Sure, there are brokers in the industry who have been around forever – from back in the days when your best marketing techniques were an ad in the phone book and sending postcards to potential clients.
It isn’t the paper age anymore, and those in our industry who don’t embrace the digital changes will be left in the technological dust.
One of the most frustrating aspects of our job is requesting information from brokers who are either living contently in the paper age or who just don’t care about the marketing of the businesses they list. One of the major reasons you use a broker is their expertise in the confidential marketing of your business to potential buyers, and it seems counter-intuitive that when we request a marketing package, that’s rarely what we get.
What we typically get is poorly photocopied tax returns and perhaps a recent copy of a P&L. That’s it. With that scant information we (and our clients) are supposed to divine whether an asking price is legitimate and if the numbers the owners claim they are pulling are really true. We’re also supposed to figure out such essential facts as the history of the business, the amount of local traffic they receive, their current marketing initiatives – the list goes on.
What should the marketing package for your business look like?
At IBB, our packages vary from business to business, but for the most part contain all of the information a buyer might be interested in. Here are some examples. We go over the history of the business, from it’s inception to the length of time the current owners have had it. We talk about why the current owners are selling. We provide maps with links to show you not only the location of the business, but where it is in proximity to local competition and what kind of vehicle traffic passes by everyday. We include pictures of the entire business and if appropriate, we also include a video tour. We include a financial breakdown, explaining not only the numbers on the tax returns, but what the numbers mean for you as a buyer and what the owner benefit looks like. We provide links to reviews of the business and a link to any related websites and Facebook pages. Our packages are in an electronic form, and as such can easily be sent to anyone who has signed the appropriate non-disclosure agreements. (We also use electronic signatures, which removes the delay required when buyers have to print out the non-disclosure, physically sign it and then scan and fax it back to us. Non-disclosures can be signed and returned to us in a matter of minutes, not hours or days). More simply put, our marketing packages are comprehensive and aligned with the digital age.
What should you do if the “marketing package” your current broker is using for your business contains nothing we’ve discussed? For starters, you can ask questions. How are they getting the details of your business, particularly its strengths, across to potential buyers? Are they doing anything more marketing-wise than just talking about the business when someone calls? If the answers to these questions don’t sound satisfactory or allay your concerns that your business listing is just sitting in idle – perhaps it’s time to find a new broker.
12995 South Cleveland Avenue, Suite 249
Fort Myers, FL 33907