The key to getting top dollar is the groundwork you lay before your business is officially for sale.
5 min read
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Running a business is one thing, selling it is another.
Whether selling your dispensary was always the plan or a recent decision, cogent strategy is paramount to moving forward confidently. Marketing your business for sale is significantly different from marketing your product. It can mean the difference between a satisfying end to an entrepreneurial journey or a regrettable business venture. Regardless of why you’re looking to sell, you want to magnify your operation’s most desirable traits to stimulate the buyer market.
Like the business itself, the amount of effort put into the sale will drastically affect the outcome. As you’re gearing up to part ways with your business, keep these crucial steps in mind in order to increase your profit.
1. Get finances in good shape.
Demonstrating the financial integrity of the dispensary with hard numbers alleviates some of the buyer’s uncertainty in the initial purchase process. Qualified buyers considering your dispensary will want to examine all financial information. Organizing that information in an easy-to-access format will expedite the process.
If you don’t already have them, acquire your audits from the last few years. Ideally, these will reflect prudent operating and reinforce the worth of the dispensary. Strong finances are an incredibly attractive sales attribute. Taking the initiative to organize the dispensary financial situation will indicate a level of professionalism that doesn’t exist everywhere in cannabis. Transparency helps both parties get a better feel for each other and keeps the sales process running smoothly.
2. Find the broker, not a broker.
Making the world aware of your intention is a double-edged sword — you want buyers to have enough understanding of what you do but without alerting competitors, customers and suppliers about your situation. Put out discreet feelers within your own network and reach out to brokers who can help find the ideal candidate for you.
Finding a broker only requires a few clicks online but identifying the right broker takes a bit more deliberation. A good broker will help maximize the sale price but avoid keeping your business in market limbo for months, which is useful to say the least. Start by pressing your own network for referrals — it may be that a connection of yours has had outstanding experiences with one in your area. Your lawyer and accountant, who are likely involved in the sale, may have someone in mind as well.
Beyond that, look for a broker who suits your situation. Cannabis is an intricate place to call home, so keep looking for a broker with the needed depth of understanding. You want a partner who can walk you through the process of pairing you with the ideal buyer.
3. Establish a buyer profile.
Who do you want to sell to? The better you get at answering that question, the more likely you are to find an ideal buyer. Begin the selling process by thinking hard about the ideal future you imagine for your business. Targeting the buyer market is a major step that helps you and the broker gain a better idea of who to seek. If you have any room to be selective, do it — seldom is the first buyer the best buyer.
Consider personal and professional traits, company size, geographic location, consumer care and profitability. Weigh each aspect, then mold the information into a cohesive profile to filter potential buyers. It may be that your profile points you toward a mid-sized, multi-state operator who is already active in your state and focuses on delivering a consistent, quality product– take that information and see if it aligns with buyers currently in the market.
4. Refine your message.
After getting your house in order, opening the necessary channels and identifying your audience, it’s time to refine your approach. The message you disseminate should fit your dispensary like a nice suit– properly cut, straightforward and appealing to the eye. Keep your buyer profile in mind and tailor the message to them.
The prospect knows you’re selling your dispensary, now tell them why they want to buy it. Emphasize all its desirable traits — whether that’s location, customer loyalty or product excellence. Make the introduction to the offer as attractive as possible, while centering the message in the truth. However your message is conveyed — via broker, media, or otherwise– it will be the first impression prospects get of your worth. Make it good.
Every action you take when selling your dispensary should reflect confidence, capability and honesty. The sales period is limbo but preparation can get you through it faster. Putting the time into marketing your dispensary properly for sale will keep you moving forward toward the next business venture — or maybe a much-deserved vacation.