How to find the right buyer for your business

Passing your legacy on to the right person is a key concern when selling a business. Here, Anthea Taylor looks at the types of buyer to identify and the considerations to bear in mind.

When it comes to selling your business, a lot will depend on finding the right buyer. Investing your time and effort into this will help you to achieve a fast sale with which you can be happy.

There are many business owners who don’t want to pass their legacy onto just anybody. If this is the case with you, then finding the right buyer will be even more of a task!

What type of buyer do you want?

There are several types of buyers and distinguishing between them to identify what kind you want is the best way to narrow down prospective buyers.

A strategic buyer is someone that wants to buy the business in order to expand their own operations.

This may be someone who has a business that has a similar or complementary operation to you and, through buying your business, they will be able to move their own business into the next phase, reduce their competition or expand their operations.

A financial buyer will be a person or persons who are professional investors and are buying your business because they can see the potential that there is for a profitable investment.

The operator buyer will be interested in your business because they are looking to run an established, successful business in order to be their own boss and earn a decent income.

They may be looking to run it for a number of years and then sell it on in the same way that you are.

Depending on what you are looking for in a buyer, one of these types of buyers should stand out.

What do you see for the future?

If you envisioned yourself staying on and running the business after selling it, then you will probably be more interested in a financial buyer that you could negotiate with, and who may allow you to stay on after the sale.

If what is most important to you is that you find the ideal individual to take over the business and nurture it in the same way that you have – you should focus your attention on an operational buyer.

These buyers, however, are usually first-time buyers and therefore inexperienced when it comes to purchasing a business. In this case you must be weary of whether they have secured finance yet.

Operational buyers, however, are usually selected because you can trust them to share the same values on which you have built the business.

Write the right business listing

Once you have identified what kind of buyer you want for your business, you can be clearer about what kind of business listing to write in order to attract them.

The business listing will be the first thing that buyers see, and so writing the perfect one will be a good step towards ensuring that you catch the eye of the right buyer.

You will also need to be clear about what the business’s strengths are from the perspective of the buyer.

Make your listing professional and, while you will want to include all the necessary details, you should also keep it brief.

If you were a buyer looking for a business like yours, what kind of listing would attract you?

Closing the deal

Once you have found the right buyer, you should be optimistic and confident about handing the business over to them. If you have put in strong consideration for who you want to sell to, the right buyer will be ready to take the reins and carry on your business in a direction with which you are comfortable.

If you have put the effort into finding the right buyer, you will be able to walk away from the business confidently towards a new phase of your life knowing that your hard work over the years was really worth it!

Anthea Taylor is assistant editor at Dynamis and writes for all titles in the Dynamis stable including, and as well as other industry publications.

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Susan Cartwright

Anthea Taylor, Assistant Editor and Content Producer at publisher Dynamis which runs

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Buying a business