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How Do Business Performance and Health Affect Your Planning?

How Do Business Performance and Health Affect Your Planning?

Many successful business owners don’t feel any urgency to plan for the futures of their businesses. When owners are comfortable where they’re at, they may struggle to plan with a longer view of their business futures, perhaps asking, “Why change what works?”

One way to answer this question is to define what makes a business strong. Strong businesses are a marriage between performance and health. The difference between business performance and business health as follows:

• Business performance is the business’ ability to win today.

• Business health is the business’ ability to win tomorrow.

As a successful business owner, your business may perform well right now. But have you considered the shape of your business’ health? For example, many successful businesses meet or exceed various expectations based mostly on the owner’s presence. If that owner were to leave unexpectedly (via death, injury, or otherwise), the business would most likely suffer, if not fail altogether. In this example, the business may have a strong performance. But its health—its ability to win tomorrow—is in jeopardy because if anything were to go wrong with the owner, it’s likely that things will go wrong with the business.

Compounding that challenge is the fact that many owners are incredibly optimistic about themselves and their businesses. They may say, “We can worry about that when it’s time.” But the time to worry about the business’ health is now, especially if you, your family, and others rely on your business to support their lifestyles.

Let’s look at two ways you can marry business performance to business health.

Pinpoint problems in the context of how your business affects you and others

Business owners typically don’t answer to anyone. You’re likely the boss, the decision maker, the interrogator. If your business consistently turns out a strong performance, you may question why you need to plan for your business’ future.

One way to confront this (sometimes false) sense of comfort is to ask yourself, “How does this business affect me and others I care about?” Though some answers may be obvious (e.g., “The business is my nest egg”), other answers may be less apparent. For example, you may ask yourself, “Can my business run smoothly without me?” If the answer is “no,” then how might that affect your family and employees if you were ever forced out of the business by death, incapacity, or something else?

Your business is likely a vehicle to financial security, but it might also be much more than that. If you want to eventually transfer your ownership to children, you should know whether your children want to run the business, whether they’re capable of running the business, and how any differences in management styles might affect the business. Likewise, if you intend to sell to a third party, you may need to determine whether you have a management team that can continue smooth operations.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Diagnosing your business’ long-term health often begins when you dig into how your business affects you and the people or causes you care about most.

Calculate consequences

Knowing how your business affects yourself and others gives you a baseline to consider consequences. For example, your business may have enjoyed years of success. During those years, your business may have provided your family with a lifestyle that you could have only dreamed of when you founded the business. You may wonder why you would change what’s worked.

In this case, a question you might ask is, “Is this business that has provided my family and me with so much protected?” Even without going into vivid detail, the idea that your business might be vulnerable can get you to consider the consequences of not having a plan for future success. Perhaps there are threats or risks you’ve ignored for years, because those threats and risks haven’t yet affected the business or simply because you don’t have a solution to address them. This is fairly common among successful owners.

By calculating consequences, you can focus on what it will take you to maintain the business’ long-term health. It can also encourage you to act, because other people may be counting on you.

Marrying business performance and health is rarely a one-person show. If you’d like to talk about how your business affects yourself and others, and what the consequences of not having a plan for future business success might be, please contact us today.

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Whether you are looking to exit your privately held business, represent an acquisition-minded corporation, value your business, or are personally interested in owning or building value in your own company or franchise, Colonial Business Brokerage offers the professional services that successfully bring buyers and sellers together.

Special thanks to Chuck Hollander of Red Flag Advantage for providing the definition of a strong business.

Check Out These “Before” And “After” Websites

Over the past several weeks, we’ve been discussing the fundamentals of marketing…

• have something good to say
• say it well
• say it often

Click here to review the video that explains the important factors that led to the creation of these fundamentals.

Last week we continued our discussion about the second fundamental… say it well.

We discussed the “magic formula” that will enable you to write powerhouse marketing.

