After growing a business for a period of time, you may reach a point when you need to seek investments to promote further growth. Or, you might wish to sell the business entirely. Perhaps you want to focus on a new business idea, or maybe you’re simply no longer personally invested in the business.
Regardless, if you’re seeking investors or buyers, you need to ensure your business stands out among the competition. It’s critical that you give someone a good reason to invest in or purchase your business.
The following tips will help. While the specific ways in which you promote your business’ strengths may in part vary depending on the nature of your business, generally, you should consider these strategies and ideas:
Highlight Passion and Practicalities
On a practical level, it’s essential that you “know your numbers” when meeting with potential business investors or buyers. You have to show in concrete terms how your business has succeeded in the past and is likely to continue succeeding in the future.
However, reviewing your financials isn’t the only way to prepare for a meeting with a buyer or investor. You also need to generate real passion for your business. Your goal is to ensure someone considering investing in your business or purchasing it remembers their meetings with you clearly. You’ll have a better chance of standing out in their memory if you describe your business in truly positive and dynamic ways when you first speak with them.
This may seem difficult if you’re no longer as engaged in your business as you once were. That said, if you’ve truly managed to grow a business to a point where you can realistically envision selling it or attracting new investors, you almost certainly had to have been passionate about it once. Make a sincere effort to remember and convey those feelings.
Prepare for Your Business to Function Without You
Even if you’re not currently selling your business, investors will typically consider the possibility that you may one day step away from it in the future. Thus, both potential investors and buyers need to be confident your business is equipped to run successfully without you.
Prepare accordingly. Create a detailed plan regarding how your business will continue to grow and thrive if you’re not running it any longer, and share this plan with investors or buyers. They’ll be impressed you considered this essential factor that many business owners overlook.
Have (Real) Customers
Another mistake business owners make when they want to make a quick profit by selling a business early or seeking investors during initial growth stages is relying too much on their plans for attracting customers when explaining why someone should buy or invest in their business.
You may have a practical strategy regarding how your business will attract customers in the future. This typically isn’t enough to impress an investor or buyer. You need to have a relatively substantial base of actual customers when you schedule these types of meetings. Investors and buyers want facts, not theories.
Perhaps most importantly, while you should remain professional, it’s also smart to remember that you’re cultivating an actual relationship with someone who may invest in or purchase your business. Behave accordingly. One of the easiest ways to ensure your business stands out is to simply be a likable and genuine person.