Listen to Episode 187
As part of Phase 13: Selling your business we have been talking a lot about the best way to get ready for a sale. David Biddle has started many businesses over his career, including the lifestyle business Smart Boating. After selling that company he co-founded Brilliant Businesses a business broker that emphasizes the important of digital marketing. David has a really unique way of selling businesses by leveraging the power of social media.
David started his career working in the live event production business. Over the next fifteen years he worked all over the world in that industry. He staged conferences and live events for many blue chip companies. After a decade and a half he and his family decided to make a major change, moving from his home in the UK to Australia. He wanted to make a lifestyle change and so bought a yacht charter company down-under. He ran that business for ten years and it was during that time that he began to deploy digital marketing techniques to grow.
After ten years he decided to sell the yacht business. He started by looking for a good business brokers. Unfortunately he found it very difficult to find someone that really understood his business. Yacht chartering is a niche business t hat few brokers had any experience with. They struggled to find the right buyers and they seriously undervalued the company. He and his business partner leveraged their experience with digital marketing to sell the business on their own. They built their own website specifically designed to sell the business. They managed to sell within three months for double the valuation the brokers had offered.
David says people make many mistakes when trying to sell their business. But the biggest is not preparing properly. A rushed sale or an unexpected offer can lead to an owner making a bad decision. Not having the right paperwork is a huge error. Long term financials are a must as are monthly financial statements. He also says that having the right systems and processes in place documented is critical for a successful sale. Making sure the physical location of the business looks good is important. And most importantly, the owner has to be emotionally prepared to sell.
Most people will only sell one or two businesses in their life and the process can appear quite daunting. David and his team have put together and end to end approach acting as a trusted partner to guide owners through the process. David and his team start by making sure a prospective business is ready for sale. Accounts have to be up to date. Physical spaces need to be cleaned and optimized. Preparation also means that all the documents are uploaded to a data vault. That provides for a central clearinghouse for all information about the business.
Once that’s done David begins to pitch the prospective business to the marketplace. They do that by creating a tailor-made website specifically for the sale of the business. This is a standalone website separate from the businesses regular website. The website is selling the dream. It promotes the fantastic opportunity that owning this business will provide. The site features great pictures and videos that will engage a prospective buyer.
Next David promotes the opportunity to an audience. Rather than using a passive marketing approach they are much more proactive. They identify people that they think will be interested in the business and use Facebook, Google and LinkedIn to micro-target those audiences.
David says that if you setup your business to operate at maximal efficiency it will be much more easy to sell in the long run. A lot of business owners find that when they try to sell they company is far too dependent on them. It’s hard to sell an empty shell. Making yourself redundant from your own business is critical. The business should be able to operate without you before its ready to be sold. Finally, you should have a plan in place about what to do after the sale. Having a plan will keep you motivated during the sales process.
More about this Show
We started Business Legal Lifecycle to create a simple way for you to understand complex legal terms. Most importantly we want to help you to develop a plan to take your business successfully into the future. There’s a startling statistic the underscores the importance of developing a solid plan. The majority of business owners are just seven months away from losing everything. A single aspect of your business that is not set-up correctly can shut down your whole operation very quickly. Legal advice is not cheap and even when you can afford it there is often a divide between lawyers and their clients. We want to close that gap once and for all. We want to put legal knowledge and tools into your hand to prevent the worst from happening to you.
Twice a week we are going to deliver those tools right to your home or office with Business Legal Lifecycle TV. We’ll start the week with Fast Fix Monday, a short 5-10 minute video that will tackle a single issue that businesses have to deal with. Then on Wednesday’s our main show will feature with more fulsome discussions and interviews all delivered in a straightforward and easy to understand format.