We’ve all heard the stories in recent years of school teachers losing their jobs because of an inappropriate Facebook comment, but what many small business sellers fail to realize is their personal online image is crucially important to the image of their business in the community and to the buyers they are trying to attract.
“My Facebook account is private, so why does it matter?”
Even with privacy settings in place, it is not very hard for someone searching your name to get access to at least a few pictures and perhaps even a few of your posts. Think of your personal profile information this way – would you tell every customer or prospective buyer coming through the door everything you’ve posted on Facebook over the years? Probably not.
“All I have is a business Facebook page.”
You need to think about absolutely everything that has ever been posted on this wall as well. Some owners make politically-motivated posts, or some rant about the competition. Neither will look very professional in the eyes of a buyer, and they will be left wondering if you as the owner are less than professional about other areas of the business too.
“I don’t do social media, so this doesn’t apply to me.”
Nothing could be farther from the truth. This article by Steve Cody (http://www.inc.com/steve-cody/7-reasons-you-need-manage-your-online-presence-more-carefully.html) highlights all the areas that small business owners need to consider when thinking about what their online presence says about them and their businesses. Regardless of your active participation (or no participation at all) you have an online presence that needs to be managed.
If you are serious about selling your business, take a good, hard look at what your personal online presence says about both you and your company. Make changes now before you’ve lost the opportunity for good first impressions with buyers.
Are you thinking about selling and are wondering how your online presence may affect your sale? Do you have questions about what kind of access to your personal online information buyers will have? Ask us! Please leave us a comment or question here, and we will be happy to help.
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