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Selling a business: What makes a good one-pager?

07th April 2015 -

When touting companies for sale, brokers often produce one-page guides to succinctly summarise all operations. These should be clear, concise and to the point, provoking intrigue from potential buyers; but it’s also important to not give too much away. Getting it right is a fine art, and many people get it completely wrong, so here are a few things to bear in mind...

Appropriately Vague Title

Whilst you should include exact details about business functionality – i.e the type of industry, how it runs, staff levels etc. – it’s imperative not to mention the company by name. This is all the more important in the digital age, where a quick search could see customers, suppliers or employees stumbling across the news that their business is selling up, potentially creating instability.

One-pagers need good titles, allowing the reader to determine whether or not they’re interested. However, we commonly see headings such as ‘Project Gold’ or 'Project Falcon', which are far too obscure. These labels may sound fancy, but it’s much more engaging to keep things simple, as evidenced by current trends for business websites to focus on imagery rather than pages of blocky text.

Titles like ‘video rental company’ or ‘wholesale spice supplier’ work much better, telling the audience exactly what they need to know.

Clinical Description, Free of Fluff

Step back from the flowery language and marketing spiel, because one-pagers should purely focus on the facts. If the business is described as ‘highly profitable’, you must back this up with real figures, and don’t bang on about the ‘eager workforce’ without describing it in more detail.

Consider things from the reader’s perspective; if they’re thinking of investing, they need a detailed overview of how the land lies.

That ‘eager workforce’ reference doesn’t indicate whether there are 20 or 20,000 employees, and leaving out such important information doesn’t encourage buyers to chase you, it just makes them turn away.

Key information

The key is to identify what people want to know and what will resonate with the target audience. As such, the page should be broken down into half a dozen or so paragraphs, with the following subheadings:-

  • Location
  • Size of business
  • Number of employees
  • Recorded profits
  • Client base (returning customers or seasonal distribution?)
  • How the business operates (is management in place?)

The reader is looking to make a business decision and no amount of fluff will make up for a lack of practical information about the health of the company. Whilst it’s tempting to present the business in the best possible light, facts and figures will be more than enough if you’ve created a successful opportunity.

Call To Action

At the end of the page, there should also be clear instructions on how readers can get in touch for further details, should they want to proceed to the next stage. Acquisitions require much time and effort from all parties, but favourable one-pagers will accelerate the process and yield much higher levels of interest.

Isis Business Brokers is experienced in the art of one-page success; we know how to generate interest and allow investors to make informed decisions. If you’re looking to sell, please contact us on 01865 784462 to discuss how we can help.