If you have decided to sell your business and you’re itching to find that perfect buyer, this article is for you. You don’t want just any buyer for your business; you want a buyer who is ready to pay you what your company is worth.
Prior to listing your business for sale, you need to take care of certain things in order to attract the right kind of buyers. Metrics like profitability, revenue growth, positive cash flow, a diverse customer base and more are great indicators of how well a business is performing. If your business is not doing well in any of those metrics, it can be difficult to attract higher-end buyers. Thus, you need to ensure that your business is in great shape before seeking out buyers.
Here are a few steps to help you find the right buyer for your business:
1. Know The Type Of Buyer You Want
There are two types of business buyers: financial and strategic buyers.
Financial buyers are drawn to a business for the perceived returns, and their goals are often to buy low and sell high. These types of buyers are more likely to retain the existing staff including the business owner after the sale and tend to buy below the market price.
Strategic buyers, on the other hand, are more interested in buying companies that fit into their overall business plans. In most cases, strategic buyers are industry leaders and are looking to expand or consolidate their market positions. They are more likely to restructure the business and its leadership after the sale to fit into their strategic plans. These types of buyers have huge resources to play with and tend to buy at above market price. They like companies that have positive cash flow and recurring revenues, with a high potential to scale and grow.
2. Highlight Your Competitive Advantage
Most entrepreneurs are good at telling their brands’ stories, but presenting these stories correctly to investors or buyers can prove difficult. If you really want to sell your business for maximum value, it’s important that you highlight your company’s strengths and present them in a way that resonates with each individual buyer. What makes your business unique and different from your competition? What is it about your business that creates raving fans and repeat customers?
Strategic buyers, for example, might be interested in your output capacity, while financial buyers are generally interested in the value of business assets. So it’s important that you tailor your presentation and highlight those strengths that make the most sense to the person you’re talking to.
3. Determine The Appropriate Valuation For Your Company
During negotiation, prospective buyers will likely ask how you arrived at your selling price and whether your assets are professionally appraised.
To determine the true value of your business, you may need to work with a valuation firm or professional business broker like Raincatcher who will ensure the accuracy of the valuation. A professional valuation will help remove any doubt that buyers may have about the value of your business and lend credibility to your asking price.
Valuation experts often employ a method known as EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) to determine the true worth of a business. In case you’re not satisfied with the figure your valuator arrives at, you should discuss it or seek a second opinion.
Keep in mind that valuation metrics vary from industry to industry and from business to business, and the valuation results may fluctuate depending on market conditions, trending sales of comparable businesses, and more. The metrics your valuator will use are likely to be the standard in your industry, but if you’re not happy with the results, you may try a different approach to see if there’s a discrepancy. Also, note that prospective buyers may conduct their own valuation before finalizing the deal.
4. Approach Marketing With Care
Selling your business without the help of a business broker can be a challenge. You can’t market your business by yourself without getting the word out, but informing your employees or customers about your exit plan can hurt your bottom line. Thus, you should conduct marketing your business for sale with the utmost care and confidentiality, taking into account that any information you put out there may be seen by your competitors and other unintended audiences. Marketing your company by yourself also means that you risk giving away critical information to your competitors who may use it to gain a competitive edge.
There is also the possibility that the news of the sale will not sit well with some of your key employees, especially if they heard about it from a third party. This can prompt a mass exit of employees which could negatively impact your company’s valuation and your ability to sell the business. To prevent that from happening, you should enlist the help of a business broker who will take care of marketing and maintain the confidentiality of the transaction.
5. Advertise On Relevant Business Sites
Every industry has some form of online forums, business portals, trade magazines and other platforms where sellers can place ads and reach entrepreneurs looking to buy or invest.
Keep in mind that using sources like these does not guarantee quick results, and you may have to wait a bit for the campaign to materialize. The good part is that advertising on industry trade websites allow you to reach a wide range of potential buyers that you may not otherwise find.
6. Work With A Professional Business Broker
Working with a brokerage firm is the best way to go if sales is not your thing. A professional business broker can help you with everything from business analysis, valuation, financing, contract negotiation and marketing. In addition, a business broker can help ensure the confidentiality of the selling process, making sure that word does not get out before the sale. This will protect your business from competitors who might use the information about the sale to gain competitive advantage, steal your employees or hurt your business.
If you’re looking to sell your business for the highest value possible, Raincatcher, a leading brokerage firm in the US, can help you get started. With a vast network of partners, financiers, and industry experts, we can help you find that perfect buyer, ensuring that you earn enough profits to fund your next endeavor. Contact us today for free valuations and other perks.