One of the biggest wonders of capitalism is this: not only can you sell products and services for a profit, but you actually have the option to sell your privately-owned business. Throughout history, takeovers and purchases of businesses have been made as a "good business decision" from the perspective of the buyer. The buyer gets to merge the business, grow it, destroy it, and basically do whatever they want with it. The seller "loses" his role in the business and is theoretically left with nothing but cash. They either (semi)retire or start a whole new business from scratch.
In recent decades, this narrative has completely changed. For many modern business owners, the end goal of their business operations might be to sell it. Instead of it being perceived as a lucrative business move purely from the side of the seller, it’s now a desirable outcome for the seller, too.
Now, the market for buying and selling businesses has grown rapidly and got a life of its own. As a seller, there is a blueprint that you can follow to ensure that your business is marketable and that you achieve the best possible price. First, let’s start by looking at the process of selling a business.
Related: Is Your Business Sellable?
1. Value Estimation
This one is a bit tricky, but it’s necessary to have a clear estimate of your business’ value before you enter the market. Otherwise, you might end up selling it under the market price, without even being aware of it. Generally, the value of the business is calculated by multiplying its profit, but an appraiser can tell you whether, for example, your business is worth 2x its profit or 10x its profit.
2. Consulting and working with experts
We previously mentioned that you can work with professionals even in the valuation phase, but this is where most business owners would generally include experts in their team. You’ll need an experienced accountant who will organize your books and a business broker who can achieve the best price for your business.
3. Crafting an executive summary
The question of how to write an executive summary that will help you sell your business is among the most frequently asked in the business-sellers community. The easiest way is to outsource this task to experts. Try BestEssayEducation (a professional writing service) or SupremeDissertations (a platform of expert writers) to get your executive summary written for cheap.
4. Marketing your business
After you’re done with these steps, your business is ready to go on the market. This is the first point where information about your business reach potential buyers and you start sending out your executive summary. All steps before this were essentially a preparation for this moment – it’s a make-or-break point in your selling process.
After you start negotiating with buyers, come to an agreed price and decide to whom you want to sell your business, the process is finalized. However, we’ll focus on the 4th step, marketing your business, as this is the stage of the process where you have the most control over the outcome.
In other words, you can decide to write the ads by yourself and use the help of experts, but the fact remains that how your business is described and packaged will have an incredibly powerful effect on whether you manage to sell it and at what price.
Related: Go-to-Market Tool
So, here are some ad writing tips that you can use to help your business sale listing attract more potential buyers:
Use Popular Platforms
What do big businesses do when they want to make big announcements? They turn to big media outlets and social media. You wouldn’t expect huge information to be disclosed on an obscure blog. The same goes for your business sale announcement. Use powerful and popular platforms that will give your ad the biggest chances of getting discovered.
Video: How To Sell Your Business For Millions | Valuetainment
Narrow Down Your Audience; Focus on Niche
This is especially important if you’re planning to use paid ads because displaying your ads to a non-relevant audience is very costly because it’s most likely to end with 0% success. In the sale platforms that you’re posting your business on, use categories and filters to make sure your listing reaches the right people. Don’t aim for the general audience. Paradoxically, targeting everyone will decrease your chances of getting found by the right seller.
Create a Perfect Headline
Just like in any online writing, the headline carries the most weight out of the totality of content you will present to your potential business buyer. When potential buyers are scrolling through listing pages, they’re waiting for those attractive headlines to wow them. If a headline has potential, they are much more likely to click on it.
There are some tricks that you can use to make the headline more appealing and click-worthy. One of the most commonly used in marketing is the use of emotion-triggering words. These words are designed to stand out from the rest, spark curiosity, and make the reader eager to learn more. Here are some of the most common ones used in business:
Everyone is affected by this word – be it in a grocery store, bank, or a real estate listing. Business sellers often wrongly assume that you can’t offer freebies with a business, but it’s just a matter of how you formulate it and present it. For example, if you were selling a dropshipping business, you could say "successful international eCommerce site + free hosting and domain". Basically, every time you’re thinking about writing ‘included’, you can switch it with ‘free’.
This has become a trendy word in business ever since the very word ‘recession’ took center stage in 2008. Ever since then, the Internet has been going on and on about recession-proof careers and recession-proof business ideas. For most business owners, it’s important that a business model can survive and even thrive during periods of economic slowdown.
Most investors and business owners are not looking to invest in something they need to put thousands of hours of work into. Rather, they want to focus on efficient, sleek businesses that basically run themselves. If your business is automated or semi-automated, that’s a gold mine and you should emphasize that.
Guaranteed, 100%, proven, reliable and other trust-based keywords are also a great addition to business listing ads. Whether they are aware of it or not, readers register these kinds of adjectives and adverbs and form a little +1 point in their mind about your business.
If you give your buyers a sense of urgency by using time-based words in your headline (such as ‘auction ends on Monday’), you are more likely to trigger an immediate reaction. Just like in the fields of work and productivity, Parkinson’s law can be applied to the situation when you’re selling a business. If you give the potential buyer 6 months to react or respond, they will usually do it in 6 months. If you give them 6 hours, they will do it in 6 hours.
Write from the Buyer’s Perspective
Writing a business sale ad is really not that different from any other sales listing. Your task is to persuade the reader (potential buyer) that they can benefit from purchasing it. However, due to big exposure to ads and persuasions of all kinds, today’s consumers are more sensitive to sales-speak than ever before. You simply cannot use that old snake oil salesman tricks and expect the modern consumer not to see right through it.
As you’re writing, imagine yourself in the reader’s shoes. What are they looking for in a business? What would interest them the most? What are their absolute must-have and no-nos?
Exude Trust and Reliability
We have already suggested the possible benefits of using a trust-triggering word in your headline, but it’s also a good idea to engrave that feeling of trust throughout your description. You can start simply by not aiming to trick potential buyers into thinking your business is something it’s not. Even if you do manage to pull it off, at one point the trust will be broken and the deal will fall through. This will not only waste the buyer’s time but even more so yours.
Selling a business is just like any other sales process. It includes negotiation, argumentation, and finally, persuasion. That’s why crafting a great ad is the first step to landing big bucks. Ad writing and persuasion are among the aspects of this process that you have the most control over, so make sure you utilize that. Attract as many potential buyers as you can so that you can reap the benefits of high demand.
If you’re not sure you can achieve that effect when you’re writing by yourself, don’t shy away from working with professionals. Think of it as outsourcing and investment: a good ad can increase your selling price by tens of thousands of dollars, and you only pay a hundred or so for someone to craft it for you.
Bridgette Hernandez is a Master in Anthropology who is interested in writing and is planning to publish her own book in the near future. Now she is a content writer at ClassyEssay. The texts she writes are always informative, based on a qualitative research but nevertheless pleasant to read.