Business brokers get a lot of questions from business sellers, and one of the most common topics revolves around how to bring in buyers without letting the world know that the business is for sale.
Why is this an important point? Confidentiality during a business transaction is paramount. As a seller, you don’t want the competition, your staff, or your vendors to know the business is for sale until the deal is done. A competitor can exploit your status, employees may jump ship, and vendors might tell their other clients about your impending business sale.
Discretion and confidentiality, therefore, are the name of the game when it comes to selling your business.
As a small business owner, however, you may find this counter-intuitive. The way you have brought success to your business is by getting the word out there. You have used networking strategies to make sure that as many people as possible know about your business and what you can do for them. You have put out marketing campaigns that may have included mailers, signs, posters, emails, and flyers. The more people you reach and the louder your message, the better.
So how do you balance the need to bring in buyers with the need to keep the whole thing under wraps? Don’t go it alone.
Confidentiality during a business transaction is one of the most important responsibilities that a business broker brings to the table. Trying to market your business yourself can lead to disastrous results, as it can be hard to know who to trust and who to disclose your sale status with.
Your business broker will be able to market your business in a variety of ways:
-A good broker has access to a number of business-for-sale databases that are available to other brokers and even to those who are searching online on their own. These listings give a prospective buyer a good idea of your business and the numbers without knowing which business it is. If they are interested in finding out more, they will be required to sign a non-disclosure agreement before they are allowed to know any business or location specific details. You can even specify a list of those (like competitors) who you would like to be kept from finding out your business status.
-Most brokers also have lists and contacts with prospective buyers, so when your business gets listed, they will let those folks who’ve been looking for a business like yours know that it’s available.
-Business brokers also have contacts within the local business community, and are therefore able to let interested parties know about your business without giving any specific information that would let someone figure out which business is for sale.
-Depending on the type of business you have, certain types of marketing may work better than others. An experienced broker will know which methods will bring in the right buyers and which methods are a waste of time, and will implement a marketing plan for your specific business accordingly.
The message here is the confidentiality of your business sale is of the utmost importance, but so is getting you a buyer and getting your business sold. By employing the services of a qualified and experienced broker you can have the best of both worlds.
Are you a business seller who has had issues with confidentiality? Do you have questions about how we can market your business successfully while keeping the whole transaction under wraps? Leave us a comment or question here and we will be happy to address and concerns or questions you might have.