There are many reasons why business owners choose to sell their businesses, be it funding retirement, ill health, or simply wanting to cash in on all their hard work and move on with the next stage of their lives.
Whatever your motivation is, if you are considering selling your business, the next and most important step will be finding a suitable buyer that meets your criteria and can offer you a fair price.
Failing to advertise your business opportunity or use a professional business broker could result in you getting a poor price or failing to find a buyer at all.
In our latest blog post, we guide you through the essential steps to take before looking for buyers and where to find them.
Ask Yourself – Is My Business Attractive to Buyers?
Before you open your business up to offers, ask yourself – is it attractive to buyers?
Poor accounting and record keeping, loose contracts, poor financials, and strong competition can all devalue your business through the eyes of the buyer.
Whilst there are some elements you will have little control over, there are changes you can implement to maximise the value of your business before selling it.
Arrange a Valuation
Having a business valuation by a professional is a critical stage of selling your business. Doing so ensures that you know what your business is worth and will set the tone for all negotiations going forward.
Failure to have a business valuation usually only negatively impacts the seller, who may take a lower price than their business is actually worth. Furthermore, having an accurate valuation can allow you to sell far quicker than without one.
A professional business broker can carry out a full valuation of your company, taking into account factors such as growth, revenue, profit, assets, your industry and much more.
Engage with Business Networks
Word of mouth is a powerful and affordable method of marketing your business for sale. By utilising local business networking groups, the types of people that hear about your opportunity are more likely to be potential buyers.
In the past, we have had great success with advertising businesses for sale through networking groups, saving the buyer thousands in potential online advertising costs.
Leverage Social Media
Social media is becoming more and more prominent as a medium for buying and selling professional services, offering selling features, groups for like minded individuals and low cost advertising.
By sharing your opportunity on social media, it may be liked and shared by other professionals which will mean it also appears to their networks. Furthermore, most platforms offer specific groups for the buying and selling of businesses.
However, be wary that not all platforms are suitable for trying to sell your business. If you are considering using social media, we would recommend professional B2B platforms such as LinkedIn rather than channels such as Instagram.
Additionally, as a result of the informality of these platforms, sellers should be wary that there is a higher likelihood of being approached by buyers who are not serious or are looking to pay far below the asking price.
Consider Online Business Marketplaces
Online business marketplaces are a fairly new medium that enables buyers and sellers of businesses to list their offering on a marketplace style website.
As well as a place to attract buyers, these platforms can offer a way to get a gauge of how many businesses in your area and sector are currently listed for sale, as well as how much they are going for.
These marketplaces often have thousands of listing on them, which can make it challenging to stand out without paying the platform for a higher listing.
Much like social media, these platforms can often attract offers from less serious buyers who are trying to get a deal far below what your business is worth.
Keep Your Options Open
When buyers begin to respond to your advertisements, it’s important to keep your options open and engage with other buyers whilst negotiations are ongoing.
By committing to one buyer and ceasing your advertising, you are putting yourself at risk of having to start all over again if negotiations break down or the buyer backs out.
Additionally, by engaging with multiple buyers that meet the spec, you may be able to leverage a better deal from the successful buyer.
Use a Business Broker
Whilst there are a myriad of platforms can be used to advertise your business for sale, by far the most effective strategt in most cases will be using a dedicated business broker.
As well as valuing your business accurately, a business broker will understand your organisation and sector inside and out to ensure that they only approach buyers that are likely to convert.
Once a suitable buyer has been found, a business broker can handle all negotiations on your behalf to ensure you get the best price and will be able to follow the legal process to make the sale official.
Find a Buyer for Your Business Today
If you are looking to sell your business, having an experienced broker on your side will greatly increase the chances of getting the price you want within your ideal timeframe.
Take a look at our case studies to find out how we’ve helped real business owners like you find the perfect buyer for their company.
To find out more about how we can help you, give us a call today on 0117 379 0117 or fill out a contact form and we will get back to you.