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5 Steps To Finding The Right Buyer For Your Business

May 9, 2023

Selling your business can be a complex and emotional process, and finding the right buyer is crucial to ensuring a successful transition. But how do you choose the ideal buyer for your business? This guide offers a step-by-step approach on how to find a buyer that is best suited to take over your business.

Step 1: Determine Your Ideal Buyer Profile

Before searching for potential buyers, it’s important to determine your ideal buyer profile. This includes factors such as their industry experience, financial resources, and management style.

‘In looking for a buyer, the owners of FRG Waste Resources had two main priorities: their employees and “finding someone who would be interested in the whole thing, or who could understand how the whole thing works together”.’
– How 8 Business Owners Turned Their Passion Into Multimillions

Start by considering what qualities are important to you in a buyer and what type of person or company would be the best fit for your business. This will help narrow down your search and focus on finding the right buyer for your specific needs. In our experience, the best way to do this is to “get inside the mind of the buyer”.

Step 2: Conduct Market Research To Identify Potential Buyers

This can include researching competitors, industry associations, and trade publications to find companies or individuals who may be interested in acquiring your business.

‘Mike Bunner thought a strategic buyer would be more willing to pay a fair amount for his company. As such, his primary concern was finding one such buyer’
– How 8 Business Owners Turned Their Passion Into Multimillions

You can also reach out to mergers and acquisitions (M&A) specialists to identify potential buyers. Experienced M&A advisors will have an extensive database of buyers, including private equity groups categorized according to industry and sub-sectors. When selling your company via an M&A specialist, your pitch book will go out to the firm’s targeted buyer list.

Step 3: Prepare Your Business For Sale To The Right Buyer

Putting your business on sale with the expectation of a certain type of buyer is kind of like putting yourself up to find a potential suitor of a certain caliber. So, like any good dating site, you need to prepare your business’ “dating profile” to attract the right suitor.

“We really set the company up for a new buyer. We bought a lot of equipment, we had zero debt, sales were strong, and profits were high.”
– John Norgard founded Converting Technology (CTI)

Aside from getting your financials in order, ensuring all legal and regulatory requirements are met and making any necessary improvements to your operations or infrastructure, you need to look at which attributes within your business will attract your desired buyer (learn more about the different types of buyers and how to position your business to attract your best fit here). You then need to fine-tune your pitch according to these unique attributes.

This process should culminate in a comprehensive information memorandum that outlines the key details of your business, including financials, operations, and growth potential. This will help potential buyers understand the value of your business and make informed decisions about whether to pursue a purchase.

Step 4: Develop A Marketing Strategy To Attract The Right Buyer

You’ve decided on how to position your business to attract the right “suitor”. Now you need a marketing strategy to get your business out there and noticed!

A marketing strategy for selling a business can include everything from listing your business on online marketplaces to reaching out to industry contacts and advertising in relevant publications or websites.

It sounds simple enough, but the legwork behind a successful marketing strategy is intensive and requires expertise to create the right advertising, co-ordinate advertising placement, run digital and social media campaigns and, in general, make sure your information memorandum is seen by the right potential buyers.

“Woodbridge’s marketing video gives a buyer the opportunity to see the humanity behind the numbers.”
– Jason Medley, Collective Genius

If you don’t have the experience and/or internal resources to do this on your own, you may want to consider hiring a professional M&A firm. An experienced merger and acquisition firm will have an in-house marketing team that will take care of all marketing for you, from creating bespoke videos showcasing your company to advertising your company to as many viable buyers as possible.

Step 5: Evaluate Bids From Interested Buyers

Once you have attracted potential buyers and received bids, it’s important to carefully evaluate each bid and negotiate the terms of the sale.

“I didn’t select the highest bidder, I selected what I felt was the best fit. And that was important to me.”
– John Norgard, Converting Technology Inc.

Consider factors such as the purchase price, payment terms, and any contingencies or conditions that may be included in the offer. It’s also important to assess the buyer’s financial resources and experience in your industry to ensure they are a good fit for your business.

Working with a trusted mergers and acquisitions specialist will help you navigate this negotiation process and ensure you get the best possible deal for your business.

Woodbridge International specializes in helping mid-sized business owners find the best fit buyer for their business via our tried-and-tested ‘More Buyers, More Bids, Higher Price, Better Fit’ strategy. Our M&A experts are standing by to assist you. Make contact now.