Business-for-Sale Ad Suggestions

The reason to advertise the business is for sale,” is to be noticed, to be read, and to motivate buyer interest in your business.  Not the interest of just any buyer however, but the interest of those serious and capable buyers who are looking for a business just like yours; buyers ready, willing and able, and motivated to purchase such a business if and when it will be found.  … That’s the buyer you’ll really want to find your business.

By and large, business buyers online are looking for a profitable business.  That probably comes as no real surprise, but as we search business buy/sell sites, we find a preponderance of businesses advertised are neither demonstrating nor quantifying profitability.  Surely, some amongst the thousands of businesses advertised online will be profitable and others will not, but which are which?  … If your business is one of these, how does that buyer find it?

Our First Suggestion:   If you are the owner of a good and profitable business, your business is in demand.   If you are interested in selling that business, there are ready, willing and able buyers looking for it, with the interest, capabilities and motivation to buy it, and you have the information they are looking for.  Help the right buyer find your business by advertising that particular information,   … but do so anonymously, in the Valu4Sale ad format plus 3rdPartyOnLine.

Valu4Sale & 3rdPartyOnLine

Valu4Sale is the business-for-sale format specifically designed to make the initial ad presentation of that information, including a summary report of sales and earnings history, current balance sheet and of how that profitability has been calculated into the sale price.  It should also include a summary description of the type of business, its general location, about the business and why you’d now like to sell it.  … but nowhere in the presentation should you identify yourself or your business by name or by description. You should hold that identity in ANONYMITY.

3rdPartyOnLIne is business-trader.com’s online mediation function designed to provide such anonymity, from the initial ad presentation, and thereafter throughout the period, for as long as you may elect, where buyer and seller will relay materials and conduct their communication via 3rdPartyOnLIne services, and thereby maintain anonymity and maintain also, the confidentiality of the information disclosed.  IMPORTANTLY, when no one knows who is being represented by the ad nor in any subsequent disclosures or other communications, your confidential information will safely remain confidential.

And you should expect a two way flow of material information.  A Confidentiality Agreement between the parties, and an interactive relay between the parties, of information pertaining to the business as well as information pertaining to the buyer.  An early form of due diligence just to see if type of business, location, size, price, terms etc., look right and reasonable to the buyer, and that buyers background, intent and capabilities look right and reasonable to the seller.

And, it should be pointed out that business-trader offers a business-wanted ad format for business buyers to present their good buyer credentials, such as type of business, location, size, price, terms etc., and also a buyer’s net worth statement; a counterpart the the Valu4Sale business-for-sale format providing a quick and helpful “good fit, or not” indication.  see: BizWanted Demo Ads

At some point, buyer and seller will come to some conclusion as to whether there seems a “right and reasonable” fit between the parties, sufficient to break anonymity in order for the parties to continue, but in direct contact, to pursue the opportunity to its conclusion.  If the answer is NO, then anonymity is continued and the parties go their separate ways.  If the answer is YES, and that is the goal, sooner or later, with this buyer or another, then confidentiality agreements will be reconfirmed, upon which buyer and seller will be introduced to one another, and be in position to meet face to face, tour the facilities, negotiate what may be negotiable, conduct remaining due diligence, and close the deal, all assuming that YES will continue to the close.

Some Other Options

Not all business owners will disclose their business information in the Valu4Sale format suggested above. Nor will all businesses be those good and profitable business discussed above, and while the vast majority of buyers may be looking for a PROFITABLE business, some will be open also to those that are not yet profitable, or not at this time profitable, or maybe not profitable beyond the owner-operator’s wages, and not many of any of these will be advertising in the Valu4Sale format.

Not many buyers, if any, will be looking for an unprofitable business that is expected to remain unprofitable and to never contribute to profitability, but some buyers will, for example, buy an unprofitable business start-up that a buyer believes will become profitable, or maybe an unprofitable business that the buyer thinks might be turned around.  Others may be looking for a business to merge into another in order to bring a contribution to a greater profitability.  Still others may be looking for something that the business may possess, whether its profitable or not, such as  a product line, or a client list, or a great location for a certain type of business perhaps, and/or other forms of assets that might be seen by the buyer as valuable.

And then, there are the small, so-called “good-living lifestyle” businesses that generally don’t really make profits other than that to cover the wages of the owner-operator(s).  Many business are started and sold and acquired as such, but as they are, they are unlikely to be advertised in the Valu4Sale format, and most likely to be advertised in the Ez4Sale format.  And for these and all other businesses unlikely to advertise in the Valu4Sale format, we offer a couple of options.

