Matching the right buyer with the right business is a painstaking, time-consuming process. Finding a buyer for your business (for now, assume you’ve completed all the necessary paperwork and physical tasks to show and sell your business) how will prospective buyers find out about the business? And, if they do, how can you be sure the interested party can actually buy it?
Finding Prospective Buyers
Anyone could be a prospect, so how do you identify potential buyers? Generally, buyers are divided into two groups: strategic and financial buyers. Strategic buyers might be customers, suppliers or competitors. Financial buyers could be companies or individuals with money to invest. Once you put out feelers to people you know, you can use trade publications, newspaper, and online advertising.
Take note, however, this can be expensive and time-consuming. Plus, you don’t want to risk losing valuable clients, vendors or employees because they learn your business is for sale. For that reason, be sure you get a confidentiality agreement signed.
Prospective Doesn’t Mean Qualified
You also want to discern with a high level of confidence that the interested party has the ability to buy the business. In other words, you have to qualify the buyer. Otherwise, you can spend many hours that will end in frustration and no sale. Not only do you want to know that you’ll get paid, you want someone who has the ability to successfully run the business. Not everyone who can qualify to buy your business will be able to manage and grow it.
Once you’ve have a qualified buyer with serious intent, you must then negotiate a deal and work through all of the details necessary to close the sale.
Investment of Time, Energy and Emotion
If you are selling your business on your own, it’s important that you understand up front that each of these steps can be time-consuming, emotionally challenging, energy-sapping, and frustrating.
A majority of people in the United States have thought about owning their own business but only a small percentage ever do. For every prospective buyer introduced to a business owner, chances are the broker has met with at least a dozen prospects, and often many more.
Use a Business Broker
You can certainly choose to sell your business yourself, or you can decide to have a professional business broker to represent you. A business broker acts as a buffer between potential buyers and the seller. That lets you concentrate on what you do best–running your business rather than wasting valuable time with unqualified buyers. If you decide you’d rather use a broker to help with finding the right buyer for your business, call Peterson Acquisitions.