The Strengths-First Approach to Selling Your Business

Many fail to adequately emphasize their strengths. Here are five key strengths to hone in on as you prepare to sell.

Highlighting your strengths is the secret ingredient in the recipe for selling your business. This might seem glaringly obvious. Yet a large number of business owners fail to see this strategy as the key step it is. Many fail to adequately emphasize their strengths. Here are five key strengths to hone in on as you prepare to sell.

Know Your Buyer

Although you know your business well, you don’t necessarily know which buyer is best to run it in the long-term. If you have not sold a business before, you may not have a good idea of how to position your business in a way that attracts the right buyer. A business broker can prove invaluable in this scenario. They are experts at assessing whether buyers are serious and mining their contacts to find the ideal buyer. A broker also knows how to put your strengths front and center in a way that appeals to the right type of buyer.

Maintain Normal Operations

Selling a business is a full-time job unto itself. This is yet another reason that working with a business broker can be so valuable. A broker focuses on selling your business so that you have time to focus on sustaining daily operations. You don’t want to waste your time on unserious buyers only to have your business slow down because you were too busy managing the sale process. A broker can help with both issues.

Setting the Right Price

Price is one of the most important factors in whether and how quickly a business sells. If the price is too high, interest will wane. Too low and buyers will get suspicious. Many owners have unrealistic value expectations or fail to take into account all aspects of value when setting the price. Partnering with a broker can help you set a fair price that gets your business into the hands of the right buyer.

Preparing for the Sale

You wouldn’t try to sell a dirty home with an overgrown lawn. Selling a business is similar. You must ensure every aspect of your business is sale-ready. Your business must look good. You must also provider numbers to back up your claims of value and forecasts for the future. Tax returns, contracts, business plans, forecasts, and projections are critical here. Consider what you would want to see if you were about to purchase a business. Your buyer will want the same. Highlight your strengths at every turn during this process, and if necessary, take time to correct issues with your business before putting it on the market.


If word leaks that your business is for sale, expect a host of problems. Employees, including key managers, might begin looking for new work. Suppliers and important buyers may get skittish and look to your competitors. Competitors can then leverage this to your advantage—or even pretend to be buyers in an attempt to gain trade secrets. A broker knows how to market your business without undermining confidentiality.

Preparing for sale means taking an honest look at your business’s strengths and weaknesses, then finding ways to address the former and highlight the latter. Your broker is a key support person for positioning your business as strongly as possible as you move toward a successful sale.

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