selling a business

Selling a Business and Attracting Buyers: 5 Essential Tips

Starting a company can be a very rewarding experience. However, running a company can be time-consuming and emotionally challenging. For many understandable reasons, you may one day decide that you’d prefer to sell your company instead of continuing to run it yourself.

That said, because building a company requires making a significant financial and emotional investment, you may understandably wish to ensure the party to whom you sell your business or organization will manage it responsibly.

In other words, you want to not only attract a buyer, but also attract a buyer who will run your company properly. The following tips will help you achieve this goal.

Grow First 

This is a simple point, but a very important one. Essentially, you need to first ensure your business is attractive to potential buyers before you can sell it. Thus, your main focus in the early years of starting your company should be growth. Once you’ve achieved a reasonable level of growth, you can then begin to consider selling your company.

Coordinate With Investment Bankers 

Investment bankers often can facilitate access to many potential buyers. Strongly consider enlisting the help of one when you begin planning to sell your business. Doing so can save you a lot of time and effort.

Adjust Your Presentation 

You likely already understand that it’s important to focus on a company’s strengths when presenting it to those who may be interested in buying it. That said, you need to consider how the strengths and qualities that may appeal to one potential buyer might not necessarily apply or appeal to others. Thus, to optimize your chances of convincing someone to buy your company, it may be wise to modify your presentation to each individual buyer.

Yes, this takes more time than simply delivering the same presentation to each and every potential buyer, but in the long run, it’s worthwhile.

Acknowledge Weaknesses (When Necessary) 

Obviously, you do not want to emphasize your company’s weaknesses when presenting to potential buyers. However, you also need to remember that those who might be considering buying your business are not unintelligent.

That means they know no company is perfect. Instead of pretending yours is, which is unrealistic, you can instead make a better impression on buyers if you acknowledge your weaknesses while also explaining how they can be addressed.

While it may not always be wise to bring up said weaknesses yourself, if the topic arises naturally, you should discuss it honestly rather than attempting to “trick” someone into buying a company that has weaknesses (which, again, every company has) they deserve to know about. Additionally, being honest in your discussions will improve your reputation in general, making it easier to find buyers for other companies you may start in the future.

Define Your Seller Objectives 

Sometimes, people make the mistake of assuming a company owner’s sole objective when selling their organization should be to find a buyer who will purchase their company for the highest possible price. Although making as large a profit as possible can be among your top goals, it’s important to remember that you also want to find a buyer who will treat your company with the respect it deserves.

Doing so may be easier than you realize. You merely need to define your target buyer the same way you would have defined your target customer when first starting a business. This will help you narrow down your options.

Just remember to take your time with this decision. Finding the right buyer may not be something that happens overnight. However, if you’re persistent, you can find a worthy buyer who will help your company realize its full potential.