If you’re considering selling your business, you need to start thinking about how you’re planning to pitch the sale. Buyers are looking for a proposition that resonates with them – one they think has potential for growth from a solid base.
One of the best things you can do to attract buyers is to pinpoint those factors that make it unique. By highlighting and promoting your business’s strengths and unique selling propositions (USPs), you’ll provide potential buyers with the impetus they need to consider your business as a front runner.
To figure out your competitive advantage, start by asking yourself these two critical questions: why do people buy from me instead of my competitors and what makes me different (better)? Consider asking customers why they buy from you and why they’ve chosen you over a competitor.
Read online reviews to get a feel for what your competitors do well and badly. It could be that you have an exclusive deal on a popular brand or that your customer services team is outstanding. Drill down to discover as much as you can about the appeal of your proposition. Your USP may be high service levels, excellent products or even something less tangible, like a sense of luxury or ‘cool’.
It may be that you’re cheaper than your competitors but people rarely buy on price alone and often other factors are more important – such as reliability, speed, quality, accuracy and desirability.
Once you’ve prepared a list of the things you think you do well, take a look and see if anything jumps out as something that sets you apart. If customers tell you they buy from you because you have really knowledgeable staff or a faultless after-sales service or maybe are the only company to stock a particular brand of product within a 25-mile radius, you’ll be able to begin compiling your USPs to promote to buyers.
Your USP is the thing that makes your business different from anything else out there – the reason customers will come to you rather than go elsewhere. Identify and plan at least three clear USPs that define exactly what you offer that others don’t.
If you sell products, consider whether they’re safer, greener, more attractive, reliable or durable than others. USPs could relate to packaging, presentation, pricing or placement, too. If your business is differentiated on service, USPs may include opening hours, proximity to customers, employees’ expertise or speed or delivery, for instance.
Once you’ve defined your strengths, think about how you can use them to entice prospects. You could match a strength with an opportunity to deliver a double whammy. For example, if you have a really fantastic showroom that already knocks spots off the competition, consider the following description: Large showroom with extensive product selection – room for further expansion.
If you can promote your USPs positively while enabling potential buyers to imagine making their own mark on the business, you’ll be half way to a successful sale.