BizBen.com
500 New & Refreshed Posts, Postings Daily
Over 8,000 Postings & 2,500 Resources
Assisting Buyers & Sellers Over 25 Years!

Categories

How To Advertise A Business For Sale Without Revealing Too Much

Sidney decided to advertise a business for sale that he had owned several years. And he thought it would be important to give as much information in the ad as possible, so that only people interested in exactly what was being offered a busy convenience store--would respond. He was trying to achieve the perfect match. That would save everyone's time. But he learned, after people dropped by his store during business hours asking for more details, that he had included too much identifying information.

Ruining the confidentiality about your sale is only one problem with providing too many details in the business for sale ad/posting. Another is that one or more of the facts stated in the advertisement might discourage or confuse prospective buyers.
 
Here are a few guidelines that can be followed to make sure that just the right amount of information is included to attract interest, but not so much that it works against the objectives of the advertiser.
 
1. Location is important to many buyers and probably should be included, using a very general description, in most ads offering a business for sale. People who may be potential buyers probably want to know whether the manufacturing company is in a new and modern industrial park or an old factory setting near downtown. The ad for a retail business in California should let readers know if the company is in a suburban shopping mall or a part of the central business district. One strategy to give important but non-revealing information, is to mention the neighborhood in a large city--sporting goods store in western part of Los Angeles; or just name the county, in the event the business can be identified simply with information about its city liquor store in San Bernardino County.

2. Contact information should not, of course, be easily associated with the business. One seller didn't know how callers responding to his furniture store for sale ad/posting were able to determine the identity of the company. The ad included the number for his home phone, rather than the store's phone number. Clever buyers simply used a reverse directory to discover his name using the phone number, then conducted an online search using his name and the term "furniture store". It's a good idea to set up a separate email or phone number just for the purpose of receiving responses to the ad.

3. Stating, "Complete information will be provided to qualified buyers," alerts readers of the ad to the fact that they'll have to supply their information to the seller, if they want to know details about the company for sale. Serious buyers ready to satisfy the seller's confidentiality requirements will respond to the ad expecting to agree to a non-disclosure document, and to provide requested personal information to the seller. Those who are more curious than serious will probably not respond to the advertisement.

4. Detailed information in ads may or may not make the phone ring. Revealing that a cafe for sale generates $5,000 in monthly earnings to the owner may result in responses from those who want to make that amount of money. That's too much information, however, to attract the buyer who needs to generate $7,000 to $8,000 per month in earnings. Yet that buyer's response to the ad would be welcomed, because the seller would have the chance to explain the potential is there for an active owner to quickly boost earnings by 50%.
 
Whether or not to provide earnings figures, rent costs, years remaining on the lease, asking price, annual growth rate and so forth, is up to the seller. He or she should understand that while certain facts included in the posting might provoke responses, that information is likely to discourage others from calling or emailing the seller to express and interest and request more information.

One possible strategy is to run the ad with information for a couple of weeks, then change it by reducing the detail before advertising again.

#photo#About The Author: Peter Siegel, MBA is the Founder & Senior Advisor (ProBuy & ProSell Programs) at BizBen.com (established 1994, 8000+ CA businesses for sale, 500 new & refreshed postings/posts daily). Get expert advise when placing an ad to sell a California business. Reach him at 925-785-3118 to discuss strategies regarding buying, selling, (or financing a puchase of) California businesses.

Categories: BizBen Blog Contributor, BizBen News, How To Sell A Business

Contributor:

Peter Siegel, MBA
Areas Served: Nationwide - All Areas
Phone:  925-785-3118 Cell, 925-785-3118 Text
Peter Siegel, MBA - Founder Of BizBen.com (over 25 years), I am the Lead Advisor for the ProSell, ProBuy, & ProIntermediary Programs. I advise/coach buyers, sellers, and brokers daily about buying & selling small to mid-sized businesses throughout the Nation. I can be reached direct at 925-785-3118.

Comments & Feedback From Pro Intermediaries & Pro Advisors On BizBen:

Posted By: Joe Ranieri, Business Broker: LA, Orange Counties, California    

Good points, Peter. Also remember if you take a picture of the exterior to either use Paint program or Photoshop to take out any address numbers on the side of the building and any distinctive names, which could be traced back to the business. Adding pictures adds a lot of value to the listing. If the seller is willing to carry a note, that's also important to specify in the add, because it will attract more buyers. Even though you are selling a deli, it's nice to include that the buyer "can do" other food types, and to include those style of cuisines, again attracts more buyers.






