You can increase the likelihood of successfully selling your business by implementing a pre-sale marketing plan. But how do you approach it, and where do you start?

Essentially, there are two aspects of pre-sale marketing to consider:

1. General marketing which appears in the business media and trade press

The public profile of a business will typically be the only insight a potential buyer has into your business before you open discussions in relation to a sale. As such, the key is to integrate effective marketing techniques that boost the visibility (and crucially the desirability) of your business.

Whether it be print collateral, such as brochures, flyers or adverts, online content such as blog posts, website content or social media presence or PR efforts, your marketing should subtly include signposts to those attributes which acquirers will find attractive.

By including these messages, you can:

  • Identify potential purchasers
  • Position the company effectively for sale
  • Build a public profile of the company which is supportive to a sales process
  • Establish relations and build a clear communication channel with acquirers
  • Provide greater insights into your business

2. Targeted messages to specific acquirers

The second aspect of pre-sale marketing is more time-consuming and involves more commercial risk.

In this scenario, you identify a handful of potential buyers and actively engage in dialogue. The purpose of this dialogue is twofold; to increase their knowledge of your business and its attractiveness such that they reach the conclusion they should acquire you.

This doesn’t happen overnight, and you will need to invest time and effort in building a specific communication plan. It is likely you will also be divulging some commercial information, so this need to be weighed carefully against the risks.

Getting started

So how do you get started? Below are some thoughts to get you thinking:

  • Who are you targeting? Who is the ideal buyer?
  • What are your motivations for selling your business? What would you like to achieve through your marketing efforts? What can your business offer potential buyers or investors?
  • When do you intend to sell your business?
  • Where does your business stand within the marketplace against its competitors?
  • Why would someone choose to buy your business?
  • You understand your business inside and out, but do you understand it from a buyer’s perspective? How will you market your business to your target audience?

With you, each step of the way

Smith Cooper Corporate Finance specialise in the sale of companies, and we are here to help you formulate an optimal sale strategy in an appropriate time frame that suits your financial and personal objectives. Our breadth of expertise and track record helping business secure an optimum consideration for their business means we’re well positioned to help our clients thrive.

We provide a full project management services that includes Initial assessment of value and options, pre-sale advice, preparation of marketing materials to boost prospects and visibility, the handling of negotiations and management of the entire transaction, from inception to execution.

We help clients build sustainable value within their businesses, pinpointing opportunities and navigating complexities, ensuring they’re in the best position possible to execute bold and decisive decisions. If you’d like to speak to one of our dedicated Corporate Finance advisors, please do not hesitate to get in touch. Alternatively to read more about preparing a business for sale, click here.