Business-Trader.com offers 3 different Business-for-Sale Ad formats;  Valu4Sale, Biz4Sale  and  Ez4SaleIf you have not already visited our Business For Sale Demo Ads, may we suggest that you do so to familiarize yourself with the format options.  The ads themselves are self explanatory.  And, if you have not read the Why So Much Information, may we also suggest that you do that as well.

  • Valu4Sale is as has been described above and, amongst business buy/sell websites, a unique presentation format with provision for what is an uncommon amount of material information; information that business owners are generally very reluctant to disclose, but on the other hand, the exact information that buyers are looking for, and confidentiality can be maintained in anonymity.
  • Biz4Sale  is in some ways similar to Valu4Sale, such as in the presentation of sales and earnings, but optional in Biz4Sale, allowing for a less structured and disclosed presentation and otherwise allowing, in form and text, pretty much whatever information and/or comment you may decide to issue.
  • Ez4Sale  is a format type fairly common amongst business buy/sell websites, providing for general business location, business sector, selling price and a form section to pretty much incorporate whatever information and/or comment you may see fit.

In every case, in all formats … we suggest that you provide NO name and NO other means of identification of the business.  … For now, create an ad to tell much about what makes your business valuable, but hold its identity Confidential in order not to restrict what else you might otherwise disclose about the business, either in your opening presentation or those disclosures you will when a reader discovers your ad and requests additional information. 3rdPartyOnLine is an option available to every ad format to maintain anonymity and confidentiality, for as briefly or as extensively, at your option, along the way.

a Bit More Detail

Regardless of which format option you may choose, and in addition to whatever the financial disclosures you might make, we’d like to expand a bit on other material information, such as the type of business, location, size, price and terms that we mentioned just briefly earlier.

  • Buyers will generally be looking for a business located in some general geographic area; probably somewhere nearby where they reside.
  • Buyers will typically be looking for a certain type of business, or for a business in a certain business sector, or in one of a certain 2 or 3 sectors perhaps.
  • Buyers will usually have a price range in mind, or maybe a price limit in mind, and will generally be looking within that range or limit.
  • Buyers will want to know about the terms of sale. Will the seller offer a vendor take back.  Will the seller stay on through a reasonable transition period.
  • Most Buyers will be looking for a business that has been profitable, that is profitable, and that show promise for a profitable future.
  • Most Buyers will be looking for a business with a future growth potential.
  • Buyers will generally be interested in a business positioned to earn enough over the next few years to return the buyer’s investment.
  • And, at some point, ASAP, Buyers will want to see and understand the basis on which such future profitability can be calculated and assumed.
  • Buyers will want to know what assets and the value of the assets to be included in the sale; included in the closing balance sheet value.
  • Buyers will wonder why the current owner is selling. Is it to retire; to pursue other interests; for health reasons, or whatever the reason.
  • Buyers will wonder about business operations, number of employees, skill levels, the company’s marketplace, about growth potential, etc.
  • Buyers will want to know about the transition from seller to buyer and if this business will be a good fit to the buyer’s background, skill set and capabilities.

To the extent practicable, but without being so precise as to identify the business inadvertently to any of the potential readers, we think answers to these should be given early; within the ad if possible, BUT ONLY WITHOUT identifying the business if you want to maintain confidentiality.  Potential readers could include competitors, customers, suppliers, and employees; examples of those who might be “most likely able” to recognize the business through conjecture, and thus good examples to contemplate, as you describe your business.

We suggest your Ad be a truthful and factual summary of your business information.  At some point between the presentation of your Ad and the Close of Sale, all the claims and promises represented in your ad and in subsequent disclosures are apt to be subjected to a rigorous due diligence process.  Working your way to the end of the selling and due diligence processes generally takes time and effort.  In the end, if the sale fails to close because one party decides the other was exaggerating, or worse, it will be time and effort wasted. So, we suggest that you do not exaggerate claims about your business.

