AdviCoach Terry Powell on How to Market Your Business for a Stress-Free Sale

AdviCoach Terry Powell on How to Market Your Business for a Stress-Free Sale

Moving forward in the selling process of your small business is a big step to take, but now continues to be a great time to look into selling if have ended your ownership journey. The number of small business deals that closed in 2013 increased by 41.7 percent with the median sale price up 2.9 percent, according to CNBC. This strong, small business selling climate seems likely to stay throughout the end of 2014—which is worthy news for entrepreneurs looking to cash out of their businesses.

“What business owners need to do is, what we call, franchisitize their business,” said AdviCoach founder Terry Powell. “This doesn’t mean that you prepare your business to become a franchise, it means that your business is run so well by systems and processes that anyone, with simple instruction, would be able to run the business with the same success.”

Not sure where to start? Well, if you’re looking to sell and effectively market your business opportunity, here are some steps to follow to make sure that it is as seamless of a process as can be.

Get your books in good shape
No, financials are never fun to deal with, but having a good record of your business’ finances can make or break a deal in your future. Even if you plan to wait another year or two to sell your small business, you should start getting your financial records in shape sooner rather than later. Keeping sloppy books can scare away buyers because they don’t easily show potential buyers evidence of profit or growth. Mitch Davidson, managing director of Post Capital Partners, a New York City private equity firm, suggests getting your hands on audited financials of your business from the past few years to help give prospective buyers confidence when looking at your business’ potential for growth and profits. Business owners should proactively create systems that will allow the business to survive and thrive without day-to-day dependence on the owner. This will also help drive the highest possible value for the business when business owners market their business for sale.

Identify your “dream” buyer
Before you market your opportunity to anyone, it’s important to take a step back and create a profile of your ideal candidate. Who are you looking to market your efforts to? How old are they? Where are they located? What are their needs? Once you identify who the best or most likely buyer is along with their demographic traits and habits, you will be better off in terms of marketing because you can modify your message specifically to them, drawing them in more effectively.

Tailor your message
Now that you’ve identified your ideal buyer and their characteristics, you can tailor your message to appeal specifically to these individuals and the platforms they commonly use. points out a very clear example of how to tailor a marketing message for a specific demographic. Say that your target audience is “buyers interested only in business offerings in a specific location.” These individuals oftentimes use local brokers when looking for opportunities, so entrepreneurs selling their business should try reaching out to local brokers in communities to tell them about your opportunity. Similarly, this same demographic tends to read local, classified ads and are commonly searching on online classified listing websites. Because of this unique consumption habit, this can also be considered an ideal network to tap. This is just one example of how to tailor your business to your ideal buyers, and the possibilities may change depending on your buyer characteristics.

Use Discretion
Finding buyers and marketing the business opportunity can be a tricky matter. On one side, you want to get the opportunity out to as many individuals as possible to try and close the best deal. But on the other side, you don’t want to tip off customers, competitors, suppliers, creditors or employees that you’re looking to sell for legal and competitive reasons. Instead, selling your business should be a time when you use great “discretion and confidentiality,” Inc. suggests.

For more information about selling your business, consult with an AdviCoach business coach today.



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