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Business Listing – Unleash the Power in Your Name

Not too long ago consumers found local business by opening up the yellow pages and searching for businesses alphabetically by category. A yellow pages business listing made it easy for businesses to ensure that they could be found by consumers. Not anymore, the Internet has changed everything. More and more consumers are looking for businesses online. Unfortunately there is no one authoritative source comparable to the old Yellow Pages for local business information on the web. As a result consumers look to a variety of online channels to find businesses. Similarly businesses have a variety of places online to list their business. This makes getting found much more difficult.

As a result it has never been more important to take control, manage and distribute your business listing online. With more than 70% of Americans on the Internet and more than 3 billion searches are conducted each month for local products and services, chances are your next customers are already online searching for you. Whether you think you already have an Internet presence or not, are a one man band or have thousands of employees, your business name address and phone number distributed across the Internet can greatly enhance your Internet visibility and search engine ranking. It’s a key element of today’s marketing strategies that helps ensure you are present wherever people look for products, services and companies online. It is not sufficient to simply list your business on Google, Yahoo and Bing – today you have to do more. You have to literally think – Internet. The major search engines actually display local search results using data not only with people who directly list their business on those sites, but from outside data sources such as phone directories (yellowpages, superpages, etc.) and other such sources.

Fortunately there are online services available to help you manage and distribute your business listing to hundreds of local search platforms across the Internet. These services not only save you time and energy by independently submitting your business listing to the secondary search platforms, but they serve as important data providers to the major search engines as well. As trusted data providers the major search engines also pull, compare and display data from these providers on search results pages for their customers. Business listings supplied by trusted data providers are considered “verified”. Business listings that are either “verified” or otherwise considered accurate by search engines improve search engine ranking for that business. For that reason it is imperative that you verify that your business listing is accurate and resubmit and/or re-verify your listing at least once a year.

Selling a Business – Using a Business Broker

When selling a business the most important consideration for most sellers is how to achieve the best price for that business and the most favourable settlement terms.

Once the decision is made to sell the business, confidentiality is often of vital importance. A seller does not want competitors or suppliers knowing his plans and using that information against him with his customers. Also staff tend to become very unsettled when they hear of a plan to sell. It is important for the process that staff are stable and comfortable for a new owner because they are an important asset to the business. This is an important consideration because the sale process is very vulnerable to outside influences that can unsettle a buyer.

What will I get for my business is a critical question which will frequently decide on the course of action the seller takes. Experienced business brokers can offer guidance to a seller in terms of what the market is likely to pay for a business at a given time. The market value of different categories of businesses changes from time to time. Timing therefore is always a factor in optimising a business price.

Having made the decision to go to the market the owner needs to make the understanding and transparency of the business as simple as possible. There are a number of business brokers that can work with the sellers and their accountants to present the business in the most appropriate way, including identifying abnormal and non-recurring costs and personal drawings items. The identification of these adjustments and the decision in terms of what to include is important to the credibility of the figures presented. This presentation is critical if the process is to succeed.

A business broker will normally guide a seller on how to prepare and document the operating procedures of the business. This is an important area because a potential buyer will probably not proceed if they cannot see how they would operate the business should they buy it. Documented procedures can allay those concerns. In recent times, a number of business sales have stalled because the potential buyer could not see how he would operate the business from the information provided.

The information memorandum or business profile is a document prepared by a business broker. This document is prepared in conjunction with the business owner and contains: The background of the business and highlights opportunities going forward. It also gives a reason for the sale. The document also contains the financials, the plant and equipment list and any other assets that are part of the sale. This document needs to provide sufficient information to a prospective buyer for them to decide whether to go forward or not. It is therefore important that a lot of care be given to its preparation.

An intermediary such as a business broker will be the best one to prepare and evaluate this business profile.