The magic formula is called the “Conversion Equation,” and it looks like this…

Interrupt, Engage, Educate and Offer

As a brief review, the Interrupt refers to a problem-based, attention-grabbing headline.

The Engage is a subheadline that promises a solution to the problem referenced in the headline.

The Educate provides the solution and backs it up with evidence and proof.

And the Offer compels the prospect to take action by providing VALUE.

It’s absolutely critical that you know and understand how to use this “Conversion Equation,” and I promised that this week I would provide you with before and after examples that will prove to you the absolute power of this amazing formula.

Click here and check out these two websites (they should look familiar to you).

Notice how the “After” site follows the Conversion Equation to the letter, and will result in this child psychologist gaining the ability to out-market and out-sell every other child psychologist hands down.

This child psychologist specializes in helping adolescents with a range of problems from emotional and behavioral issues to teen pregnancy and bullying.

In the psychologist’s “Before” site, notice how he attempts to target ALL of the prospects who may have a need for one of more of his services.

This makes it impossible to speak directly to any of them with a targeted, problem-based headline… or a subheadline promising a specific solution.

Obviously there is a BIG difference in the messaging for a parent needing help with bullying issues versus a pregnant teen (can you say “day and night”).

But in the “After” site, the psychologist is addressing only the parents with kids suffering with emotional and behavioral problems, and therefore gains the ability to speak to them directly and target their hot button, problem-based issues.

Now listen, that does NOT mean this psychologist can’t continue to treat the other conditions as well.

But to do so effectively, he MUST develop a separate site for EACH of the conditions he treats.

Then he MUST create targeted marketing that directs the right prospects to each individual site.

As an example, he could run a pay-per-click campaign on Facebook with an ad that says… Sick and Tired of Your Child’s Belligerent Attitude?

Anyone clicking on that ad would be instantly transported to the “After” site where most (if not all) would request the doctor’s informational offer… mainly because of the value it promises, coupled with the fact it is NO RISK to the prospect (they don’t have to speak directly with anyone).

Then the psychologist could run a second Facebook ad that said… Child Being Bullied – Here’s What All Parents Should Know!… and then those parents will be directed to the psychologist’s “bullying” site.

Now answer this question… how many child psychologist’s are currently doing anything like this?

Simple answer… NONE! ZERO! NADA! ZIPPO!

THIS is the great opportunity that is being handed to you right now!

99.9% of business owners have NO clue that this is the key to effective marketing, and now YOU have the knowledge to implement this in your business… and if you do, you will begin to dominate your market.

But there is a reason WHY this works this way, and next week I’ll share that secret with you!

Until then, be successful!

Tom Flowers

P.S. Also remember, to determine how likely your marketing is to convert, simply fill out my Conversion Equation Evaluator.

This evaluator has the unprecedented ability to predict the future success of any marketing collateral you develop… as well as predict whether that marketing will be profitable or not. And, it’s 100% free to use!

After calculating your marketing conversion level, I can show you exactly what to do with your website and marketing collateral that could double or triple the number of prospects who respond to your marketing.

Just schedule a complimentary meeting with me.

How Long Does Planning for Your Business’ Future Take?

How Long Does Planning for Your Business’ Future Take?

One of the first questions business owners ask about exiting their businesses is, “Just how long is all of this supposed to take?” The true answer is it depends. There are many things to consider as you shape your Exit Plan. You might have a business that’s worth $10 million but is overly reliant on you for success. You might have a strong management team to take over but only one or two huge customers. Different obstacles provide different answers to “How long does this all take?”

Fortunately, there are some general guidelines for how long planning can take. However, Exit Planning timeline guidelines are primarily dependent on you. If you and your business are ready for an exit, advisors can shape and implement an Exit Plan for you. If neither you nor the business is prepared, planning will need to include a phase for getting both you and the business ready, as well as a phase devoted to designing and implementing the actual exit.

Time It Takes to Shape the Exit Plan

Shaping the actual plan can take as little as a few months. To quickly shape Exit Plans, you must have all the appropriate data; know what you have and what you need for financial independence; and know which Exit Path you want to take and why.

