As a business owner, you’re likely well aware of how to effectively market your business. And, if and when you decide it’s time to sell your business, you likely already have an idea about how you can market it in order to find the perfect buyer.
But it’s important to realize that “marketing” your business involves improving its saleability as much as it involves letting people know it’s for sale. So there’s actually a lot you can – and should – do when preparing to sell your business that counts as marketing, but likely falls outside the list of ideas you’re already thinking about.
Here are six effective and essential “non-marketing” tips that can help you to effectively market your business for sale
1. Give yourself plenty of time
The average business sale takes 12-18 months. Don’t get caught in an emergency sales situation if you can help it. Instead, pick a sell-by date proactively by determining when the best time is strategically from a personal and professional perspective, then start handling your preparatory work up to 24 months prior to that date to ensure you’re in the best position to demand top dollar and complete a stress-free transaction.
2. Stay diligent
As a business owner, you already realize there’s no room for slowing down or settling if you want your business to succeed. Understandably, a business that’s slowing down isn’t going to attract a prospective buyer. So it’s important to plan to keep running the business diligently and even working toward growth in preparation for – and right up to the day of – the sale
3. Focus on recordkeeping
While many business owners view recordkeeping as a necessary evil to be completed as quickly and painlessly as possible. However, from the perspective of a prospective buyer, access to clean, accurate business and financial records form the foundation of a buying decision. They need to be able to see in black-and-white whether or not the company is financially healthy and viable or if the records tell another story. Don’t tell an incomplete or inaccurate story by neglecting effective recordkeeping
4. Keep up Appearances
Similar to the concept of “curbside appeal” in real estate, the appearance and condition of any physical premises connected to your business can have a significant impact on both the attractiveness and perceived value of the company itself. While this is especially important for customer-facing locations like a restaurant or storefront, it’s also important for locations that only the prospective owner and employees will see
5. Manage online reviews
The overwhelming majority of business decisions these days begin with an online search. This is true of customers searching for solutions to their problems, as well as potential buyers researching businesses for sale. For that reason, online reviews have become incredibly important. They show up routinely in search results and many people actively seek them out when determining a company’s reputation.
While it’s not possible to completely eliminate negative reviews, you can actively encourage satisfied customers to leave positive reviews. And, you can focus on resolving complaints as quickly and painlessly as possible to lessen the volume of negative reviews
6. Offer a transition period
This idea’s effectiveness will depend on the personality and circumstances of the buyer, but in many cases a prospective buyer will appreciate and value the opportunity to ease into running the business with practical help and advice from the existing owner. In addition, it offers you as the current owner an opportunity to ease out of daily business activity while ensuring you’re leaving your “baby” in good hands.
Following these steps, you’ll be in a position to effectively market your business through both traditional and more creative means, confident that the business is able to sell itself.Business & Finance Articles on Business 2 Community