What Is the Best Way to Market Your Business for Sale?

You’ve spent years perfecting a successful marketing plan to attract potential customers and retain your existing customers. This blog post details what to do now that you are ready to turn around and sell your business but happen to find yourself in unfamiliar territory.

How do you discreetly target potential buyers while keeping the upcoming sale of your business quiet until you’re ready to share the news publicly? A shiny “business for sale” sign in the window is likely to attract the wrong kind of attention. As a business owner, what is the best place to advertise a business for sale?

It is relatively easy if you have an employee, family member, or business associate in mind to take over your company. But if you’re looking to market your business for sale to the best possible buyer out there, you need to know where to start.

Identify your target buyer

Figuring out where to focus your business advertising efforts starts with establishing a potential buyer profile. Knowing who you are selling to will help you identify the best places to advertise your business and reach your target audience.

For example, a potential buyer who is considering a range of business offerings in your market area or geographic location would likely use an online business listing site to find a variety of listings, including yours. But if your buyer requires specific credentials or industry certification in order to acquire your business, there’s a better chance they’ll find you among sector-specific advertisements, or with the help of a business broker.

Are you looking to sell to someone who:

  • Lives in or would be interested in relocating to your region?
  • Currently, operates a business in your industry and may be interested in expanding into your region?
  • Is an investor with interest in your industry or physical location?
  • Has the required credentials and/or is certified to acquire your business?
  • Is a competitor who may be interested in acquiring your business?
  • Is a supplier or someone else in the industry with the relevant knowledge to own your business?

Regardless of how you decide to advertise your business for sale, you will want to craft your message for your ideal audience.

Selling your business on your own vs. using a business broker

It might seem intuitive that leveraging the world wide web to find a buyer for your business is the way to go. The wider the net to promote your business the better the yield, right?

In reality, however, selling a business is not as easy as selling a lawnmower using an online marketplace site. While your online business listing may generate plenty of interest, it will require considerable effort on your part to cut through the noise and find who the genuine qualified buyers for your business are.

When considering whether you should sell your business with or without a business broker, consider the following:

  • How much time and energy can you devote to interviewing potential buyers and negotiating sales terms?
  • Are you capable of producing the digital marketing and or email marketing materials required to promote your business?
  • Are you willing to assume responsibility for ensuring all legal and financial obligations of the sale are met?
  • Have you properly valued your business and come up with an appropriate list price?

In short, there’s much more to selling a business than simply getting clicks on your online listing. Before choosing to sell your business on your own, you will want to consider the additional marketing efforts and risks involved. You may end up wasting precious time evaluating unqualified buyers, selling your business for less than fair value, or not selling your business at all.

A business broker provides expert advice at every step of the process for buyers and sellers — from a professional Broker Opinion of Market Value for your business to finding qualified, motivated buyers for a quick and stress-free sale.

Looking for advice on the best place to advertise a business for sale in Calgary or Edmonton? Contact one of our professional business brokers to learn more.

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