Selling a business | 4 min read
No two businesses are the same. The services, people, unique selling points (USP) are all distinctive, and the same can be said for business buyers. Understanding what they’re looking for from the outset, can help you make your business an attractive option for the right buyer.
Here are some important things to think about:
- What business achievements can you showcase?
- How can your business help them reach their life goals?
- Is your business going to offer them security? If so, how?
- Is there potential for growth?
Let’s go deeper…
Showcasing your business’s achievements
One of the reasons buyers consider investing in an established business is to reduce risk. It costs a lot of time and cash to set up a business (as you know). Walking into an existing one means that your buyer will likely find:
- stock on hand that can be valued
- trained existing staff
- a customer base
- strong supplier relationships
- financial records to assess
- potentially a fully fitted-out premise.
These elements all provide greater peace of mind to help convince a buyer your business is the right fit for them. So draft up a timeline, detail some big wins and share a case study to showcase all you’ve done.
Uncover your buyer’s motivation
We all have dreams and hope to find a career that will help us achieve them. Putting yourself in your buyers’ shoes, can help you understand their motivations so you can tailor your sales pitch to grab their attention.
There are several reasons people want to run their own business.
Buyers might want more flexibility with hours, a change of pace or the chance to try something new. They might be after a complete sea/tree change and your business could be the final piece of the puzzle.
Financial security – building a legacy
This is often a core motivator for business buyers. For many, financial security or having a legacy to pass down to their children is a priority. Demonstrating a strong balance sheet is a great way to get these buyers across the line.
Who doesn’t want to do something they love? One of the greatest motivators for buyers is pursuing a passion. Talk about what you love about your business and how it brings you joy. Channel your passion for the work into theirs and you’ll be onto a winner.
Be their own boss
There’s great freedom in running the show – don’t forget to share how your business provides flexibility to you as the owner. Tell them what you love the most about being the boss.
Does your business offer financial security?
While there are many reasons people choose to buy a business, making a good investment will be top of mind. Being open and upfront with your financial history will go a long way to reassuring a buyer that your business is a sure bet. Make sure you include the below in your sales pitch:
Return on investment (ROI)
Can they recoup their investment quickly? What kind of ROI can they expect over the first few years?
Demonstrate how your business has the potential for development so the new buyer can increase margins, efficiency and overall income.
Get those spreadsheets out detailing debt level, salaries (including yours), current lease details, overhead costs etc. A lower level of debt and overheads means the new owner will have more to invest in the business – a big selling point.
Strong brand presence
Having a business that already has a strong online presence, positive PR and reviews is something potential buyers value.
A business is only as good as its team. Talk about the team culture, staff turnover rate and how reliant the team is on the owner to thrive/survive. Showcase staff who know the business well to bolster your buyer.
The strength of your customer base is an important consideration for any new buyer. Not having to invest too much time building customers will leave them free to focus on other aspects of the business.
Let them dream big
No one wants to buy a business that’s going to stagnate. Make sure you highlight the potential for your business to grow. Share the dreams you had for the business, so they feel they’re purchasing a thriving business that has a bright future:
Make their mark and grow
Show potential buyers ways to personalise things, from a brand refresh to new systems and processes – let them see how they can make the business theirs.
Give them a sense of where they could develop the business to help them picture its potential. Is there opportunity for customer growth? Has the digital space been underutilised? Are there product lines they could add? Get them on board for the future to help seal the deal.
Dream big… what would you have done?
If you had more time, money and capacity what would have done to grow the business? Share these with your buyer so they can invest in the next chapter of the business with a game plan already mapped out for them.
Remember to put the buyer first and you’ll be on your way to sold.
Talk to SEEK Business today to learn more about what buyers want.