However, though you may have ideas for what your ideal exit looks like, your ideas are likely loaded with questions you never considered. For instance, you may say that you want to transfer your business to your children. This raises questions such as “What if my kids don’t want it or can’t run it?” and “What if they can’t pay me for total ownership for 10 years or more?” Unless you uncover and address these questions, planning could take years (or never get done at all).

Often, delays in planning result from an owner’s uncertainty. Whether that uncertainty is about how much money they want, whom they want to transfer to, or whether they can see themselves not running a business, the owner’s uncertainty often causes delays.

Time It Takes to Fully Implement and Execute the Plan

Once you’ve shaped your plan for your business’ future, it’s time to implement and execute it. If you are ready to act, implementation and execution can begin immediately. Here are a few things to consider.

It Takes Time to Build Necessary Business Value

Building necessary business value can be the longest part of implementing an Exit Plan. Many business owners have a sizeable gap between the resources they have and the resources they need to achieve their goals. This can mean that owners must increase the value of their businesses beyond what they’re worth today.

Compounding this challenge is the fact that you and your existing management may not have the know-how to grow the business further and achieve your Exit Goals. To build necessary value, you’ll likely need a growth plan. A strong growth plan positions you and your management to implement strong Value Drivers in the business.

Different Exit Paths Have Different Timelines

Recall that you have two overarching options when you sell or transfer ownership. You can sell to a third party, like a strategic buyer, or transfer to an insider, such as a child or your employees. If you and your business are prepared for an exit, and you commit to pursuing a third-party sale, it’s possible for you to sell your business and be completely out within a year or so.

Typically, transfers to insiders take longer, even if you and your business are ready for your exit. The additional time is due primarily to incoming ownership’s financing capabilities. But the time it takes to sell a business to a third party or transfer to insiders is not primarily dependent on the nature of the Exit Path. It’s dependent on whether you are ready to exit and whether your business can support your exit.

Conclusion

In Exit Planning, time binds all decisions. As you look toward your future, whether your timeline is one year or 20 years, consider asking yourself, “Do I want to wait until I’m ready to move on to do all these things?” Experience shows that the answer is “No.”

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Whether you are looking to exit your privately held business, represent an acquisition-minded corporation, value your business, or are personally interested in owning or building value in your own company or franchise, Colonial Business Brokerage offers the professional services that successfully bring buyers and sellers together.

Should You Sell Your Family Business?

 

When the complicating variable of family is added to the equation of selling a business, the situation can get rather messy.  Family usually complicates everything and businesses are, of course, no exception.  Ken McCracken’s recent article “Family business: to sell or not to sell?” 6 questions to help you make the right decision,” seeks to decode the complexities so often associated with family businesses. 

Consider the Market 

The foundation of determining whether or not now is the right time to sell must begin with market forces.  Determining how much your business is worth is a key variable in any decision to sell. 

The best way to determine the worth of your business is to have an outside party, such as a business broker, evaluate your business.  What you believe your business to be worth and what the market dictates could be very different.  You may discover that your business does not have the value that you hoped for.  If this is the situation, then selling simply may not be an option.

What is Next for You?

Tied to knowing your market value is understanding what you will do next after you sell your business.  For example, do you have a family member who can run the business without you?  What will you and any family members who work for the business do after the sale goes through?  You may discover that the sale could be very disruptive for you personally.  All too often, people fail to recognize the emotional and mental stress that comes along with selling a business.  Many owners begin the selling process only to discover that they are not emotionally ready to do so.  While everyone wants to be unemotional in making their business decisions, this is not always the case.

Due Diligence 

You will also need to deal with the issue of due diligence.  Working with a business broker is an excellent way to handle the due diligence process.  Business brokers usually vet prospective buyers ahead of time, which can save you a great deal of aggravation and wasted time. 

