Use some common sense
This is not going to be the easy, so time to suck it up and roll up your sleeves. Selling your business is a life changing event that deserves the proper amount of respect and time invested into it. Make sure that you are ready to make that commitment before listing a business for sale online. Many people do not consider all that is involved in the transaction and then end up getting frustrated when potential buyers suddenly interrupt their everyday operations. Yes, the current employees are likely to find out that you are trying to sell the business yourself. Yes, they are very likely to be scared, mad, and possibly even start to look for other work. Yes, buyers are going to want to ask a lot of tough questions that you may not have a good answer for. And yes, they are going to want to beat you up on that asking price.
Now that we have gotten that out of the way
A picture can speak volumes, or a thousand words as the saying goes. That is exactly what you want when posting your business online; something that is going to grab a buyer’s attention quick and communicate a good story. Make them actually feel something about the business before they have even seen the description, draw them in with something that looks compelling. You are more than welcome to get your pictures for free online, but it is a lot better if you can afford to subscribe to a professional depository with a large selection to choose from instead. There are a various of other web pages that explain how to take a great photo on your own, such as the one listed here. Try not to give too much away upfront by taking pictures of absolutely everything. Discretion is key for so many reasons and you want to leave a little mystery to it so that the interested prospect has a reason to meet you in person and to physically visit the property.
Extensive equipment lists are a must
Because you are not going to have an entire gallery of photos in your business listing, you are instead going to want to have a very detailed list of all the assets included in the sale. Equipment, cars, furniture, computers, software, or anything that holds any value; even if it is only something you could sell on Craigslist for a couple bucks. Do not go crazy and list every last paperclip, but make sure that people will see that you have a tight grip on your assets and are capable of presenting them in a organized fashion.
What to say about the business
Location would typically be something you could specifically discuss, but because you are going to keep that private you can instead can put stats regarding foot or car traffic counts per day, local demographics, or regarding the proximity to relevant landmarks. It goes without saying, but your sales are probably the most important part of the listing. If they are lacking in any way, provide a thorough explanation exactly why. If there is some blatant room for improvement in any area, outline it but again provide a thorough explanation. People are going to know why you are really selling the business eventually, and it is best to be 100% transparent. People will appreciate your honesty and if they don’t like the reason than it is better to find out sooner rather than later anyhow.
The price to put on it
Everyone thinks that there business is worth a lot more than it actually is, so don’t be discouraged when faced with the facts. Without going taking the time to go over the financials with a fine toothed comb and then applying the proper valuations multiples and equations, the best thing to do is look for other similar business for sale in the local area. There are many business specific websites that have thousands of listing from all around the world. Use this as a guide, and nothing more than that. There are always going to be other variables that come into play, but you want to focus on making this purchase attainable for for a wide market, and more appealing than the other listings you are competing with.
My listing is a masterpiece, time to show it off
Post it on any site that you can for free. They typically do not get as much traffic or exposure as some of the paid ones, but you need to start somewhere. If you use social media frequently, try reaching out to some connections or friends to get the word out about it. From there, call everyone that you know and share the good news. Your business is for sale and nobody knows it better than you do. Lastly, try calling other local businesses in the industry to see if they may be interested in growing their current operations.