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Selling Your Company – How To Find A Buyer

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Finding a buyer for a private company is rarely as simple as putting an advert in a trade magazine, or calling a couple of direct competitors and inviting them to make an offer.

If you are looking to find a buyer for your business it makes sense to follow the approach taken by professional business brokers.
 
How Does A Professional Broker Find A Buyer For A Company?
 
An experienced broker will tailor the approach to finding a buyer to the size and market sector of your company.
They will typically use one or more of the following methods:

    Contact Campaigns

    A professional broker will research the UK and overseas companies that are the most likely buyers of your company and approach then directly to establish their interest in making an acquisition. Each prospect will be sent a “teaser” setting out some basic facts about your business without revealing its name. If they are intrigued by your business they will be asked to sign a confidentiality agreement to receive detailed information on the opportunity. Contact campaigns are by far the most likely route to finding a buyer. In more than seventy percent of the sales we have completed the buyer has been found through a direct approach.

    Professional Networks

    In the last ten years most business brokers and corporate finance advisors have become part of loose professional networks created through internet portals such as Linked In. Through these groups brokers share “teaser” information on their clients. Some of these networks have thousands of members in the UK and overseas. Network members will be aware of corporate clients and private investment groups with an interest in your market.

    Advertising

    Almost all businesses to be advertised are placed on one of the major internet sites. Web advertising should be part of the marketing mix for all but the largest private businesses. For smaller businesses advertising is the only realistic way to reach individual rather than corporate buyers. It would almost be irresponsible not to advertise a businesses for sale, but in our experience less than one in five sales comes through advertising, and potential buyers tend to trickle in over an extended period of time. If you are about to appoint a broker make sure they do not rely solely on advertising to find buyers.

 
Be very suspicious of brokers who tell you that they have lists of buyers waiting to buy a business in your sector. All brokers get approached on a regular basis by people looking for businesses to buy, but this type of contact is only viable for a short period of time. Potential buyers either quickly find a business to buy, or lose interest and move in another direction.

If you are about to appoint a broker to sell your company question them closely about the approach they take to each of these main ways of marketing a company. Be very wary of any broker who relies exclusively on only one channel to find a buyer.

 

If you are interested in finding out more about these and other issues relating to the sale of a private company one of our business sale experts would be delighted to talk to you in complete confidentiality. Click CONTACT ME to book an initial phone conversation or call us on 01604 432964.

 
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