Is Your Ugly Business Scaring Away Buyers


Beauty is within the eye of the beholder, however when it comes to your business, if it’s ugly, then everyone will notice, no one will be interested and ultimately you will not sell!

An ugly business (without stating the obvious) is one that is the total opposite of an attractive business. It is a business that offers nothing of interested to a potential buyer.

Is My Business in a Position to Sell?

Right from the get go, you should be running your business in a manner that would put you in a position to sell at short notice. Your business should be presented in a way that reflects its strong attributes, highlighting to potential buyers that it would be in their best interest to invest in a business like yours.

Whether it be maintaining a clean and friendly work environment, or having your financials accurate and up to date, ‘preparation’ is something that all business owners need to make a conscious effort in doing.

Why is My Business Unattractive?

As a business owner, you are usually so business running the day to day activities that you can easily become oblivious to underlying issues.

Another reason you might have trouble identifying aspects of your business that might deter buyers, is the fact that you only see things through rose coloured glasses because of your emotional connection.

Some of the areas of your business that might be needing attention are:

  • Presentation of products;
  • Presentation of staff;
  • Staff attitude;
  • Punctuation;
  • Time management;
  • Quality of services or products;
  • Financial book work up to speed;
  • Business culture;
  • Business relationships.

All of these points mentioned above need attention whether your selling a business or not, but in the event that you are selling your business, make sure that these areas in not being neglected or they will most certainly scare of any potential buyer.

Business Makeover

Just like when a getting ready to sell your home or car, you want to make a good first impression with any potential buyer. This will improve your chances of a sale, a faster sale and may also result in you fetching a higher sale price.

Some of the things you can do which will give your business a make over prior to selling are:

  • Have a clearance sale on all slow moving products. This will see an immediate improvement in your sales figures;
  • Sell all inactive or hardly used plant equipment, tools, machines, etc they are no longer needed for the business;
  • Give your shop/premises a mini ‘renovation rescue’ which might include painting, cleaning, washing of vehicles/company cars, property, etc. Bring it up to scratch and always make sure everything is legal and is not violating council regulations;
  • Make sure your lease (if applicable) has an option for renewing. It would also be in your best interest to make sure it is not up for renew around the time of your sale.

These may seem obvious to some, but believe it or not, most people simply forget to address these points, and do not realize how much of a positive impact it can have when selling.

Unresolved Legal Issues

Make sure you do not fall into this category! Buyers will simply turn and walk away if they discover that the business they are considering to buy has outstanding legal issues. Make sure you have dealt with these legal issues accordingly well ahead of time, prior to advertising your business for sale.

Over Pricing Your Business

All business owners think that their business is worth more than it actually is. That’s normal, but it will scare away buyers if your asking price is unrealistic. Set it too low and you stand to lose thousands of dollars. Over price your business and it will sit on the market for a very long time and will never sell!

Always seek a third party valuation via your accountant or an independent business valuation firm. This will allow you to set an accurate asking price which will result in a faster sale.

Legitimate Reason for Selling

All potential buyers will want to know why you are selling. It’s a natural question to ask. They may not ask it exactly like this, but they will be wondering, ‘if your business is so fantastic, why would you even consider selling’.

Whether you are retiring, need a change of scenery or you are selling for financial or personal reasons, be prepared for this question as it can leave a lasting impression on the buyer. Have an answere prepared and do not be caught off guard. The last thing you want to do is lose trust with the buyer with an evasive response.

Now You’re Ready to Advertise Your Business for Sale

Making sure you address these concerns prior to selling your business will insure that your business is an attractive opportunity.

At this point, your can start advertising it on business for sale websites, or make contact with a local business broker.