If you're planning on selling your business, it's important to remember that advertising your plans can be a double-edged sword. While advertising can help you to reach potential buyers and negotiate the best price, it can also alert your customers and competition, possibly leading to instability. In order to sell your business for the best possible price without causing a panic in the industry, you're going to need to craft any ads you put out in a way that preserves confidentiality while still getting buyers interested.
If you're having trouble creating an ad that walks this fine line, here are a few tips:
1.) Be Non-Specific
When writing your ad, try to remain non-specific regarding the exact location of your business, what you do and how long you've been in business. Instead of saying what town your business is located in, you may choose to only use the state. Likewise, if your business has managed sports clients for 20 years, you might say that your business has "many years of experience working with athletic professionals."
2.) Use a Broker
Another great way to throw your competition off the trail is to use a broker. When placing online ads, you won't want to give contact information for your business, as anyone who calls the phone number you leave will know right away what business they are calling. By using a broker, you create a buffer zone between a potential buyer and your true business identity.
3.) Reach Out to Pre-Qualified Buyers
You may also want to write your ad so that it speaks directly to pre-qualified buyers. To do this, you can include your asking price in the ad, and you can also offer your annual revenues. This will help to narrow the pool of potential buyers down to those who will actually be interested in a purchasing a business of your size and scope.
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