The question is less of “How can I attract interest?” and more, “How can I attract the right interest?”. Let’s talk about how you can target the best buyers for your specific business opportunity.
1. Identify Your Potential Buyer Pool
Most interested parties can be broken down into one of two groups: strategic and financial business buyers. The first is usually an external group, a competitor or synergistic buyer, who wants to acquire your business to expand their current operations. The second type of buyer is looking to acquire your company for its profitability. This is typically an individual or a partner group with no other affiliations. Research the advantages and disadvantages of each buyer profile, so you can best target your ideal new owner.
2. Fine-Tune Your Online Presence
Nearly all prospective buyers begin their search online, which is why there are dozens of websites available to list your business for sale. You’ll be competing against other small business owners for your ideal customers’ interests, so you’ll want to stand out. We recommend partnering with a business broker who can get your organization listed and optimized on all the prominent business search engines. IBA hosts the largest proprietary database on its website, so if you’re looking to maximize the number of interested buyers and make a great first impression, working with us is a must!
3. Sell Your Story
Buying a business is a large investment, not just financially but emotionally and mentally too. The right buyers want to connect with the opportunity before they commit. So, make sure your marketing materials communicate the selling points unique to your business. When meeting with prospective new owners, don’t be afraid to elicit an emotional connection with this person, especially from an individual or partner group. You’ve put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into your business. Leave it in good hands with someone who truly cares!
4. Don’t Hide Weaknesses or Threats
Most business owners don’t intend to be deceitful in their proposition. The problem is that many have an unrealistic idea of what their business is worth, and either doesn’t acknowledge or downplay very real flaws. The first thing we recommend is to receive a professional valuation, so you can set a fair asking price that your customer base would be willing to pay. Secondly, you should prepare before meeting with potential customers, so you’re not blind-sided by their questions. They will notice and ask about your business’s weaknesses and threats, whether in your financial statements, infrastructure, etc. So, do not try to hide them. Rather, try to think outside the box. Is there a way you could have overcome any of these issues if you had more money? More staff? More time? The right buyer could be willing to look past certain things if offered an attractive solution.
Interested buyers are out there, but as we mentioned before, it’s more about finding the ideal person for your situation. Indiana Business Advisors can help you identify the best successor for your business! Start your search for the right buyer and contact us today. 317-573-2100
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Edwin Mysogland, CVA, CEPA, CMEA
Managing Partner, Indiana Business Advisors