If you’re reading this, it’s likely your New Year’s resolution to either exit your business in 2021 or move closer to that final stage. Finding potential buyers is an important step in this process, but it’s also one that many business owners are overwhelmed by (especially since COVID-19 began). But, don’t assume the buyer pool is limited; many aspiring entrepreneurs are gravitating towards existing businesses for sale because of the stability they provide. Plus, interest rates are historically low – in late 2020, the benchmark was between 0-0.25%! With the right preparation and marketing materials in place, you’re sure to find a suitable match. Keep reading to learn how to attract buyers for your business.
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 to your specific business opportunity.
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.
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’ interest, 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. Sunbelt 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!
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 in your business. Leave it in good hands with someone who truly cares!
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 downplays 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. Sunbelt Business Brokers can help you identify the best successor for your business! Start your search for the right buyer by first contacting the right broker. Locate a Sunbelt office near you!