If you are serious about selling your business one day, it’s important to have a good idea who might want to buy it. Imagine spending 10 years building a business you intend to sell only to realise you have created something nobody wants to buy. If you build a business with a buyer in mind, you have a much better chance of building something they really want.
A potential buyer could be a larger player in your industry looking to grow through acquisition. This growth might be regional – they want a presence in your city or town and it’s easier to buy you than start from scratch. It might be strategic – you have a smart product or service they could add to their existing infrastructure – for example, a large accounting firm buying a small book-keeping firm to add value to their client base. Your service or product could become a ‘nuisance’ to a competitor and they buy your company to prevent it competing or to regain lost revenues. It could be a management buy-out, when senior employees raise the funds to buy you out. It could be a competitor of a similar size wanting to grow and willing to invest to gain rapid growth through acquisition. Another type of buyer could be a private equity group or even an individual who sees great potential in what you’ve built.
I’ve sold businesses to two types of buyer. A multinational bought my advertising agency and a local competitor bought my pet care company. My father’s photocopier business sold to his senior management team.
So who might want to buy your business? What are you building that could add huge value to someone’s offering? Now is the time to start thinking about these things.
From the desk of Liber8me. Business mentors and publisher of Liber8 your Business: The revolutionary planning technique that will set every business owner free