If you've spent years — maybe even a lifetime — building a small business and are starting to think about retiring or cashing out, now may be a good time to sell.
The median asking price of businesses for sale grew 12.5 percent in 2015 to $225,000, up from $200,000 in 2014, according to BizBuySell.com, an online marketplace with more than 40,000 business listings for sale. The entities are selling on average for about two to three times their annual cash flow and at 90 percent of the asking price, according to the website.
"A lot of higher-quality businesses are hitting the market as sellers are seeing the success of others in the marketplace," said Bob House, general manager of BizBuySell.com and BizQuest.com, which together have about 76,000 businesses listed for sale.
Ideally, owners should begin getting their businesses ready to sell at least a couple of years before they hope to close a deal, House said, to slowly wean themselves from the day-to-day responsibilities and getting it in tip-top financial shape.