So, you’ve weighed the pros and cons and have made the tough decision to sell your business. Now what?
There are a variety of factors to consider and many proverbial ducks you’ve got to put in a row when it comes to listing and selling your company. Still, one of the most important items to tackle is finding the right buyer.
One of the biggest mistakes people make when selling a business is wasting time on the wrong buyers. If someone isn’t pre-qualified for a business loan or doesn’t seem serious about making a purchase, don’t continue investing your time and energy into that prospect. Finding a buyer can be an overwhelming process, but you’re not desperate. In fact, many aspiring business owners and entrepreneurs are actually leaning toward acquiring existing businesses due to their proven stability in an uncertain economy. With the right preparation and a solid marketing strategy, you’re sure to find the best buyer for your business. Read on for a few helpful tips:
Tip #1: Hire a business broker.
Similar to listing a house and hiring a real estate agent, business owners can benefit from entrusting the experts to help sell their business, especially if it’s their first time learning the ropes. Business brokers are trained in the buying and selling of companies, and that includes identifying potential buyers. Experienced brokers have access to a vast network of prospects and can quickly get your listing in front of qualified buyers while you focus on the day-to-day operations of running your company. They can be a wealth of knowledge while walking you step-by-step through the intense sales process and are familiar with the ins and outs of listing and marketing a business while maintaining the utmost confidentiality. Some, but not all, business brokers have expertise in completing business valuations, establishing an asking price, managing offers, overseeing contracts, and executing the closing.
Tip #2: Establish your online presence.
This goes well beyond social media. The majority of prospective buyers start their search online, and there are many listing websites that can help such as BizBuySell.com and BizQuest.com. Much like how Facebook Marketplace can be used for buying and selling clothing and home goods, these online marketplaces for the buying and selling of businesses allow you to create an ad (sometimes for a small monthly fee), where buyers can then find your company by browsing the site or filtering it down by location, industry, price, etc. The one downside is that you’ll be competing against other business owners, so you’ll want to stand out and make a good impression, which is also where a business broker can assist when it comes to getting your listing optimized on the best search engines. A good broker can also help field questions, set up meetings, and ensure potential buyers are qualified.
Tip #3: Market like you mean it.
Sell your story, and help prospective owners truly connect with the thought of taking over your business. Ensure that your marketing materials communicate the unique selling points of your company, and don’t hesitate to elicit an emotional response by conveying the tremendous amount of hard work you’ve dedicated over the years.
Tip #4: Consider an employee or family member.
No one knows your company better than an employee, business partner, or another person closest to you. Consider a close family member or a few of your most loyal employees and see if they would be a good fit to take over the company reins. Selling to someone who is already invested in the success of the business is a great way to ensure its continued prosperity after you exit.
Ensure you leave your business in the right hands — contact the Jacksonville Business Broker today to learn more and receive a free and confidential business valuation.