We suggest also that you avoid comments like “unlimited potential” or “once in a lifetime opportunity” or “don’t miss this one” or any other clique comment. They will generally be meaningless, or may actually cheapen your presentation, and will often be viewed negatively.  Suggesting a price based on “make an offer” or “price negotiable” are not an advantageous pricing strategy.  Instead, we suggest that you post the business at a realistic fair market price.  Price will be a buyer’s first question and your Ad will generally be more effective by answering that question before it is asked. (… if you don’t know what a realistic fair market price might be for your business, maybe we can help).  Please see Business Valuations and then if you still need help, please feel free to email us at help@business-trader.com.

and, a bit more about 3rdPartyOnLine

If you are the business owner who will be representing yourself in the sale of your own business, regardless of the business-for-sale format you might have chosen, when a buyer finds your ad and sees something of interest, or when you might find something of interest in a business-wanted ad, and when either the buyer or you makes contact to ask for more information, a third party who is prepared to respond to that request is in a far better position than either of the parties to release such information ANONYMOUSLY and, thereafter also to continue to provide anonymity and confidentiality during all the while the parties shall investigate and evaluate the opportunity each may afford the other, or until the parties become comfortable with each other to the extent that they think it advantageous deal directly with each other, and agree to be introduced to the other and thus break with anonymity and maybe terminate our 3rdPartyOnline mediation.

  • IMPORTANT:  If you elect not to use 3rdPartyOnLine, may we suggest that you obtain a new and exclusive email address and cell phone and dedicate them exclusively to the process of selling your business in order to maintain your ANONYMITY and CONFIDENTIALITY as long a possible.

If you are a business owner with a business for sale on Business-Trader.com, with 3rdPartyOnLine engaged, the following will occur.

  • First, the contact information you will have provided in the creation of your ad will be replaced within your Ad, and point of contact will be assumed by 3rdPartyOnLine.
  • 3rdPartyOnLine will notify your contact email address of any and all buyer inquiries into your business-for-sale ad, and/or will notify the buyer of any inquiry you might make into that buyer’s business-wanted ad, if any.
  • At the same time, 3rdPartyOnLine will present our Standard Confidentiality Agreement to the inquiring party and ask for their “electronic agreement,” identifying your business as a party only by its Business-Trader ID number, and upon receipt of such agreement will notify you of such. Nothing will be relayed to the inquiring party without first receiving such Confidentiality Agreement.
  • Any and all subsequent communication between buyer and seller will be relayed through 3rdPartyOnLine.  (You’ll want to ensure your message, materials, information do not break anonymity).
  • No such relays between buyer and seller shall contain your contact information, unless it is provided within the content of the comments, materials and/or information you might provide.  (So again, you’ll want to ensure your message, materials, information do not give up your anonymity).
  • 3rdPartyOnLine shall continue indefinitely, unless and until both parties shall agree that sufficient opportunity is now acknowledged by both parties so as to warrant the lifting of anonymity and until both parties agree to be introduced to the other.
  • Thereafter, the first step in such introduction will be the execution by both parties, of a notarized copy of the same Standard Confidentiality Agreement as had previously been electronically agreed.
  • At such point, buyer and seller will be introduced and free to deal one-on-one, directly.

At such time as buyer and seller will be introduced and opt to deal one-on-one, directly, 3rdPartyOnLinewith respect to the particular buy/sell opportunity” will be terminated, however, BizBrokerOnCall will continue to be available to you both on-line and off-line to help in anyway we might be able, at any stage of the process.

  • Help in the Creation of your Ad
  • Help with a Business Valuation
  • Help in the Preparation of your Presentation Package
  • Help with other Business Brokerage like services
  • And, available to provide full Business Brokerage service.

We are experienced and will be available on-line and off-line, by email and telephone and Contact Us to help you in any way we can.

I’ve said this in a previous topic as well, but it maybe worth saying again in context.

A constant over my 20 year brokerage experience has been “there were ALWAYS good buyers searching for just about every type of business; buyers ready, willing; in fact “eager” and able to pay fair market value.” But over those same years, I’ve learned also of good, profitable, marketable businesses that had been offered for sale, but which had just NEVER SOLD.

The reason was, buyer and seller had simply failed to find each other or had somehow failed to communicate the value, fit and opportunity each had afforded the other.  In my experience, BUSINESSES DO SELL QUICKLY, when value, fit and opportunity are presented in a manner quantifying and to be in line with fair market value.

So, if you have a good and profitable business that you’d like to sell, I can tell you from experience that there is a good buyer looking for it. We recommend, in the manner herein described, that you really help that buyer find it and to quickly recognize the value, fit and opportunity represented in your business.  And, we will help you do that in anyway we can.

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