Selling a Business – Tips to Advertise a Business For Sale Successfully

Anticipate a buyer search criteria and categorise your business accordingly

It is important to file your business for sale advertisement in such a way that it grabs the attention of the maximum number of relevant business buyers. The more types you file your business under, the better your exposure will be.

If you are selling a pub that serves food, for instance, it is worth filing the business under not just ‘pubs’, but also ‘pubs and hotel property’, ‘restaurants’, ‘taverns’ and ‘bars’, as your likely purchasers will be searching for a business for sale under all or some of these categories.

It is also worth including key information such as the postcode, street or town where your business is located in your description text, so that any business buyer using the keyword search facility will find your business in their search results.

Honest figures will help your business to sell

In order to sell your business successfully, it is vital that you give your potential buyers a sensible indication of the kind of living they can expect to earn from the business. New business buyers aren’t just relocating from a street or village that they are familiar with; in most cases they are also walking away from the financial security of a monthly paycheck to become their own employers. This constitutes a daunting step into the unknown for a lot of people, and the more data you can reassure them with in your advertisement, the better your response levels will be.

You can include the turnover, gross profit and/or net profit figures on a weekly, monthly or daily basis with an advertisement, and it’s advisable to include at least one of these figures as a bare minimum if you can. Other figures that are worth mentioning in your advertisement are footfall / shop frontage (if it is a retail business), traffic levels (if it is an online business), demographics on the local economy (if it is a service-led business) and lease length / rent review dates (if it is a commercial property).

Your figures may be highly confidential, in which case it is perfectly acceptable to write ‘turnover and profit figures available on request’; The most important thing to do is to acknowledge the figures in your advertisement; if you don’t, it can look suspicious or unprofessional, and it can stop potential buyers from taking you seriously and enquiring about your business for sale.

Pricing your business for sale :

To get your business to sell quickly, it is important to price your business sensibly. An overly ambitious asking price might feel like a safe place to negotiate down from, but if you price your business too high, your potential buyers might not come across your advertisement in their search, as it will fall outside of their price range. If you price the business at a value lower than you are prepared to accept, you could find yourself inundated with buyers who you are not prepared to sell to, wasting your time and theirs. Remember that the price at which your business is sold is ultimately dictated by your acceptance – or refusal – of an offer; at the initial stages, your priority is to generate as much valid interest as you possibly can in your business for sale.

Take a look at comparable businesses for sale on websites listing businesses for sale and pick an asking price that is in line with what looks to be current market values. If you are unsure of what your business is worth, you can get a free business valuation from business agents or websites advertising businesses for sale.

Choose business-related photos that help your business to sell

Your existing promotional material may be remarkably effective at bringing customers through your doors, but you are dealing with a very different target market when you are selling a business. The business itself is now the product, and your ‘customers’ in this case will be looking for signs of prosperity, security and success. For instance, a photo taken inside your premises at peak times showing a busy shop floor will give potential purchasers more incentive to enquire than a beautifully-crafted logo on its own. Try to take photos that show off the passing trade and ‘bustle’ of your business.

Choose the right place to advertise your business for sale

Advertising your business for sale online is a great way to get maximum exposure. The price to advertise online is also less expensive than on print newspapers and magazines.