How to create a great business listing

How to sell a business

If you’ve taken the decision to list your business for sale, you’ll want to attract qualified buyers from the get-go. Obviously, you’ll already be undertaking a thorough review of your business to make sure it’s groomed and ready for sale, but if you’re listing online, you need to pay close attention to the way you present your business to potential buyers.

So, give some focus to producing well-written marketing materials that incorporate the details that will help reel in the buyers you want – those who have the finance, know what they want and are ready to make a purchasing decision.

Write a catchy headline

This is where you have the opportunity to grab your audience’s attention. No matter how great your ad is, you won’t get buyers to bite if you don’t hook their attention from the first line. Think about what’s unique about your business – perhaps it’s in a prime location, has gorgeous premises or sells highly desirable products or services. Think about what would persuade people to buy your business and write a headline to suit.

Include your key financials

You may not be keen to give away confidential information but if you don’t include annual revenue and profit figures, how will a potential buyer know if your business fits their requirements? Seasoned, knowledgeable buyers will have a good idea of how much they’re prepared to spend and, by including some headline figures, you’ll also pre-qualify your callers.

Location

If yours is an online business, it won’t matter where you’re currently located. However, if you’re selling a restaurant in a honeypot town in the Lake District, you’ll need to include your location or you’ll miss out on buyers who are searching for an investment in a particular area of the country. Stick to county-level information if your business sale is confidential.

Stay positive

Describe your business in as much detail as possible and use positive words and phrases as far as possible. List your business’s strengths and offer some insight into its history and journey. Don’t risk appearing desperate by using stock phrases such as ‘very motivated seller’ or ‘will consider all reasonable offers’. Do mention if you’re selling due to retirement or because of a new business venture. Avoid ‘shouting’ by eliminating any text WRITTEN WITH THE CAPS LOCK ON!

Include lots of pictures

Wherever possible, use photos that convey the quality of your business. If you feel you’re hamstrung because you don’t want to reveal its identity, use non-assignable shots – maybe of interiors or views – that will appeal. If you’re selling a restaurant, it may simply be pictures of your tasteful furnishings, dining tables or a busy kitchen. A listing without photos won’t attract buyers’ interest.

Keep in touch

It’s essential to provide a phone number and email address so buyers can contact you to discuss details or arrange a viewing. Consider providing a number and email created specifically for the purposes of progressing your sale; it’s a great strategy for keeping your business identity confidential at this point and will also make it easy to track ad responses. Make sure you check your communications daily and respond promptly to any enquiries.

You’ll be solely responsible for the content for your listing so don’t leave anything to chance. When you’ve checked the details, ask a friend to read it through for mistakes before posting your ad.

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