Place A Posting To Sell Or Buy A Business, Search All Postings


Sell A Business Fast: Place A For Sale Posting Now To Sell A Small Business - 7 Programs To Select From >
Find A Business To Buy Fast: Place A Wanted To Buy Posting Today - Best Way To Find & Buy A Business >
Search Business For Sale & Wanted To Buy Postings On BizBen - 500 New & Refreshed Postings Daily! >

Other Related Blog Posts, Articles, And Discussions You May Be Interested In

Great Questions To Ask A Seller As A Business Buyer What Questions Should I Ask The Owner, Seller Or Broker?

Asking the seller straightforward questions and getting straightforward answers in return is an important part of the buying and due diligence process. In this Discussion, both ProIntermediaries and Advisors offer thorough questions you should be asking during your meeting with a business seller.
Giving Buyers Tax Returns Should Sellers Of Small Businesses Give Potential Buyers Their Tax Returns?

Should small business owners/sellers or brokers/agents give potential buyers direct access to past company tax returns and financials (profit & loss statements) either before or pre the due diligence process? Multiple ProIntermediaries and ProAdvisors discuss this topic on this BizBen Discussion.
Buying A Janitorial Service Janitorial Cleaning Services: 6 Considerations When Buying A Janitorial Firm

Buyers interested in buying a janitorial cleaning business will find companies in this industry for sale that are quite profitable. Careful due diligence, including the six factors covered in this blog post, is advised before completing a deal. Peter Siegel, MBA with BizBen explores this industry.
Should Buyers Take Control Before Closing? Should A Buyer Be Allowed To Operate A Small Business Before Escrow Closes?

Business buyers, brokers, owner/sellers all ask this question at some point. So I decided to ask some of the top Intermediaries in the California marketplace what they thought of the idea. Most of the ProIntermediaries on BizBen agreed with me on taking early possession before the close of escrow.
How Long Is A Standard Non-Compete Agreement? How Long Is A Standard Non-Compete Agreement Between Buyers And Sellers?

For those who don't know, a non-compete agreement is a contract between a buyer and seller of a business, which after the sale, prohibits the seller from engaging in direct competition with the business they previously sold. Joe Ranieri (Business Broker) adds this topic to a BizBen Discussion Post.
Selling A Business 13 Crucial Tips Selling A Small To Mid-Sized Business: 13 Crucial Items To Sell A Business

Only 30% of all small businesses for sale that are put on the market overall are sold! A surprising statistic to most business owners, agents, and brokers trying to sell a small business! If however you follow the strategies (BizBen Protocol Method) in this blog post you should see success!
Chuck Posts New Laundry Book Chuck Post, Laundry Pro Offers New Laundromat Book For Buyers And Owners

Chuck Post, a leading laundry expert with over 37 years of developing laundries, retooling, and rebranding hundreds of existing laundries, tells investors how to search, find, evaluate, and do good laundry due diligence laundries for acquisition. A must read for new investors & current operators.
Unreported Income Claims By Sellers Unreported Income Claims By The Seller - What Should A Business Buyer Do?

One of the most difficult challenges when purchasing a small business is expressed by this prospective buyer of a liquor store who is told by the seller that there is more money being made than shows up on the books. Should the buyer accept that statement by the seller & go ahead with the purchase?
Business Broker Likes Purchase Agreements Advantages Of An Asset Purchase Agreement (Contract) Over A Letter Of Intent

An LOI may very well be appropriate for lower middle market transactions of $5,000,000 or more; but, for deals less than that an Asset Purchase Agreement ("APA") with contingencies on the actions of the buyer (and seller) is much more efficient & effective. Tim Cunha, JD (Business Broker) explains.
Curb Appeal Selling A Business Does Curb Appeal Really Help Sell Small Businesses? Brokers & Agents Discuss

This post is essential reading for any prospective business seller. Curb appeal is critically important, not just to the amount of the final sale price, but also to whether there will be a sale at all. Top ProIntermediaries and ProAdvisors discuss this valuable topic on this BizBen.com Discussion.