Get Started: Smallest businesses are the hottest sellers

Markets Associated Press

WANTED: SMALLER BUSINESSES

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The smallest U.S. businesses, those with price tags under $500,000, sold at a faster clip than larger ones during the second quarter, according to a survey released by two trade groups, the International Business Brokers Association and M&A Source.

The survey, conducted along with researchers at Pepperdine University's Graziadio School of Business and Management, gave a snapshot of the market for small and mid-sized companies. It found that 57 percent of the deals that closed in the second quarter were priced under $500,000. That was up from 50 percent a year earlier.

Some of the study's other findings:

— Retirement was the No. 1 reason why small and mid-sized businesses went on the block. Other frequently cited reasons were owners feeling burned out or getting new opportunities they wanted to pursue instead of running their companies.

— Restaurants were the top sellers among companies priced under $500,000, and business service companies were No. 1 in the $500,000 to $1 million range. Manufacturers were the top sellers among companies priced from $1 million to $50 million.

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The survey questioned 378 brokers whose specialty is facilitating the sales of businesses.

TWITTER OR FACEBOOK OR SOMETHING ELSE?

Businesses that want to market themselves or engage with customers through social media have a number of networks to choose from, but it's not always clear which would be most beneficial to a specific company. SCORE, which offers free counseling for small businesses, is sponsoring an online seminar to help owners decide. It will be held Tuesday, Aug. 30, at 1 p.m. Eastern time. Learn more and register at http://tinyurl.com/glfjzsm

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Follow Joyce Rosenberg at www.twitter.com/JoyceMRosenberg . Her work can be found here: http://bigstory.ap.org/content/joyce-m-rosenberg