You’re thinking about selling your company, and you’re interested in learning more about how to market the business to find the right buyer without letting everyone know.
After all, if word were to get out before the sale is completed, it could be detrimental for you. Employees could leave, customers might consider switching to a competitor, or vendors could come knocking asking for stricter commitments.
Talk about a nightmare scenario.
So how do you find the right buyer while keeping the sale as confidential as possible?
Enter the MidStreet Marketing Program.
In our 20 years of business brokerage and through selling over 400 businesses throughout North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and more states, we’ve seen the significant advantage that good marketing materials provide owners in the sale of their business.
A good marketing program makes it easier for buyers to imagine what it would be like to own the business and make the decision to purchase it. It also knocks out a lot of repetitive questions and logistics, saving you time and effort.
To give you an idea of how we market your business for sale, we will go over the various marketing materials we create like a blind ad, teaser video, confidential information memorandum, and a confidential marketing video.
Let’s jump in.
What is Included in MidStreet’s Marketing Package?
When it comes time to sell, after listing with us, we’ll develop the marketing materials for advertising your company to buyers. This package will consist of:
- A Blind Ad
- A Teaser Video
- A Confidential Information Memorandum, or CIM
- A Private Marketing Video
For the purposes of this article, we’ll break down the marketing package into two types: non-identifying marketing materials and confidential marketing materials.
Non-Identifying Marketing Materials
As the name suggests, the non-identifying marketing collateral keeps your sensitive company information and identity confidential by using non-identifying language, photos, and video related to your industry but not directly from your business. The two types of non-identifying materials are:
- A blind ad
- A teaser video
The non-identifying information is used to peak buyers’ interest so that they inquire on the listing, but maintain your confidentiality since these materials will be accessible to the public on listing sites and merger and acquisition sites.
The blind ad is created once you sign a listing agreement, right before your business is listed for sale. At MidStreet, we often develop the blind ad toward the end of completing the CIM. The ad gives buyers an overview of your business without giving away the identity of your company.
One of the most common questions we get asked in relation to the blind ad is, “what information should be included?” And the truth is, it depends on your business, your ideal buyer, your relationship with competitors, and your own personal goals with selling the company.
We customize the blind ad for each business and work with you to make sure you are comfortable with what we publish. Some owners are very particular about the wording of the blind ad and the approach taken toward qualifying buyers, while some don’t mind others knowing that their business is for sale.
Some businesses are so unique that even the number of employees or exact nature of the product or service they provide can give away its identity when paired with other information.
We’ve even heard of situations in which a broker has listed a company with the square footage of its building, and a nefarious buyer ran a search for all similar companies in the state. The buyer was able to locate the exact building the business was in, and inquired into the business directly, asking to meet with the owner. Insane.
Our blind ad will include:
- A non-identifying image and a descriptive title
- The asking price, cash flow, inventory, and real estate price (if applicable)
- An estimate of furniture, fixtures, and equipment (FF&E)
- A brief summary of the company and opportunity
- Description of competition, growth, and expansion
- Explanation of the support and training you are willing to offer
- Your reason for selling
Learn more about what a blind and what it contains by reading “What is a Blind Ad in The Sale of Your Business?” or “13 Key Items in a Blind Ad to Market Your Business for Sale.”
The teaser video will generally be created around the same time as the blind ad. In the teaser video, we will include similar information to the blind ad but will cover it in an audio-visual format to further paint the picture of opportunity.
Wholesaler Fish Products - MidStreet
The teaser video will include industry-specific stock video, but will not include footage directly from your site or of your business to protect your confidentiality. The teaser video will cover:
- A brief description of the business
- Financial strength or features
- Growth potential or history
- Purchase price with high-level information about inventory, equipment, and/or real estate
- Requirements for the buyer (i.e. down payment required, industry experience, etc.)
- How to inquire on the listing
The teaser video will be posted with the blind ad on online listing sites and our website for prospective buyers to learn more about the opportunity.
Confidential Marketing Materials
We send confidential marketing materials to buyers once they have gone through a thorough buyer vetting process (including signing of a non-disclosure agreement), and include information you would not want to get into the wrong hands, such as the name of your business, financial information, the summary of the business, and pictures and videos of the company. The two confidential marketing materials include:
Once a buyer completes an interview with a MidStreet team member, signs a non-disclosure agreement, fills out a questionnaire, we have reviewed their information, and we are comfortable taking next steps, they will receive access to the marketing materials.
Jonah Pollone, Business Development
MidStreet Mergers & Acquisitions
Confidential Information Memorandum (CIM)
The confidential information memorandum (CIM) is a 30-40 page summary of the business and will include the following information:
- Price and terms of the sale
- Description of the business
- Summary of your company’s facility, property, and equipment
- Charts and graphs summarizing financial metrics
- Organization and responsibilities chart
- Overview of the competition in the industry
- Identified growth opportunities
- Company-specific licenses and certifications
- The business’s area and demographics
- Preliminary financial statements and adjustments
MIDSTREET TIPThe CIM will only be shown to buyers once they have gone through a phone interview with a MidStreet team member, completed a buyer questionnaire, financial statement, uploaded their photo identification, and have signed an NDA.
If a buyer does not complete information correctly, accurately, or is not the right fit for the business (qualitatively or financially), they will not be given access to any confidential information. Learn more about CIMs by reading “What is a Confidential Information Memorandum (CIM)?”
Private Marketing Video
The confidential marketing video will be developed at the same time as the CIM. It gives buyers a peek into what the operations of your business look like and will feature an interview with you (the owner) and/or a voice-over about the business.
Cape Point Bait Co. - MidStreet
(Note: this video is from a previously completed deal and not confidential information)
The confidential marketing video contains:
- An interview with the owner (and/or a voice-over)
- Footage of the business and employees in action and an aerial view of the facility
- The history of the business and how it started
- A description of the company’s facilities and their square footage
- The amount of revenue and number of employees
- What makes the business unique
- An overview of competition in the area
- The company’s reputation
- A highlight of any long-standing key employees
- An explanation of the growth opportunities for the company
- The location of the business and the lifestyle in the area
Before buyers are sent the marketing video, they will need to go through the same vetting process that they will need to go through before seeing the CIM. They must complete the initial interview, financial and buyer questionnaires, identification verification, and an NDA.
Learn more about the marketing video and our process for creating it by reading “Everything You Need to Know About MidStreet’s Marketing Video Process.”
We ensure that the buyers who receive the CIM and the marketing video are thoroughly vetted to protect the confidentiality of our client’s sale. To find out more about our buyer vetting process, read “How Does MidStreet Qualify Buyers?”
Know How a Marketing Package Improves Your Sale
When you have a solid marketing package for the sale of your business, buyers will be more excited and informed about the opportunity. The blind ad, teaser video, CIM, and confidential marketing video all serve a significant role in maintaining and increasing buyers’ excitement.
Want to find out more about how the marketing materials are incorporated into the buyer vetting process? Read “How Does MidStreet Qualify Buyers?” to find out when marketing materials are sent to buyers.
Marketing a business for sale effectively can be difficult. Call us today to learn more about how we market businesses for sale.