HOT COMMODITIES

The demand for small businesses remains strong, with a record number sold during the second quarter, according to BizBuySell.com, an online marketplace for buying and selling companies.

BizBuySell.com reported 2,534 closed transactions, up 31 percent from a year earlier. So far this year, just over 4,900 sales were reported, compared to a record 3,775 for the first half of 2016.

Sellers are feeling more confident that they’ll get a good price for their companies, while buyers are upbeat about the prospects for their new businesses. The stronger demand has pushed prices for companies higher. BizBuySell.com said the median sales price for small businesses last quarter rose 15 percent to $229,000 from $199,000 a year earlier. Companies’ balance sheets are also stronger, another reason for the higher prices.

SMALL AND DISSATISFIED

The smaller a company is, the more it’s likely to be dissatisfied with its telecom provider. That’s the finding of a J.D. Power survey of businesses released last week.

The survey found that, using a scale of up to 1,000, very small businesses had a satisfaction score of 729 with their telecom service. Small to midsize companies scored 787 and large companies scored 815.

J.D. Power used the following criteria to determine how satisfied business customers are with their telecom service: performance and reliability; cost of service; communications; sales representatives and account executives; billing and customer service.

Whether a company had a dedicated account representative affected their satisfaction regardless of size. Those with their own rep scored 834 in satisfaction compared to 751 for those who had to contact a general customer service line. As might be expected, larger companies were more likely to have their own rep — 61 percent had one, versus 41 percent for small and midsize businesses and 12 percent for the smallest companies.

The survey, which questioned about 3,100 business customers of data and voice service providers in the U.S., was conducted from April to June.

LEARN ABOUT FRANCHISING

People interested in buying franchises and who need more information about the franchise industry can learn more at an online seminar being sponsored by SCORE, the organization that gives free advice to small business owners. It will be held Thursday, July 27, at 1 p.m. Eastern time. You can learn more and register at http://bit.ly/2vo3zFh .

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Follow Joyce Rosenberg at www.twitter.com/JoyceMRosenberg . Her work can be found here: https://apnews.com/search/joyce%20rosenberg

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JOYCE M. ROSENBERG
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.