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This article is one of a series that offers insight and guidance into the process of buying, selling or valuing a business. Whether you want to buy, sell, or appraise the valuation of a going-concern business, these articles provide specific guidance and references to help you accomplish your goal.

Newspaper Column for Sale : Let the Buyer Beware

(with permission from Hesh Reinfeld's syndicated newspaper column on Business Humor)

Have you been downsized one time too many? Do you dream of a job where you can control your life? Have you been looking at purchasing an existing business or franchise?

Imagine owning a business that you can do from home; a business with a regular cash flow; a business where you can really tell people what’s on your mind; a business where you can take advantage of your keen sense of humor.

Have you ever read this column and thought I could do that and I could do it even better. I could be a syndicated business humor columnist if only given the chance.

 Well today you have that opportunity of a lifetime. My column legally incorporated in the state of Delaware as: Hesh Reinfeld’s syndicated business humor column, Inc, is for sale.

Sounds insane? Take a minute to consider: I operate my business entirely via the internet. None of the newspapers I write for have ever met me face to face. As the new owner, all you have to do is continue using my name and photo, which are included in the sales price. My customers won’t know I’ve left because we’re not going to tell them. Are you worried that you’re misrepresenting yourself and the code of ethics of journalism by using my name and photo? Stop worrying. Remember this is a humor column. Your readers expect laughter not ethics. If you can keep your readers smiling they don’t care about anything else.

Let’s assume I have convinced you that this is a business worth buying. Obviously the next question is: how much is it worth? I’ve hired an independent business valuation expert. He has conducted an in-depth study of my business and projects 22% per annum future revenue growth. My current readers are very loyal and new opportunities abound via the web, pod casting, and satellite radio.

Included in the purchase price is an inventory of columns that have never been published. You can use these columns as you work on your own style and delivery. And I am willing to consider signing a formal contract to ghost write the column for the next three to five years. And don’t discount the intangibles. Imagine telling your friends that you are a syndicated journalist. Now that’s real status and it sounds a lot classier then owning a pizza franchise.

Against my better judgment my forensic accountant has advised me to include the following due diligence comments as part of my prospectus:

  • Receivables: Newspapers don’t pay on time (except this one).
  • Ancillary business opportunities: Public speaking is out.
  • Difficulty in replication: Most of the content for the columns written by Hesh Reinfeld comes from working in a neurotic family business for 25 years. If a potential buyer/writer has had a normal business career perhaps he\she should consider offering a significant lower multiple of the EBITDA (Earnings before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization).

Ps. Brokers’ inquiries encouraged and please note this is a cash only deal.

About the Author

Hesh Reinfeld is a syndicated Humor Columnist with his writing appearing in such publications as the Central New York Business Journal, the Las Vegas Business Press, the New Hampshire Business Review and Worthwhile Magazine. Hesh also writes marketing profiles for financial advisors and other business consultants. Learn more about what Hesh does at his website or contact him by email.

If you're considering buying, selling, or determining the value of a business, please take a look at some of the excellent books, reports, and software we have here at to help you achieve success. For example:

The Business Reference and Pricing Guide is the bible of the business brokerage world. If you're a shrewd business buyer or seller, you will want this book to learn what just what the business broker knows. It will pay you big dividends throughout every aspect of the purchase and sale process. Learn more about it...

BizPricer™ Business Valuation Software is an accurate and inexpensive resource for prospective business buyers and sellers (and business brokers) who want to know the fair market value of a business. No financial expertise or specialized knowledge is needed. Save hundreds to thousands of dollars over hiring an appraiser to provide you with a similar result. Learn more about it...

Preparing A Business for Sale provides business owners with an understanding of the process they need to know to sell their business for the most money. Contains hundreds of little known tips, ideas and strategies to maximize the selling price of a business. Learn more about it...

Strategies for Successfully Buying or Selling a Business is our bestselling book. It has been recommended by Kiplingers Personal Finance Magazine, the BottomLine Personal Newsletter, and has been awarded the Best Business Book of the Year Award from the North American Bookdealers Exchange (NABE). Learn more about it...

Anatomy of a Business Purchase Offer provides you with all of the practical hands-on knowledge you need to make a successful purchase offer to buy a business. The author uses an actual Purchase Offer form to show you exactly what needs to be written and why! He details all of his recommendations in a line-by-line format for each and every aspect of the purchase offer. Learn more about it...

The Business Buyer's How-to Kit: We've assembled a specially-priced Kit with all of the key information you'll need to know to successfully buy a business.

The Business Seller's How-to Kit: We've assembled a specially-priced Kit with all of the key information you'll need to know to successfully sell a business.

BBP Resources

Business Valuation Software
BizPricer software to easily, quickly, accurately, privately and inexpensively value a business.

Business Valuation Rules of Thumb
Most complete source of business purchase and sale information available. Hundreds of valuation rules of thumb.

Buy/Sell Business Process
Strategies, tips, due diligence process and insider secrets for buying or selling a business.

How to Make a Purchase Offer
Detailed process including interactive form on CD for making a successful business purchase offer.

The Resource Guide for Business Brokers
Extensive information about the business brokerage field. Includes 45 different forms on CD.

Preparing a Business for Sale
This book provides 100's of strategies and tips to increase the selling price of a business.

Business Broker Professional Starter Kit
Get started in the lucrative field of business brokerage.

Business Buyer's Kit
Everything you need to successfully buy a business. Hard copy or download.

Business Seller's Kit
Everything you need to successfully sell a business. Hard copy or download.

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