We continue to post chapters from our upcoming ebook guide, How to Sell an Online Business, to help business owners prepare for a sale. In this third chapter, we look at the important components of telling your story to prospective buyers.
3. Marketing Materials
In addition to telling your financial story, it is important to tell the story of your business. Materials generally include a high-level description to use for advertising, a “teaser” document, and a Confidential Information Memorandum (“CIM”) or similar overview. Advertising copy and the teaser are generally written on a “blind” basis, so prospective business buyers can gauge interest before signing a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). While advertising copy varies in length from a few sentences to a few paragraphs, the teaser is generally a one-page snapshot of the opportunity that can be easily shared via email or in person. CIMs are typically more detailed, and can come in different formats and lengths, from a simple PowerPoint deck to a detailed book that includes text, images and charts. While the specifics can vary by business type, size, and other parameters, categories for an online business sale often include:
- Overview & Highlights
- Products & Services
- Platform & Technology
- Site Traffic & Data
- Sales, Marketing, Social Media
- Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats
- Financial Results & Projections
- Transaction Details
Risk and Return
Bear in mind when drafting your materials, buyers are generally thinking foremost about two things – risk and return. Look to highlight aspects of your business that touch on these things, which might include:
- Business history and longevity
- Recurring revenue
- Support team history and experience
- Organic web traffic
- Growth history and potential
- Barriers to entry or competitive advantages
- Predictability of revenue and profit
- Personal vs. business reason for selling
Quick Answer takeaways:
- Write your business' story with an authentic voice.
- Emphasize what makes your company unique.
- Back up assertions with evidence.
As a seller marketing your business, you may also benefit from insights in the next chapter of the Seller's Guide, Identifying Buyers for Your Business.