McCracken believes business owners should investigate how the prospective buyer handled previous acquisitions.  Specifically, McCracken believes that business owners should look to how well the prospective buyer honored previous commitments, as doing so is an indicator of how trustworthy a buyer may be. 

Planning for Negotiations

Finally, McCraken believes it is essential to know who will oversee negotiations.  It is key to note that many deals that could have otherwise been successful, fall apart due to poor negotiations.  A business broker can be invaluable in negotiations.  After all, who wouldn’t want someone with dozens, or even hundreds, of successful transactions advising them?

Selling a family business can be emotionally charged and can cause significant life changes for not just you, but for members of your family as well.  Often, family businesses were built up over a lifetime or even over generations, which can make the decision to sell quite emotionally charged.

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Whether you are looking to exit your privately held business, represent an acquisition-minded corporation, value your business, or are personally interested in owning or building value in your own company or franchise, Colonial Business Brokerage offers the professional services that successfully bring buyers and sellers together.

Copyright: Business Brokerage Press, Inc.

Mangostar/BigStock.com

Do You Know How To Turn Your Business Card Into A Lead Generating Machine?

 

Do You Know How To Turn Your Business Card Into A Lead Generating Machine?

Your business card is the most often overlooked form of lead generation. In fact, most business owners never even consider the possibility that their business card should be driving prospects to them in droves.

And yet, it can be one of your most versatile lead generation tools for your business’s product or service.

What you need to know…

The key is to create a business card that gets your prospects to take a specific action rather than simply provide boring contact information.

There’s a formula to follow that will help you create powerful business cards that compel your prospects to take a specific action. That formula states that you must Interrupt your prospects (usually done with an attention grabbing headline), Engage them (by promising a solution to the problem the headline presented), Educate them (by providing compelling information that highlights the value you offer) and making them an irresistible Offer (a specific call to action).

The front of the card will look like a fairly typical business card. It contains your logo if you have one, your business’s name, your name and title, and at the bottom is your address with city, state and zip code. However, the last line on the card should be in red type and say… “see opposite side for special offer.” Who can possibly resist turning that card over to find out what that special offer is?

And since most business cards were received from the individual themselves, there is already a certain rapport, relationship or trust level established that increases the likelihood that they will respond to your offer.

Why you need to know this…

Your prospects are literally bombarded with marketing messages today. They basically tune them all out. The business card just described adds a “unique” flavor to the business owner who uses them. The card with the “offer” in red effectively Interrupts them. Then when they turn it over, they see another headline that Engages them by promising to solve a major problem, frustration or concern they tend to experience when doing business with a company like yours.

Since the business card itself isn’t large enough to effectively Educate them on what you do, the Offer must do double duty by educating them about your product or service as well as compelling the prospect to take a specific action. Both of these can be easily accomplished by making the offer an informational offer such as a report, a CD, a DVD, a teleconference call or possibly a webinar.

But consider one additional suggestion. What if a prospect COULD become educated from your business card? With the popularity and easy access to YouTube, try this. Video yourself being “interviewed” about your area of expertise. Just a short two to three minute clip is fine.

On the front of your business card, just below your contact information, insert this wording… “Check out my expertise for yourself!” Then add the video URL for them to enter into their browser. This video should be someone interviewing you “Larry King” style and automatically positions you as an “industry expert.”

But don’t stop there. Create a second video of approximately the same length, and just below the previous wording, insert this phrase… “Here’s how I can help you now!” Add the video URL for this video, and it should be you looking directly into the camera and offering them a compelling reason to take a specific action.

The cost to you if you fail to act…

When your clients can receive compelling information about what you do in a non-threatening way, they are much more likely to respond to your offer and eventually become a client.

So are you using your business card to generate leads?

Do you know how to structure the message on the card so it generates results?

Are you aware that every marketing piece, including your business cards, should always contain what is referred to as “persuasion architecture?”

Do you have the knowledge and skills to effectively create all of this?

All of these suggestions can turn your business card into a lead generation machine.

