When submitting your business for sale to the many directories and advertising boards on the internet, there are a number of techniques you can use to help optimise viewings, attract the right buyers and ultimately get inquiries coming in thick and fast. By following these top 10 tips, you will ensure your advert gets seen more on search engines and directories than competing businesses for sale and get that sale done and dusted faster.
1) Detailed, Accurate Titles
The first thing any visitor to one of the many business for sale marketplaces is going to see are the titles of countless listings. I have lost count how many times I’ve seen nondescript, anonymous titles used in business for sale adverts and in the most part, these businesses spend months floating around these directories with very little interest. If you are selling a cafe in Washington, don’t simply submit a title such as “Cafe for Sale” – add some meat to the bones!
If you have a specialism or something that stands you out from the crowd, then make some more noise! A title with email address database for sale more definition will attract far more interest. Examples could include “Successful & Profitable Cafe for sale in Washington”. If you sell fresh baked goods or health food, try to include these details such as “Health Food Cafe in Washington For Sale” or “Specialist Fresh Bakes Goods Cafe for Sale in Washington”. Make the search for your business as easy as possible.
2) Use The Right Categories
Many business for sale listings are fed out to countless other external websites, directories and portals using RSS and XML feeds. Without going into the overly technical details of how this works, for the most part they feed all of the listings using the categories in the database. Poorly categorised business listings will simply get lost in the mire so take the necessary time needed to find the ideal category that directly reflects ‘exactly’ what your business does. Don’t just use the first one that comes along and think ‘that’ll do’ – it won’t do. You’re wasting your time and your money.
Even if it takes a few minutes to find, those few minutes are totally worthwhile to ensure your business for sale listing is placed in the most suitable category. Some websites even allow you to list your business in multiple categories. If this option is available to you, use it! Don’t overlook a perfectly good opportunity to increase your reach and your exposure. If you can add your listing to three categories, use all three. Even if you can’t find any exact matches for your additional categories, find one that is as close as possible. Any extra exposure is good exposure.
3) Location, Location, Location
It’s common knowledge these days that most internet users are getting wise as to how to find search results that are far more accurate and appropriate to their needs. ‘Localised’ searching is now the norm and anyone looking to buy a business online will use the country, location and/or general region as part of the searches. If you advertise without adding the general location or at least some form of reasonably accurate regionalised placement, you could miss out of a huge amount of interest.
If confidentiality is key, it’s understandable that you don’t want to declare your exact location but it’s safe to assume that you can at least declare which country and state you are in. If you can add the town, do so as this will optimise your listing down to the town or city name on searches and will attract the right people in the right locations.
4) Be Descriptive, Not Lazy!
So many business for sale listings are let down by laziness when it comes to the description of the business. It amazes me how many businesses go onto the marketplace with very little information about them. What does that say about the business owner? Not a great deal I tell you! If your stats are telling you that your business for sale listing has had lots and lots of views, yet you have very few enquiries come through about the business, what does that tell you? It says your business for sale listing frankly sucks!
Don’t start blaming the website owners, the economy or just plain bad luck. Review your listing and see where it can be improved. No doubt the description will probably need to be improved and rewritten. If you aren’t that great at writing then get some help, but make sure you describe the business you are selling in full as buyers will without question, want to know this information. Describe everything from the product or service you offer, to your premises, your successes, accolades and achievements. Make your business as desirable as possible. Your advert is the first stages of the ‘big sale’ so don’t let yourself down with poor writing. Take the time to get it right and you WILL get enquiries coming in.
5) Pictures, Pictures, Pictures!
Pictures tell a thousand words and it applies just as much here as it does anywhere else on the internet. Take eBay for example. How many items have you bid on that didn’t contain a picture in the listing? Very few if none I suspect. Do you honestly think someone will buy a business for several thousand dollars that has no pictures to speak of? No chance. Even if confidentiality is key, try to find a good picture that will help enhance your listing and describe the product or service you provide. Pictures help buyers to visualise the business and add a huge amount of confidence and legitimacy into the business that is for sale. Pictures really help and stats prove that users click far more on search results that contain pictures over those that don’t. Try it out and you’ll see a massive difference.
6) Honesty In Your Facts
Any discerning business buyer will scrutinise over every little detail. No matter how desperate you are to sell, always be honest in your details, especially financial figures. If you are unsure as to how to prepare up any figures for a business for sale advert, then seek the assistance of a professional such as a business broker or an accountant. They will know who to draft up accurate figures for submission such as your turnover (sales), profit and loss.
7) Realistic Asking Price
Another common stumbling block and mistake that sellers make is their asking price. Go too high and you could put people off. Go too low and you could sell a prized asset for pittance. Calculating a reasonably accurate asking price for a business is a specialist skill and unless you are familiar with the workings of these kinds of calculations then you would be wise to seek the assistance of your accountant or a professional broker. Either way, you don’t want to be short changed or priced out of the market. As the golden rule states, your price can always comes down but going back up is never an option.
Users tend to search for businesses within a certain price range so consider this point when pricing up your business. You ideally want to fit within these boundaries so that potential buyers find your listing based on asking price alone.
8) Contact Details
If there is the opportunity to submit your contact details such as telephone or cell number and your email address, publish them and ensure you make yourself as readily available as possible. You’ll find that you will get quite a few enquires via telephone however email is an ever popular way to contact sellers as it leaves a certain level of anonymity. If you are asked to submit your email address to any directories or business for sale market places, ensure their systems strictly use forms instead of publishing your email address as text. You don’t want to encourage spam being sent to your inbox and by having your email address published, this is the quickest and fastest way to getting your email address adding to spam lists which is a nuisance and waste of your time – no doubt you’ll start to get countless emails trying to sell you Viagra! Having to trawl though messages to find ones that are actually useful to you is time consuming and annoying.
Before diving in head first and going off to the numerous websites and directories to submit your business for sale advert, get all of your material ready in the first place. That includes all of your figures, images and most importantly your business description. By preparing your material first, you can have it checked and read by friends to get the opinion first, allowing you time to perfect your work. Then once your text is all written and spell checked, all you have to do is copy and paste it into the forms at the websites you decide to use for advertising your business for sale.
Most of the mistakes highlighted here in this list are made by those who don’t prepare their work beforehand. By simply heading off to the websites to get started, they feel rushed and so end up submitting a short and nondescript listing which is poor in quality and lacking in any real quality. There’s no prize for getting your listing online fast so take your time and get it right beforehand.
10) Link Building
Inbound links and link building is the key to how the internet works. Without them, search engines wouldn’t be half as effective as they are today. If possible, add links to and from your various listings and if you can why not try to place links back to your business for sale listing on places such as the social networks, forums and bulletin boards? Using tools such as these will help to spread the word faster. Sites like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube are extremely powerful tools so if you have the means to use them, start submitting links on them. They’re free after all!
It goes without saying that the more exposure you have, the better chances you have of more interest and a quicker sale. So decide where and how you want to advertise your business for sale and try to get into onto as many websites, directories and portals as you can. If you want to optimise your chances, this is the single best thing you can do to get maximum exposure and ultimately, a sale.