Buying and Selling, Startup Advice

Want to be acquired? Here’s how to market your business to global players

Vinne Schifferstein Vidal /

expansion

Botown media founder Vinne Schifferstein Vidal. Source: Supplied.

Being bought by a successful global business is a dream for many startup founders and medium-sized business owners. There is something about being deemed valuable by a strong company that tells you all the blood, sweat and tears were worth it.

If you want to know how marketing can help you position your business for a sale, keep on reading. Here are five key questions your marketing needs to consider.

What is your positioning to the buyer? What are the market circumstances?

When approaching a global player it is extremely important to clearly explain your market circumstances. Determining why the market you’re in is an interesting market for the buyer, and why now is a good time, is the start of a worthwhile conversation. Companies often go out looking for markets where there are changes in the cycle or dislocation in the market itself in order to make sure the market is ready for a new solution.

Once they have found a good market fit, they’ll look for a company within that market that aligns to their corporate strategy.

How is your company performing?

It goes without saying that showing the excellent performance of your company is incredibly important. Telling the story of your businesses’ growth in a compelling way is key, but don’t forget the decision to fund or purchase usually comes down to the cold, hard numbers.

This is business, after all.

Who’s leading? What is your company culture?

Often the prime indicator of a healthy business is the leadership team. Potential buyers want to make sure the leadership of the company they are considering buying know what they’re doing and there is a strong culture within the company. There needs to be a match in culture between the buying and selling parties.

What is your most profound insight?

As the founder of a successful business, you have most certainly already been able to uncover the most profound insight you can for your target audience. You take that insight, or need, or gap in the market, and use it as the starting point to organise your message, marketing and pitch. Make sure you stay on message and you don’t get distracted by talking about other adjacent ideas you might have. If you do, your message can get lost in the story.

The most successful companies are the ones that can really simplify and put into words what the gap in the market is. If you can clearly articulate how you solve a real problem, you’re going to be able to grab and hold the attention of those big players.

Is the business open to a rebrand?

Lastly, if you sell to a strong global brand, expect they may want to rebrand your company and update your services. Putting too much emphasis on your brand value is probably not going to give the return you are looking for. Typically what the buyer will do once they’ve acquired a business, is rebrand that business.

Every buyer will have a different approach to how they manage their acquisitions from a marketing point of view. If you’re looking to sell, it’s worthwhile investigating what your potential buyer’s aim is. That insight will give you a good steer on how to pitch your company, and will also give you the chance to think the option through and decide whether you are ready to be brought into someone else’s fold.

NOW READ: “We never saw it coming”: How a single whitepaper download led to Sydney startup StorReduce’s acquisition

NOW READ: McDonald’s acquires AI startup for $423 million to help personalise the drive-thru

Advertisement
Vinne Schifferstein Vidal

Vinne is the founder and managing director at Botown. She has global experience growing digital B2B and B2C businesses and in-depth expertise in marketing, publishing and SaaS. She has worked with many startups and scale-ups across the globe, leading fast-growth digital businesses for over 15 years.

FROM AROUND THE WEB