Part 1 of the series Strategic Marketing Plans discussed the need to identify the types and categories of potential buyers for a business. Part 2 of this series discusses the methods used to target and attract specific types of buyers, once they have been identified.
Let's continue using the example of selling a restaurant from Part 1. Potential buyers identified for the restaurant might include the following:
- Chefs of Restaurants
- Employee-managers and Employees of Restaurants
- Current Restaurant Owners
- Regional Chain Owners
- National Chain Owners
An essential element of the Strategic Marketing Plan involves devising methods to target and attract the greatest number of buyers from each category. Online advertising with the most prominent business listing websites and print advertising generally will reach all types of buyers, provided that they are actively searching for a restaurant. Moreover, based upon our experience, online advertising is most likely to attract buyers from only the first three categories.
In many cases, Current Restaurant Owners, Regional Chain Owners, National Chain Owners and Investors are not aware that they are potential buyers for a restaurant. Only after they are contacted and informed of the opportunity do they transform into potential buyers for a restaurant. These buyers must be individually targeted by telephone, e-mail and/or old-fashioned, direct mail advertising campaigns.
Contacting potential buyers by telephone, e-mail and direct mail is not always straightforward. Both the Employee-manager and the Owner of one restaurant might constitute potential buyers for another restaurant. However, while the Employee-manager of a restaurant might be reached by telephone to discuss the opportunity, the Owner might be reached only by direct mail or e-mail. This is why marketing across “multiple channels” is the essential.
Contacting the so-called "decision-makers" for Regional Chain Owners, National Chain Owners and Investors can be very difficult. These folks are well known for guarding their contact information and, in many cases, only will discuss potential acquisitions with trusted business associates.
Common sense suggests that the way to obtain the highest sale price for your business is to attract the greatest number of potential buyers. An experienced business broker or intermediary will devise a Strategic Marketing Plan in order to target and attract the greatest number of buyers for a restaurant - or any other type of business.
As discussed, a sound Strategic Marketing Plan should involve multiple channels. Obviously, the broker must have on hand (or have the means to acquire) an ample database of potential buyers for a business, and possess (or quickly develop) relationships with the "decision-makers" for institutional and corporate buyers within the industry.
Experience counts when selling a business. For you to achieve the best price upon the sale for your business, your broker’s marketing plan must involve more than adverting your business online and waiting (praying?) for buyers to call.
Part 3 of this series will discuss the importance of "timing" in relation to the Strategic marketing Plan.
Ascend Business Brokers, Massachusetts business brokers, assists owners in selling their businesses.