Who will become your right buyer?
1 Have a clear idea of who will likely be interested in your business.
You can’t sell a beef burger to a vegetarian, and you can’t sell your business to someone who has absolutely no interest in buying. Figure out what type of person is most likely to be interested, and then think about the best place and method of reaching your target.
• Does your business appeal to anyone looking to buy a business or will you be more likely to sell to someone looking specifically for your type of business?
• Can anyone with enough money come in and run your business or does the buyer require special licenses, credentials or qualifications?
• Is your business more likely to appeal to a sole proprietor, another business or a group of investors?
2 Decide the best method of reaching potential buyers.
If your target buyer is an individual that lives or wants to move to the area where your business is located, and is looking for a business to buy, the best way to reach him is through local ads or a local business broker. Online business-for-sale sites are also a good place to advertise because visitors to these sites are actively looking to buy a business.
To target buyers considering a wide range of businesses in a number of geographic areas are best reached through online business-for-sale sites.
An individual or business interested in buying your specific type of business, but isn’t limiting their search to a specific geographic area is best reached through industry specific ads or industry specific business brokers. As well as online business-for-sale sites. A buyer with the specific certification or credentials needed for your business can be targeted through industry specific ads, industry specific business brokers, business-for-sale websites or through confidential inquires.If you know of a competitor or supplier with a strategic reason for wanting to buy your business, the best approach is through a confidential meeting. You can do this through a business broker experienced in this sort of thing.
3 Use targeted advertising.
When you use a business broker to sell your business, the responsibility of marketing the sale falls on the broker. However, it is a good idea for you to know where potential business buyers are searching so that you can evaluate the marketing plan suggested by your broker. Match the potential buyers you find with one or more of the following criteria to determine the best way to reach your target.
• Buyers only interested in businesses for sale in a specific market area usually use the help of local business brokers. Additionally, they search through local classified ads, and in most cases they search online in specific market areas. Many buyers also ask around for leads – business leaders, attorneys, accountants and bankers often know of businesses for sale before anyone else because owners find this is an excellent and discreet way of getting the word out about selling their business.
• Buyers only interested in businesses in a specific professional arena or industry will most likely search on business-for-sale sites so that they can tailor the search by location, size and type of business. These buyers often look through trade publications and related sites, as well. Many buyers seek leads through social networks, which you can help promote by confidentially leaking the sale of your business to executives in your professional arena or industry.
• Buyers open to a wide range of businesses and in a wide geographic area will search everywhere for opportunities, especially on the Internet on business-for-sale sites.
Ninety percent of potential buyers search through online listings, whether they are working with a business broker, looking for a business in a certain region or a specific business arena or whether they are open to all sorts of opportunities in a wide range of geographic locations.