To take a Test Drive on our system visit http://increaserevenueandprofits.com/guidedtour

To your success,

Tom Flowers

P.S. Please remember that at any time you feel ready and qualified to move forward and acquire the professional help that can enable you to build the business of your dreams, just click here and check out our E-Learning Marketing System™. It’s helping small business owners just like you get the answers and the help they need to build the business they have always wanted.

We created the E-Learning Marketing System™ with the perfect combination of online resources, tools and support to get you out of any financial distress you’re presently experiencing… help you get laser-focused on your highest income-producing activities… and help you develop and then apply the fundamentals that build multimillion dollar businesses. click here to see for yourself.

Why You Should Focus on Proper Exit Planning

 

If you are like many business owners, you are primarily focusing on building your business.  Yet, as we’ve covered here many times before, you should start thinking about what you’ll need to do to sell your business before you even officially launch.  Many businesses can take years to sell or even fail to sell all together.  For this and many other reasons, it is important to invest some time and energy into thinking about proper exit planning and strategies. 

Walker Deibel’s recent Forbes article, “How Proper Exit Planning Benefits the Buyer and Seller,” Deibel discusses his interview with Exit Planning: The Definitive Guide, author John H. Brown. Brown and Deibel both agreed that, when properly handled, exit planning can help both the seller and the buyer. 

Exit planning can make a business more transferable.  As Deibel points out, when buyers are evaluating businesses, transferability is a key factor.  A buyer must feel that he or she can walk into a business, take it over, keep it running effectively and even grow the business in the future. 

A key aspect of being able to buy a business and having that business be successful is that all relationships from vendors to customers are transferable.  A good management team, one that can step in and help a new owner thrive, is a must.  Building that team in advance is a savvy move for any business owner looking to sell his or her business.  Concerns on any of these fronts can spell doom for a seller.  If a buyer doesn’t feel that they can operate a business, then they probably shouldn’t be buying it.

Great exit planning most definitely benefits the seller as well.  As Deibel notes, when sellers engage in exit planning, they realize how much money they need in order to exit.  In turn, this forces sellers to become very focused and goal-oriented.  Sellers will take proactive steps to ensure that their business is as appealing to a potential buyer as possible.

Ultimately, proper exit planning is a win-win, one that benefits both buyer and seller.  Exit planning can provide sellers with much-needed clarity while simultaneously lowering the overall risk that sellers face.

Buying or selling a business is a multifaceted, and often quite complex, process.  The sooner you begin working with a professional, like a business broker, the better off you’ll be in finding the right business for you and your particular needs.  For most people, buying or selling a business is the financial decision of a lifetime.  Having a proven trusted partner, one that knows the lay of the land, is simply invaluable.

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Whether you are looking to exit your privately held business, represent an acquisition-minded corporation, value your business, or are personally interested in owning or building value in your own company or franchise, Colonial Business Brokerage offers the professional services that successfully bring buyers and sellers together.

 

Copyright: Business Brokerage Press, Inc.

ismagilov/BigStock.com

 

If You Love What You Do, Why Should You Make Plans to Leave?

If You Love What You Do, Why Should You Make Plans to Leave?

Many business owners love the companies they’ve founded, whether it’s because of the work they do, the changes they effect, the money their companies provide, or something else. When you carve out a comfort zone within your business, you might question why you would want to plan for your business exit. Today, we’ll look at a few reasons why owners who love their companies should still make plans to leave.

Post-business life usually doesn’t get cheaper

For many business owners who intend to leave their businesses before they die, financial security is an absolute must. While you run the business, you pull a salary. You might use perks like company vehicles, insurance, and travel. Perhaps you take advantage of your personal clout as a successful business owner. Once you exit the business—by choice, death, or otherwise—those things tend to go away.

A strange but relatively common mind-set for business owners is the idea that they can cut back on their spending once they’ve exited. This is almost never the case. If you exit by choice, you’ll likely spend at least 75–90% of what you spent when you owned the business. You may want to travel, or lavish your family with gifts, or set your grandchildren up for college: all without the safety net of a steady income provided by the business.

