In the past, a smaller business looking to sell usually would have to go looking for potential buyers and subsequently be heavily driven down on the price. However, as a result of the current market, it has never been easier to sell your business. Larger businesses have cash, interest rates are low and the stock market is increasing.
With this in mind, there are a number of steps you can take to make put your business out there to be noticed by potential buyers and to be as desirable as possible amongst your industry competitors.
One of the best ways to be noticed within your industry is to enter your business for as many awards as possible. Whilst for most people this may seem like a waste of company time it can be a very worthwhile process when it comes to selling. In such a competitive business market these types of awards can be PR gold for you; not only do they provide you with a logo for you to put on your website, but also any marketing materials, emails and even packaging. Winning awards is a clear indication of your growing success to acquirers within your industry.
To give your business an extra boost you might want to also consider hiring a PR professional to help get your name to the right people. Use this kind of service to be seen as a thought leader, publicise your wins, a new product or service or comment on latest developments. Use not only the obvious mainstream news sources but also more specific trade and industry publications in which potential acquirers would likely see. This may seem like an unnecessary expense for your business, but more often than not it is an expense that quickly offsets itself through the increased sales and also potential acquisition interest.
Another option you may want to consider is for your business to host its own event. This event can be a conference, a networking event, a business dinner, the list is endless but regardless of the type of event, it is the perfect way to show off your business. Not only does it demonstrate the leadership and initiative that you are capable of but it is also a flattering way to allow potential acquirers to start looking into your business.
Within your industry, you will come across a number of ‘boards’ which are usually split up into the four categories of advisory, nonprofit, private and public. Usually, as an industry professional, you will be given opportunities to join some of these if you wish. Whilst this initially may not appeal to you, if you feel that someone on the board would be a natural potential buyer it may be within your best interest to join. In doing so you will be able to get to know the individual and make them aware of your business without having to appear eager to sell.