Now that you’ve built (or managed) a successful, stable, and profitable business, you might be thinking about selling your company so you can simply enjoy your best retirement life.
If this is the case, you will soon learn that finding a buyer for your business might be the most nerve-racking endeavor you will ever pursue as a business owner.
Finding a willing buyer is not difficult. In fact, you might find yourself juggling various offers within days of putting your company up for sale. The real challenge is finding a buyer that’s willing to offer a good deal for the business you painstakingly built after all these years.
To get a reasonable and fair offer for your company, you actually have to put in the work. It will never be as easy as putting a house or a car up for sale, but there are some strategies you can explore to at least streamline the process for you. Here’s how you can find the perfect buyer.
- Plant seeds early
Ideally, you started your business or took over one with an exit strategy already in mind. The moment you’re sure your end goal is to get acquired, every decision you make for the business should keep potential buyers’ interests in mind.
If selling is something you decided upon along the way, it shouldn’t be too late to make adjustments to make your company more marketable. Know what acquirers are looking for in a company, and make sure your business checks all the boxes. Casting your net early on — even years before you actually plan to sell — is a good idea, too.
Letting potential buyers know that you’re planning to sell keeps you on their radar while giving them enough time to consider making an offer by the time you’re ready to hear it.
- Prepare a good pitch
You never know when you might encounter a potential buyer, so always have a good elevator pitch ready. While a pre-planned pitch meeting is always ideal, some prospects will simply show up when you’re not even looking, so it’s best that you’re always ready to get in sales mode.
When drafting your pitch, make sure you capture the ‘story’ of your company and what makes it stand out. They will have all the time in the world, later on, to look at your books and other achievements, once they’re already interested.
For the initial pitch, though, all you need to do is sell the idea of your business to persuade them to take a meeting with you another time.
- Have your documents ready
As mentioned earlier, it’s not actually difficult to find interested buyers. Once word gets out that a stable and profitable business is up for grabs, requests for meetings and access to your books might start rolling in sooner than you’d expect.
That reason alone is why you need to have relevant documents like financial statements, investors’ general information, and confidentiality agreements prepared and ready to ship out before you even start announcing the sale.
- Find an intermediary
Between reaching out to prospects, taking meetings from interested buyers, and managing the actual business, things can get pretty overwhelming for you. This is where business brokers can help.
With their experience and expertise, they can simplify the process of finding qualified prospects and hammer out a good deal for you. This going to allow you to focus on holding the fort of your business and ensure that it remains stable and profitable before you transfer its ownership.
- Boost your prospects list
Every time you hit a dead-end in your search for a qualified buyer, all you have to do is make your prospects list longer. Boost your efforts both in traditional and digital marketing, and give your broker the green light to cast a wider net and hopefully bring you a substantial ROI.
In the meantime, do everything within your power to improve on the business to increase its marketability. Hitting more goals and achieving more milestones will inevitably put you in a better position to get picked up by acquirers.
Selling your business can be an easy or difficult feat but it all depends on how you set up your process. There are initial steps and measures you can take to ensure a smooth process. From hiring a business broker to having your important documents ready, the effort your put in on the front-end will better set you up to reap the benefits on the back-end.