In short, post-business life is usually as costly as life before the exit. Even if you don’t intend to exit for 5–10 years (which is what many owners say they intend to do), you’ll likely need to know whether you can maintain your current lifestyle once you do leave.

You can begin to determine your financial situation in a few ways. You can establish your goals and estimate what it will cost to achieve those goals. You can determine the gap between the money you have and the money you need to achieve those goals. You can also compare that gap to the company’s current value, then begin installing Value Drivers that allow you to sell or transfer the business for the amount you want and need

.

All of this requires time. So, even if you love your company and don’t see yourself leaving for several years, or even decades, it’s likely in your interest to start planning for that eventuality. Because post-business life usually doesn’t get cheaper.

Planning lets you focus primarily on what you love

Many business owners often find themselves doing things they never imagined doing within their businesses. Some of those unexpected activities are things they’d rather not be doing. For example, an introverted owner might find that she needs to be the face of the company. A key focus of planning is finding the best people for the right job so that you don’t have to be everything to everyone.

A common way to do this is to find or train next-level managers. Next-level managers take on many of the responsibilities you likely find yourself stuck with. Oftentimes, those next-level managers can handle those responsibilities better than you can, if for no other reason than you simply aren’t too passionate about those responsibilities.

The flip side of this coin is that with proper planning, you can position yourself to do only the things you truly want to do: the things you likely started the business to do in the first place. This can make ownership even more fulfilling and can let you focus on the things you enjoy as you begin to wind down your ownership.

Life goes on

About 10% of owners say that they want to die at their desks. Surely, planning is unnecessary for them, right?

That’s usually not true. Even owners who plan to die at their desks often have people or causes they care about that the business directly affects. You may have family members who rely on the business to maintain their lifestyles. Without proper planning, what happens to them? You may want to assure that after you die, your employees still have jobs (or a safety net that gives them time to find new ones). What happens to them without proper planning?

Even if you plan to die at your desk, planning for future success can still be valuable to you. You can install business continuity plans that can give people you care about direction regarding what happens to the business once you die. You can install next-level managers whose goals and managing styles line up with your values-based goals. You can even help your family continue to maintain their lifestyles without the business.

If you’d like to discuss specific strategies you can use to address these issues, please contact us today.

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Whether you are looking to exit your privately held business, represent an acquisition-minded corporation, value your business, or are personally interested in owning or building value in your own company or franchise, Colonial Business Brokerage offers the professional services that successfully bring buyers and sellers together.

Do you know that Web 2.0 is the future of all marketing?

Do You Know That Web 2.0 Is The Future Of All Marketing?

Have you noticed that your marketing efforts seem to be consistently losing their effectiveness? Have you experienced a steadily declining ROI (return on investment) with your marketing? Are you wondering why you’re spending more for marketing and advertising… but seeing declining numbers of prospects raising their hand and asking for more information about what you sell?

What you need to know…

What business owner hasn’t experienced the frustration of spending their hard earned marketing dollars and failing to generate any interest or response? What’s responsible for these constantly declining results?

Don’t be offended by what I’m about to say… but it’s YOU! You’re a marketer, and today, people hate marketers. They will do just about anything to avoid any and all marketing and advertising messages. Don’t believe me? Check out yourself. Do you have caller ID on your phone? Do you answer it if you don’t recognize the incoming number? Does your computer have a version of spam blocking software? Are you on the national do-not-call list?

Why you need to know this…

We have to face the facts. The old ways of marketing don’t work anymore. The key to all future marketing is establishing trust, respect and rapport with your prospects. Web 2.0 is the social networking platform that is changing the face of all marketing today.

Every single day your prospects and clients are meeting on forums, blogs, and sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, MySpace and Facebook. They’re producing podcasts and YouTube videos. They’re comparing notes bragging and recommending the products and businesses they love, and they’re blogging to death the ones they hate.

