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How to Create the Best Business for Sale Listing in South Africa

Getting interest in your business starts with a good listing. Find out what sets the best apart.

If you are able to create a solid business listing, interested buyers will be far more likely to contact you. The way that you word your listing has a huge impact on the impression a buyer will have of your business.

Downturns in the market can panic some sellers, however, if you are able to stand out, you can still get enquiries from the right buyers through a listing on our site. In fact, weeding out the time wasters can only be of benefit to you. Here we give you some tips on how best to write your listing.

Create a detailed and appealing listing

When you get to the stage of creating your online business for sale listing, you should be ready with all the necessary information. If you don’t yet have some of it, wait until you are at the stage where you do.

Carefully consider the steps you need to follow to successfully sell your business before you create the listing to make sure that you are ready.

According to our data, businesses that have completed details get 50% more interest than those that don’t. The more information and details that you can put into your ad, the better. Full listings with a lot of detail are seen by around 89% more prospective buyers.

The vital information that you need to include is:

  • Revenue and profit
  • Images
  • Description
  • Property information
  • Business operation

Add figures for the revenue, turnover and profit of your business

Including this information will ensure that a buyer knows that your business will be a good investment. Even if you are not able to give exact details, an estimate of your revenue and cashflow will give the buyer a reason to take interest in your business.

The buyer needs to have a clear picture of the business if they are going to spend time considering it as an investment.

Take some high quality images of your business

The way that we browse the internet has a lot to do with the images that we see. Giving the viewer clear images that they can see alongside the written description will allow the buyer to see how attractive your business is- literally.

include images

The images can act as proof of the business, as seeing is believing when it comes to what we read online. In order for your business to stand out, you need to have high quality images. Think about getting a professional to take the images for you.

If you are not able to get professional photos, remember these principles:

  • Lighting, let in as much light as possible. Take photos during golden hour – hour after sunrise and before sunset- as this will add beautiful light on your images. Try to avoid taking shots at night-time or using room lighting.
  • Remove clutter, you want your business to look attractive but not barren. Leave enough to show you are busy and remove unnecessary items.
  • Floorspace is valuable, in many cases, you are selling property so it’s important to show perspective and the space. Using a wide angel lens can be invaluable when doing this.
  • Make your photos look professional, avoid blur by making sure photos are in focus and try not to use the zoom.
  • Use the rule of thirds, this is a compositional technique. Imagine the screen split into 3 rows of 3 equal sized boxes. The most interesting photos have their subjects placed on the lines.
    rule of thirds
  • Edit your photos, you’ll have a better perspective than you did on the original take. You can use a professional app but google photos could be enough to add the extra pizazz you need.
  • High resolution, add your photo in the highest resolution possible. We automatically create different versions of your photos to use in different places on our website, so giving us the best version will make sure all your images look great. You can change the resolution in your camera or phone settings.

There are many businesses in South Africa where adding photos will be more difficult because the sale is confidential, or the business doesn’t have a physical presence. However, if you are able, it is an important part of your listing.

Give a thorough description of what you are selling

When you are writing a description of your business, you are selling it to the buyer. You need to get your key selling points across and make it obvious why your business would be a good investment.

You should tell a story of your business to the reader of the ad. Try to make them connect to it through the details that you use.

Making use of accurate adjectives is a good way to do this. For example, ‘this highly profitable ecommerce business’ or ‘well established/ reputable/ attractive shop’ etc. You will, however, need to be truthful or you may spend time on enquiries that don’t go further when the potential buyer finds out more.

Your listing should give potential buyers information about your property

You will need to include details of whether the property is owned or leased and the implications of the one that applies. Is the property built-in to the sale if it is owned? Will there be accommodation included in the sale? Is it freehold or leasehold?

property information

If there are other important factors that come with the property, it is vital that you indicate this in order to show that there is more to the businesses than what meets the eye. Other than the property, is there anything else that is included in the sale? Mention whether there’s any stock, website domain, employees, suppliers and customer lists etc. included in the price as these hold a lot of value.

Your business operations need to be stated in the listing

What are the things that would make you turn your head at the site of your business for sale? Is there room for expansion? Are there unique facets that a buyer should know about?

Consider whether you have a varied and loyal customer base or whether this is an industry in a market that is set to expand in South Africa. Make sure that you help the buyer see the future of the business, not just the present!

If you already have a listing on our site, you can login to your account and make sure it’s as good as it possibly can be! Or, you can create a listing and start getting enquires from interested buyers!

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