How to Find the Right Buyer When Selling your Small Business

How to Find the Right Buyer When Selling your Small Business

Finding the right buyer for your business goes beyond getting the highest offer possible. As a seller, you're looking for the most qualified buyer that best aligns with your values.

After years of building your business, it’s natural to want a big payoff. But there are other factors, like preserving your legacy or maintaining the integrity of your company, that matter too.  

Add value to your company and contribute to the continued success of your business by balancing these goals.

Here are four important steps to help you identify the right match for your business.  

1. Create an ideal buyer persona  

When it comes to selling your business, you’re not just looking for anyone, you’re looking for your ideal candidate.

Ask yourself, “What do I want to get out of this transaction?”

Are you looking to retire and achieve the greatest return for your business? Or would you like to cash out but remain in the company for a few more years?

It’s also important to consider what type of buyer your company can best support. How much time does a business owner need to spend managing and operating your business? While many buyers want a business that can run itself, your particular business may benefit more from a hands-on owner.

These are all questions that’ll provide great insight into what kind of buyer you might be looking for.

2. Understand the different types of buyers

Selling your business comes down to a basic fundamental: getting to know your target audience. People buy businesses for different reasons, don’t be afraid to get into their heads. Their motive behind purchasing will affect how you reach them.

Buyers are typically divided into 3 groups: Strategic, Individual, and Financial Buyers.

A strategic buyer is looking to expand their current business into new markets, decrease competition, or acquire a new product or service that benefits their current business. They may be a competitor or a large company looking to expand.

An individual buyer can be an entrepreneur, like yourself. Someone interested in running their own business. Individual buyers tend to be personally interested in your product or service and would like to similarly manage your business.

Unlike strategic and individual buyers, a financial buyer sees your business as an investment; they’re concerned with achieving a high return. They’re looking for growth and stability, often searching for a well-managed company that requires little oversight.

3. Appeal to your Potential Buyers

While selling a home is not the same as selling a business, they both require ‘curb appeal.’ Prepare your business for showing – make sure everything is in its best shape before approaching prospects. This includes getting your books and financials in order, too!

Now that you know why your target audience is interested in buying your business, use that to your advantage. If the buyer is another company, highlight the potential of your products and services. When looking for an individual buyer, tap into your organizational structures and emphasize your team of employees and training to leave a lasting impression. Financial buyers will be most attracted to your earnings, both current and future.

Need help gaining the right exposure for your business?  Schedule a complimentary consultation today to learn how to position your company as an attractive investment for prospects. 

4. List your sale with a Business Broker

The best way to reach your target audience is by enlisting the help of a Business Broker.

If you market your business to the wrong set of people, you’ll end up wasting your time and the deal. Or worse, you’ll risk losing valuable clients, vendors, or employees from the negligence that may come from listing your business for sale yourself.

A broker helps you identify the right match for your business and ensures you’re only dealing with qualified prospects. All while maintaining your anonymity.

At Transworld, we’ll advertise your business to a worldwide network of buyers who are either interested in growing through acquisition or are searching for their next opportunity.

Understanding what your ideal buyer looks like allows you to market your business for sale to the right audience. However, navigating potential buyers while running your business can prove to be challenging. We know your time is more valuable when invested in continuing to run your company.

Working with a business broker can help position your sale with the perfect match and set you up for success.

To learn how Transworld Business Advisors can offer you sound advice and insight into selling your business, schedule a consultation today or use our free business valuation calculator to get started.