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
Ad Copies that Sell
If you have decided to sell your business using the business-for-sale websites, it is important to write an effective ad. An effective ad is short, to the point, and touches on potential buyers' hot buttons. Click on the links in the section above to view other ads. Get a feel for the sites and see what attracts you to different businesses.
How to increase the effectiveness of your ads:
Gross Sales: Businesses with higher gross sales get more responses. What you can do – report a higher number, use a projection, etc. – but be prepared to explain how it can be achieved. We regularly suggest that sellers include a projected number or estimate if the actual numbers are not available, or if they are unattractive.
Cash Flow (Net): Businesses with a higher net get more responses. This probably has the biggest impact on the number of responses. What you can do – report a higher number, use a projection, etc. – but be prepared to explain how it can be achieved. This will be discussed in great depth in a later section.
Location: Businesses advertised in larger cities get more responses. What you can do – ask us to advertise your business in a larger market area. Areas of less than a couple hundred thousand people should be reconsidered.
Title: Catchy titles get more responses. What you can do – use a creative, catchy title. Here are some titles we have used that have worked extremely well: “The Underwear CEO,” “Profitable Virtual Internet Business,” and “Coastal Lifestyle Business.” The title is meant to pull them in and nothing more.
Fast response with complete information: Ads that state that buyers will get a timely response and access to complete information get a lot more responses. More on this later.
Length of ad copy: Do longer ads get a better response? No, they actually usually get less; however, they do tend to attract a more qualified buyer (qualified in terms of interest, not financially). Keep the ad copy short, crisp, and to the point if you want more responses. Write a long, descriptive ad if you are looking for highly qualified and interested buyers, but much less responses. We strongly prefer a shorter, crisper ad.
Should I sell my business on my own?
If you have the right tools and assistance from an expert, then you can sell your business on your own. With Morgan & Westfield, we give you the tools you need to properly sell your business. We require no contracts and our fees are low enough that it is cheaper in the long run to use our help than for you to manage the entire sale yourself. Our rates can often be as little as 1% of the sale price.