On Deal Talk, we often hear from former business owners who have sold their companies or professionals who are dedicated to helping entrepreneurs sell their...
How to Sell a Business: Advertise
Options to advertise your business for sale:
Craigslist – No doubt, Craigslist does get very good exposure. However, there is not a better place to attract more unqualified buyers than Craigslist. While you can get lucky and sell your business using Craigslist, if you value your time, it is not a good option. We recommend using Craigslist if you have the time and your business is less than $200,000; however, please do so with extreme caution.
The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) – About 20-30 years ago, the MLS was a great place to sell a business. However, probably less than 1% of all business brokers even think about using the MLS. The MLS can only be accessed by licensed Realtors who typically specialize in selling residential real estate or homes. Most residential real estate offices no longer allow their agents to sell businesses due to the high degree of knowledge required and high potential for litigation. As a result, the MLS is rarely a viable option to sell your business.
Newspapers – Does anyone actually read the newspaper anymore? Look in the Sunday edition of your local paper in the “Business Opportunities” section. There are likely less than a few ads in this section and most are for new franchise opportunities. About the only newspaper that is highly effective is the Wall Street Journal, however, this is extremely expensive. Alternatively, you can experiment with local community newspapers, which are often low-cost. However, they do not always get a high response.
If you have a business that is “ethnic” in nature and is only likely to be purchased by one specific nationality (such as a Chinese restaurant), then you may want to consider ethnic newspapers that caters to this nationality, such as a Chinese newspaper.
Business-for-Sale Sites – The most effective place to sell most businesses now is by using the business-for-sale sites. These sites exclusively sell businesses and show up first in popular search engines such as Google or Yahoo! when searching for businesses for sale or to buy a business.
Below are some of the most popular sites:
Summary of advertising methods – The most cost effective and efficient way to sell your business is by using the business for sale websites. The internet today is huge and most people immediately go to the internet when looking to make a major decision such as buying a business. Try going to Google or Yahoo and search for “businesses for sale” or “buy a business.” You will see for yourself the different options available to you to sell your business.