And everything these prospects say to their peers has far greater impact and influence than anything you will ever say, no matter how great a message you create. The latest research shows that our peers are currently the most trusted people on the planet, and you MUST gain their trust to get them to recommend your product or service.

The cost to you if you fail to act…

Do you know how to innovate your product or service to take full advantage of Web 2.0?

Do you know how to stop marketing to prospects and instead, start talking with them?

Do you know the 6 places where your prospects will meet to talk about your business?

Do you know how to position yourself as the “industry expert”… and become the “rock star” of your local community?

If any of the above answers are no, you’re losing sales and revenue every day. You’re going to appear identical to your competitors, and be forced to forever compete on price. If you fail to innovate your business… and you fail to provide extraordinary value to your clients… your prospects will use Web 2.0 to blog your business to death.

You MUST learn how to develop these critical skills immediately?

We can help. Our E-Learning Marketing System™ provides business owners around the world with the right information in the right order. In fact, we’ll prove it right now… and let you witness for yourself the results we can help you achieve in your own business.

I want to grant you VIP access to our member’s only training site so you can watch just one of a multitude of recorded presentations our members can access to help them grow their business and take it to new heights. This webinar features Karl Bryan, one of the foremost experts in social media and Web 2.0 strategies, as he reveals the hidden secrets and step-by-step process that helps small business owners “market their business online.”

To take a Test Drive on our system visit http://increaserevenueandprofits.com/guidedtour

To your success,

Tom Flowers

P.S. Please remember that at any time you feel ready and qualified to move forward and acquire the professional help that can enable you to build the business of your dreams, just click here and check out our E-Learning Marketing System™. It’s helping small business owners just like you get the answers and the help they need to build the business they have always wanted.

We created the E-Learning Marketing System™ with the perfect combination of online resources, tools and support to get you out of any financial distress you’re presently experiencing… help you get laser-focused on your highest income-producing activities… and help you develop and then apply the fundamentals that build multi-million dollar businesses. click here to see for yourself.

The Top Ways to Create an Attention-Grabbing Sales Ad to Sell Your Business

A major part of selling your business is getting the word out.  After all, the more people that know your business is for sale, the better off you’ll be.  In Bob House’s recent article, “How to Create an Effective Business for Sale Ad and Ensure It Gets the Best Result,” House gives readers an assortment of tips that he believes will help sellers attract higher offers from real buyers.

Getting the Word Out

As House wisely points out, many buyers wait until the last second to dive in and create a good sales ad.  In fact, many buyers fail to grasp the real importance of creating a quality and compelling advertisement.  Imagine creating a good sales ad like you would going fishing with a group of friends.  The more friends you have on your fishing trip, the greater the odds that someone catches a fish.  In much the same way, the more people who know you are selling your business, the greater the chances that you’ll get some serious “bites.”

Tips for Receiving More Attention 

House has five key tips for attracting more attention from prospective buyers via your sales ad.  At the top of the list is to be descriptive.  Your sales ad should give an excellent description of your business and its unique features.  As House notes, you want to “paint a clear picture.”  In other words, now is not the time for mystery.  You want prospective buyers to have a very clear idea of what kind of business they could possibly buy.

Headlines Count

Secondly, you should have a great headline.  People have always skimmed, but the rise of the Internet has taken skimming to a whole new level.  Your sales ad should have a very engaging and interesting headline.  You want to capture people’s attention.  A good place to start is by determining what your business’s best feature is and emphasizing that feature in your headline.

Incorporate Top-Notch Images

Third, the old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words absolutely applies to selling a business.  Just as a great headline will capture people’s attention, the same holds true for a great picture.  Consider having a professional photographer take the photo, as he or she may have tips to make your business look its best that you may simply not know.

Your Financials

Fourth, your ad should definitely include key financials.  Any serious buyer will be very concerned, if not obsessed, with your financials.  Information such as cash flow and income statements are a good idea as may potential buyers focus their business searches around key financial metrics.

