Describing A Listing
Why The Description Means Everything
Properly describing a listing can make or break the success of a sale. Great attention to detail is important and corresponds with the expected outcome. When starting the process you’ll want to configure your listing to give as many details as possible; however, too much information can cause a lot of problems. For example, in many cases the business owner may not want their employees and vendors to know they’re selling, and if they find out it could cause them to jump ship and detrimentally effect the business going forward. On the other hand, if the public is aware of the sale you may not need to be so vague about the details.
We’ve included a bunch of data points in our listing format; however, that doesn’t mean you need to fill in all the blanks. Moreover, sometimes it’s best to keep buyers guessing, to get them asking questions. This can help to start a conversation, which may be best, if you want to keep some cards to your vest. Nevertheless, if you don’t mind giving out the selling points, just fill in the blanks and they’ll show up in your listing details.
Entering ‘TBA’ or ‘TBD’ in some data points can also be a double edged sword. On one hand entering TBD in the Gross Revenue and/or EBITDA spot can be off-putting to some buyers, possibly making them take a more standoffish negotiating position. No matter how interesting a business is, if the buyer needs to spend too much time negotiating they’re likely to move on to another deal. Sometimes using TBD is appropriate, e.g., in monthly payroll, or number of employees, etc. It’s fairly common knowledge that certain employees may leave, or the buyer may want to have them step down as part of the final agreement. Obviously, those points need to be discussed.
Using Actual Pictures
It’s sometimes disconcerting to see stock photos in a listing. Be creative with pictures; for example, if you’re selling a restaurant and it needs to be kept quiet, snap some nice inconspicuous pictures. Don’t show anything that is recognizable; however, make them actual pictures of the business.
Each listing is different, which is why it’s important to use a professional business broker. Brokers are trained in the art of listing a business for sale, as well as the methods for starting a negotiation. That said, many business owners have the prowess to handle these tasks themselves. If you’re one of these savvy business owners, congrats! If not, try to find a good business broker and ask them some of these data points. It may end up saving you a lot of headaches, and you may just find that your sale brings in a higher number than you expected.
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