Some entrepreneurs have a dream of building a successful business and managing it for the rest of their lives. When the time comes, they can assign a successor and transfer their business into capable hands so that they can retire in peace. However, there are also those serial entrepreneurs that thrive on building companies up and then selling them to the highest bidder, after which they will move on to the next big project on their list. If you belong in the latter group or if you’re simply presented with a lucrative opportunity to sell your company, you need to know how to do it right.
After all, this can be your ticket to long-term wealth and affluence, so you mustn’t squander the opportunity. One of the most lucrative opportunities out there is, of course, selling your business to a foreign investor or into a foreign market. Today, we’ll be going over the most important tips that will help you leave the best possible impression on buyers, and sell your company the right way. Here’s what you need to know.
Refine your brand to appeal to buyers
Before you start collecting offers from various buyers and before you can hope to attract investors, you need to make sure that you have an appealing brand capable of elevating the value of your company. After all, investors will have zero interest in buying a business that struggles with brand recognition, awareness, and authority in its industry and niche. It’s important that you have a powerful brand identity on your hands to serve as the foundation for future growth and expansion once the buyer takes the helm. To that end, your first order of business is to refine, update, and revitalize your brand.
Start by making your office space reflect your brand values, because the buyer will need to visit you in person at some point. Make sure that your brand has the right values that resonate with the market and potential buyers, and that it has a unique personality and tone of voice that make it stand out in your field.
You also need to weave these elements into your visual identity in order to build a striking brand image, one that will evoke the right emotions and inspire the buyers to take interest in procuring your business assets. Remember, you need to modernize your brand in order to sell it, because buyers are not looking to pour money into brand revitalization themselves, particularly if the brand is outdated and looks like it belongs in the early 2000s.
Meeting buyers online for preliminary introductions
Before the buyers can come over to talk with you face-to-face, check out your offices, and finalize any deals, you will need to meet with them online. This is a standard process when it comes to selling a company internationally, and it has become an important step during the COVID-19 pandemic when international travel can be tricky and sometimes impossible. Potential buyers will want to get to know the people behind the brand and get acquainted with your business, employee collective, and most importantly, your books.
In order to leave the best impression online, it’s important that you prepare all the necessary talking points well in advance, and master the art of digital communication. It can be difficult to leave a good impression via video call, but if you work on your soft skills, you can turn a simple preliminary call to your favor.
Be sure to practice your gesticulation, and try to strike a balance between a professional and approachable exterior. Don’t forget to talk more slowly and give ample time for others to catch up, ask relevant questions, and be active participants in your meeting.
Meeting with buyers face to face
One of the most important steps during this process is meeting potential buyers face to face. Now that the COVID-19 pandemic has made international travel difficult and that there are certain measures you need to adhere to, it’s important to prepare for their arrival thoroughly. What’s more, it’s important to check if your country allows international travel. Typically, a country that has a handle on the pandemic will permit international travel, like New Zealand.
If you are selling your company in New Zealand, for example, you still need to take every precaution even though the country is generally safe from COVID. You’ll need to organize transportation for your buyers once they arrive, and you can use car hire in Christchurch and other urban centers that adhere to COVID prevention measures, along with finding the right accommodation that does the same. You also need to adhere to these measures yourself, so no matter how friendly you want to be, make sure to wear face masks, adhere to proper hygiene, and maintain your distance.
Analyzing their vision and long-term goals
Initially, you might find the idea of selling to the highest bidder appealing, but that might not always be the best way forward. It is especially important to analyze and research the buyer meticulously if you want to retain any kind of stake in your company, and if you care about its legacy. Keep in mind that some buyers might want to strip your brand down completely and build something entirely different, or maybe they have the financial assets but a business plan that you know will drive the brand straight into the ground.
Not every buyer is right, so it’s important that you do your research, sit down for an honest conversation with every potential buyer, and analyze their long-term plans, strategies, and business models. Your own experience and expertise will prove invaluable in optimizing the buyer’s approach and ensuring they keep the company on the right, upward trajectory.
Related: How to Qualify Prospective Buyers
Research different markets and their profitability
Much like you can’t expect every buyer to be the perfect fit, you can’t expect every market to generate the expected profits. It’s not the same if you’re selling your business into a stable economy and if you’re selling it into a developing country, so you need to research different markets to find the most lucrative opportunities and the most affluent buyers.
This can require some travel on your part to different corners of the world, so be sure to prepare for the post-pandemic business travel and all that it entails. You’ll need to research market trends and fluctuations depending on the region, get in touch with potential buyers, and ascertain the level of investment they’re willing to commit to. Know the worth of your business, and do not settle for less if you want this to be your ticket to an affluent future.
Selling a business is a challenging task, but selling it internationally or to international buyers is a whole other beast. Be sure to use these tips to prep your company and yourself for the sale, set the groundwork, and leave the best possible first impression on potential buyers.