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Writing your advert

To make your advert as effective as possible, we need as much information as possible to help you sell your business. Try to include the following information:

Title of Your Advert

Include what you do and where you are located. 

Description

Start with a paragraph explaining what you do and how long you have been doing it for.  Include the main markets you serve and which geographical market you serve. 

The next paragraph should describe how your business is growing (assuming that it is), the amount of repeat business that you have. Then a reason why you are selling the business. 

You can then list the main items of stock, equipment or assets.  Go into as much detail as required. The more items you can list the more your advert will match searches. 

Include some indication of how much profit (before tax and your drawings) you have made in each of the last 3 - 5 years. 

Details of future bookings or projected sales. 

How Much Should I Charge

The cost of any business is difficult to quantify. Much depends on how attractive or desirable it is for people to run a business like yours. The simple answer is as much as someone is willing to pay! 

Normally a business is valued as a multiple of it's profit. However entrepreneurs will pay way over the odds to get into a market they feel is about to take off. Whereas a business sector that is seen to be in decline will have a reduced price.  The following table gives an indication of how much to charge. 

  • Fast growing business with high profits  3 - 5x Adjusted Net Income
  • Business with steady turnover / profits  2 - 4x Adjusted Net Income
  • Business with declining turnover / profits 1 - 2x Adjusted Net income

What is Adjusted Net Income?

This is an accounting term describing the amount of profit a company makes which includes owners salary, and the "benefits" which he may receive.  This could include a company car or life insurance etc. 

Valuing Your Stock

You will need to make an accurate assesment of how much stock you have and give it a reasonable value.  This can be added to the price of the business above.  In some circumstances it may be worth selling by valuing the business in two halves. The customers and good will, and then the stock separately. 

Location

If you would like to hide the fact that your business is for sale from your customers and competitors, choose a location that is close to your location. Or only give a region or county. 

VAT

You will need to talk to your accountant if you are VAT registered.

Contact Details

If you are happy for people to know who you are then put your email and phone number. However many business owners will want to remain anonymous. My advice is to get a new mobile phone number specifically for selling your business. Whenever it rings you will know it's a potential buyer. You can even screen your calls to avoid speaking to your direct competitors.  Email addresses can be obtained from Google / Yahoo / Hotmail that can disguise who you are or which company you are selling. 

Photographs

To get the best interest, it is advised that you include the best photos you can get of your business, preferably 'in action'. A pub may choose a picture of the bar or dining room in addition to the exterior. If you sell products or have a brand you could include this. However if you would like to remain anonymous we can provide you with a generic 'for sale' sign

You can have one or as many photos as you feel necessary to sell your business (within reason). Be aware that we may not upload all of your images if we feel that they are not needed. If they are very similar to each other, we will pick the best ones. If you would like specific photos on your advert, let us know and we will happily add them for you.