Don’t Forget the Final Step

Finally, if there has ever been a time in your life to proofread, this is the time.  In fact, you should consider hiring a proofreader to look over your ad for grammar and spelling mistakes.  As House notes, you want prospective buyers to realize that you are attention oriented and responsible.  A simple grammar or spelling mistake could wreck a potential deal.

Creating a great sales ad is an art form.  One of the best ways to ensure that you have a great sales ad is to work with an experienced business broker.  Business brokers know what buyers are looking for, have great marketing professionals at their disposal, and can help you frame your business in the best light possible.

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Whether you are looking to exit your privately held business, represent an acquisition-minded corporation, value your business, or are personally interested in owning or building value in your own company or franchise, Colonial Business Brokerage offers the professional services that successfully bring buyers and sellers together.

Copyright: Business Brokerage Press, Inc.

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The “Magic Formula” For Marketing

Over the past several weeks, we’ve been discussing the fundamentals of marketing…

• have something good to say
• say it well
• say it often

These three critical fundamentals were highlighted in the video I asked you to watch when we first met.

Click here if you still haven’t watched it yet.

Last week we began discussing the second fundamental… say it well.

I told you that most businesses load up their marketing with “platitudes”… such as largest selection, lowest prices, highest quality, faster service.

These simply take up your valuable (and expensive) ad space, and they do NOTHING to help sell your product or service.

But I did say there is a “magic formula” that will enable you to write powerhouse marketing, and I promised I would reveal it to you this week.

The magic formula is called the “Conversion Equation,” and here it is…
Interrupt, Engage, Educate and Offer

The Interrupt refers to an attention-grabbing headline – EVERY ad and website MUST have one.

It MUST be problem-based and focused on a major hot button for the prospects you’re targeting.

The Engage is a subheadline that promises a solution to the problem referenced in the headline.

Note that it only PROMISES a solution… it does not GIVE the solution.

That’s the job of the Educate – it provides the solution and backs it up with evidence and proof.

Think of Educate as an attorney standing in front of a jury.

And finally, the Offer – this must be compelling and provide VALUE to the prospects you target.

BUT THIS IS IMPORTANT!

A compelling offer is NOT your phone number.

Remember, it must offer your prospects value.

Example, let’s assume you’re thinking about remodeling your bathroom or kitchen.

Do you even know what’s available these days in the way of new, innovative designs for baths and kitchens?

Do you think most prospects thinking about remodeling might like to see what types of designs are in style these days… to see new ideas, suggestions and various models that they can use to begin to select what they themselves would most like to have?

So what do most bathroom and kitchen remodelers put in their ads as their offer?

Their phone number – but prospects aren’t ready to call anyone yet.

They typically only call when they’re ready to buy.

Here’s why – prior to 1980, the sellers had all the power in the buying relationship.

For example, in the 70’s, if you wanted to buy a new car, you had to go see the dealer and speak with a salesperson.

You HAD to… you had NO other way to get information on the car you were interested in buying.

So back then, the only offer sellers had to put in their ad was their phone number, since calling them was the prospects ONLY option.

In short, the SELLER had all the power back then! We refer to this time period as the days of simple selling.

Nowadays, we have the internet. In fact, over 90% of automobile buyers today have already performed extensive research and due diligence on the car or truck of their choice, and even know the exact amount of money they will pay for it.

They don’t need the salesperson whatsoever, and actually prefer NOT to deal with them.

Today, the BUYER has the power, and the seller is at their mercy.

It’s absolutely critical that you know and understand how to use this “Conversion Equation” of Interrupt, Engage, Educate and Offer… so next week, I’ll provide you with before and after examples that will prove to you the absolute power of this amazing formula.

See you then.

Tom Flowers

P.S. Also remember, to determine how likely your marketing is to convert, simply fill out my Conversion Equation Evaluator.
After calculating your marketing conversion level, I can show you exactly what to do with your website and marketing collateral that could double or triple the number of prospects who respond to your marketing.

Just schedule a complimentary meeting with me.