition and turn around would mean a profitable business for the purchaser.

 Seek Commercial

Seek and you shall find literally thousands of Businesses for Sale right across the country. The other really cool thing about this service is they have a full business broker directory for users searching for someone to assist them in purchasing a business.


Again, Local focused and similar to Business for Sale, Yet the set out is much cleaner and site is easier to navigate around, and breaking down exactly what you are looking for is efficient and simple.

The Trading Post

For the Hospitality Industry [especially if you are into food vans at the moment -and let’s be honest who isn’t]  You will find a lot of local retail focused businesses for sale on their site.

But in the end, nothing beats being strategic and buying something that is not for sale, look for closing down sales online, keep an eye out on twitter and see what is happening with the influential figures in your industry. Hell, if someone looks like they might be retiring soon, just open the dialogue and plant the seed. If you don’t ask for it, you usually don’t get it.

Go forth and Buy …