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  • Writer's pictureMark Hartmann

5 Ways to Attract the Attention of An Acquirer


Illustration of a large magnet attracting a figurine among other figurines on wooden blocks, symbolizing targeted attraction in a business context.

5 Ways to Attract the Attention of An Acquirer


In any negotiation, being the person who makes the first move usually puts you at a slight disadvantage. The first mover tips their hand and reveals how much he/she wants the asset to be negotiated.


Likewise, when considering the sale of your business, it is always nice to be courted, rather than being the one doing the courting. The good news is, the chances of getting an unsolicited offer from someone wanting to buy your business are actually increasing. 


According to the Q2, 2014 Sellability Tracker analysis released in July 2014, 16% of business owners have received an offer in the last year, up 37% over Q1. Said another way, you’re 37% more likely to get an offer to buy your business today than at the beginning of the year.


Big companies are buying little ones for many reasons, and the current market conditions are accelerating their appetite: interest rates are low, and stock markets are high, which provide the ideal platform for acquirers to realize a return on their investment from buying a business like yours. 


So, how do you ensure you are on their shopping list? Here are five ways to get noticed by an acquirer:


1. Win an award

Getting recognized as the “Widget Maker of the Year” by the Widget Makers Association is a great way to get the attention of acquirers in your industry.


2. Hire a PR person

Engaging a public relations professional to tell your story to the media can get you on buyers' radar in your industry. Many media relations professionals focus on the big mainstream publications, and while these are important, ensure that your PR firm also targets trade publications and industry-specific websites that are read by acquirers in your industry.


3. Host an event

Consider hosting an event (e.g., conference, tradeshow, summit) for your industry and invite representatives from potential acquirers to attend. Being invited to an industry event can be flattering for acquirers, and it is an excellent way to get them to notice you as an industry leader.


4. Join a board

If an executive from a company you think would make a natural buyer for your business is serving on a board of directors, consider joining the board. Serving on a board together can be an excellent way for an acquirer to notice you and your company without you having to say you’re for sale.


5. Grab lunch

Consider inviting a senior executive from a potential acquirer to share a meal under the guise of discussing trends in your industry. At the very least, you may glean some helpful information about how big companies are seeing your industry evolve. At best, your lunch mate may realize that your company could play a key role in helping them grow.


The sale of your business is a delicate dance, and it is usually better to be the courter than the courter. Acquirers are on the hunt for new companies, and having them notice you will put you in a position of strength when you sit down at the negotiation table.  



 
Mark Hartmann - CEO of HartmannRhodes

Mark Hartmann is a three-time Inc 500|5000 CEO with a rich sales, operations, and leadership background in the insurance, financial services, and healthcare sectors. With extensive experience growing and selling his own businesses, Mark leverages his expertise to help owners grow and sell businesses valued at $1M —$25M. He’s earned a master’s degree in organizational change management from St. Elizabeth University and a graduate certificate in executive coaching from Columbia University. Mark’s professional certifications include Certified Mergers and Acquisitions Professional (CM&AP), Certified Business Intermediary (CBI), Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA), and Certified Value Builder (CVB).

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