Is selling a business like selling a house? Many business owners don’t think about it that way, but they should, says an article in The New York Times. Savvy home sellers will spend weeks and months sprucing up their properties. The goal, of course, is to attract more buyers and command a higher asking price. So why don’t business owners do the same thing?
“If you’re willing to rip out your kitchen to get an extra $10,000 or $20,000 from the sale of your house, shouldn’t you be willing to make some operational changes to gain hundreds of thousands of dollars when it’s time to sell your business?” asks the article. But most small business owners hardly think twice about the needs of potential buyers, even when they’re on the verge of selling the company. And long-time business owners are the worst. Rarely do they try to increase revenue the year or two prior to a sale by actually spending a few extra dollars on marketing and advertising. But think about it. That’s exactly what home sellers do when they put in new windows or retile the bathroom floor. A little upgrade can go a long away when it comes to selling your home, and your business.
Is Google the evil empire? After all, its advertising platform is almost single-handedly responsible for destroying the print publishing business. But according to an article in PC World, Google is great for small businesses. Why? Because it levels the playing field and lets even the tiniest company advertise alongside corporate behemoths, at a fraction of the budget.
Imagine, for instance, trying to compete with McDonald’s for a prime-time slot on network television. Fughetaboudit. But on the Web, any business can buy keywords aimed directly at its target audience. The result, says the article, is “more bang for their marketing bucks by purchasing advertising that is much more likely to result in revenue.” So next time you steal a customer from one of the big boys, maybe you’ve got Google to thank.
What’s the Keyword?
Yes, your business is benefiting from Google. But Google also owes you a debt of gratitude, especially since small businesses are buying more keywords than ever, according to a new report. Small businesses on average bought 55 keywords during the third quarter of 2009, a 30 percent jump from the previous year. On average, they spent $1,658 on search ads in the quarter, an increase of 91 percent from the previous year. But Google had better work a bit harder to keep your business. The report found that Google’s share of the small-biz-ad spending pie actually dropped 5 percent to 60.4 percent year over year. Newcomer Bing grabbed 10.5 percent of the small business market share, with Yahoo! roping in 26.2 percent.