Do you want to sell your business quickly but you lack ideas how to do it? If YES, here is a step-by-step guide to selling a business online without a broker.
There are dozens of things that you have to think about when you are trying to sell your business. You have to search for potential buyers, and put a lot of things in place so that the sale and transfer process can be a seamless one.
However, one important thing you cannot neglect is how to make the business attractive to potential buyers so that you can sell it fast and at the highest price. Here are 15 bulletproof strategies that you can use to sell your business very fast, and get buyers to pay top-dollar for it.
How to Sell your Business Online Quickly at the Highest Price Without a Broker
1. Send Interested Buyers a Business Summary
The same way that writing a business plan can help you get investors quickly, a business summary can also help you get buyers to show interest, and pay handsomely for your business.
A business summary is a 10-20 page document that describes your business and highlights some of the strengths and opportunities that your business has, especially over its competitors. It can also help to answer some of the key questions that potential buyers may have about the business.
It helps to have a professional prepare your business summary as a professional would be able to present your business in a way that would be attractive to potential buyers. Since your business summary may contain some sensitive information about your business, it helps to ask your prospective buyers to sign a non-disclosure agreement so that your business can be well protected.
2. Offer Flexible Payment Options
You would be able to get more potential buyers to show interest in buying your business if you offer business financing options. You can allow them to make down-payments and then spread the rest of the payments over a period of time. This makes the business more affordable and attractive to potential buyers.
3. Offer to Stick Around
Buying a new business can be very challenging for the buyers because when they take over the running and management of the business, they may face some challenges. A lot of buyers find it really helpful if the previous owners of the business stick around for a while to show them a few tricks, and help them learn the ropes.
You can throw in an offer to provide consultancy services for free or for a small fee after selling the business. This can help to boost the confidence of potential buyers, and give them the idea that buying your business would be relatively risk-free for them.
4. Offer Liability Insurance Coverage
Even though buyers usually conduct extensive due diligence before making an offer to purchase a business, many of them are naturally scared that there may be something that the seller is not revealing to them, after all nobody wants to let go of a good thing.
You can help to boost the confidence of your potential buyers by offering liability coverage insurance so that if any problems come up in the future as a result of something that you failed to reveal to them during the purchase process, you would bear the costs.
5. Pre-Qualify Your Buyers
While your potential buyers are doing due-diligence on you, you should also be checking them out to be sure that they have the required resources, and can afford to purchase your business. It is important to separate the wheat from the chaff, and get rid of unqualified buyers and time-wasters early into the deal so that you can concentrate on people who are serious, and can afford to purchase the property.
6. Employ Aggressive Marketing Tactics
The more aggressive your approach to marketing your business is, the faster you would be able to sell your business.
Start with people who are in the same industry, or in the same line of business as yours – because your business model is already familiar to them, it’s easier to sell to them than to sell to complete newbies.
You can advertise in industry publications, via word of mouth, through the media, email marketing, and even social media. You can also employ these marketing tactics to promote and advertise your business to non-industry buyers too.
7. List Your Business on Specialized Websites
There are some special platforms on the internet that are dedicated to buying and selling of businesses. These websites have a lot of traffic from people looking to buy and sell business, so listing your business on any of these platforms can help you improve visibility and speed up the sales process.
You can look at websites like Bizbuysell, BizQuest, BusinessBroker, MergerNetwork, Businessesforsale, LoopNet, and BusinessMart.
8. Prepare Ahead
Selling a business can be a very complicated process and when you are not properly prepared, it could drag the process for longer than it should last.
For instance, your buyer could request for a document, and if you don’t have it ready, you may spend some few days or weeks trying to get it. Eventually, the buyer would probably loose interest, or would have found another business to buy.
It helps to come to the table prepared. Brainstorm, and ask for advice from your lawyers, accountants, and business consultants. They should be able to let you know all the documents and questions your prospective buyers may request for, so that you have them ready before the sales process begins.
You should have documents like your balance sheets, sales memorandum, tax returns, revenue reports, inventory reports, financial reports, client lists, and supplier lists, and other paperwork ready before you list your business for sale.
9. Review Your Customers
One of the most important things to buyers is that they want to see that the business has existing customers who are willing to continue to do business with the company.
Customers are crucial to the revenue and profitability of a business so if the business has lost its goodwill with customers, it means that the new buyer would have a lot of work to do in order to make sales and earn profits – it’s almost like starting a new business from the scratch, and many prospective buyers always avoid this.
Buyers are attracted to businesses that can show that it has loyal customers, and the revenue and profitability of the business would not start dwindling after they take over the business. You can get testimonies from some of your customers, or show a business model that illustrates this.
10. Sell to Your Employees
Many employees wish to own businesses someday. If your business is financially stable, with good turnover, you can sell it to any of your key employees, as a way to reward their efforts. However, you may have to offer some type of seller financing as many employees may find it challenging to afford to pay for a new business in cash.
If you are looking to sell for cash, choose your beneficiary wisely- choose employees with good credit, savings, or equity that can be used to obtain loans easily.
11. Work with an Investment Banker
Investment bankers can be very helpful with connecting you to a large network of potential buyers due to the nature of their jobs. These are people who literally have dozens of clients shoving cash at them for investment purposes. If you can work closely with them, they may be able to connect you with financial and strategic buyers because they can easily evaluate and identify serious buyers who can pay good money for your business.
12. Be Open about The Company’s Weaknesses
When you are trying to get people to buy your business, it is only normal that you would want to paint a perfect picture that would be encouraging to buyers but sometimes, this can be like shooting yourself in the foot.
The average potential buyer understands that every business has weaknesses, and when you are upfront about those of your business, it can help to boost the buyer’s confidence that there would be no unpleasant surprises after taking control of the business ownership.
13. Show Your Buyers How to Scale the Business
Some buyers may shy away from buying the business if they feel that the business is underperforming. In this case, it helps to show your buyers some of the ways that they can scale up the business, and increase their earnings. You probably had some long-term growth plans for your business before you decided to sell it, you can share some of those plans with your buyers so that they can see that there is still room for growth in the business.
14. Create Helpful Manuals for Handling Major Business Functions
Potential buyers want to see that the business can run smoothly without you, and they want to cut down time that they would spend learning how to run the business to the barest minimum. One way to boost their confidence is to create how-to manuals for some of the aspects that may seem technical. These manuals can make the transition process smooth and easy, and can encourage buyers to invest in the business.
15. Build Your Email List
For internet-based businesses, handing over a business with a sizable subscriber list can be very attractive to buyers. Businesses sometimes have to spend thousands of dollars to build their mailing list, so if you already have a good number of subscribers, it can help your business sell fast, and also command a good price in the market.