Tips for finding a buyer when selling a business

On Behalf of | Jun 18, 2022 | Business Formation & Planning

For many Oregon business owners, selling their company is something they look forward to with great anticipation, eager to cash in on their hard entrepreneurial work. For others, it is something entered tentatively with hopes of finding the right fit for a beloved enterprise. In either case, the challenge of finding a buyer will be forefront for many going through this process. In fact, it turns out that over three-quarters of business owners are not able to find a buyer for their businesses. Knowing this, many owners may want to take steps to make their companies attractive to potential buyers. Here are some ways to do just that: 

  • Demonstrate that the business can run with a different owner: Many business owners get caught up in their origin stories or share particular aspects of the business that have a personal impact. But getting personal can be a turnoff for buyers because it may make it seem like the business owner is imperative to the business’ operations. Instead, savvy buyers will be seeking evidence that the business can run well through a leadership change. 
  • Be prepared to talk numbers: Buyers will have many questions about financials, and will likely ask about margins, costs and so on. Being prepared for these questions and transparent in responses will help to build trust, which can facilitate a good faith transaction. 
  • Diversify: Many buyers are hesitant to buy a business that is too dependent on a single client or product. When building a business with intent to sell, diversification should be top of mind. 

Finding a buyer for a business can be difficult, not only logistically but also emotionally and in some cases legally. After all, a person’s business can have a great deal of history and meaning, and buyers rightfully may have many considerations and concerns. When entering a transaction of this kind, it is important to have the right people involved to ensure that everything goes smoothly, including an experienced Oregon business lawyer.