In business, you always have options. You can continue to do what you’re doing and try to improve. You can hang back, put your work on ice and explore other things. Or you can get intentional about creating a sale-ready entity and finding someone who wants to buy. If you’ve lost your business mojo or you just want a new challenge, selling your company might sound appealing. But without people around you who know what it takes, you might think it’s impossible. Enter ChatGPT.
While ChatGPT will not buy your company, and it won’t do the work you need to do, it can advise you on how to set up for success. Here’s how entrepreneurs can get actionable insights from ChatGPT to sell their business effectively.
Sell your business with help from ChatGPT
Make a robust plan
Any great outcome requires a great plan. It’s no use having a vague preference for exiting, you have to deliberately put it on the cards. Turn your grandiose idea into specific, measurable, day-to-day actions, to start taking baby steps in the direction of a sale. Ask ChatGPT for what those actions should be. Copy and paste this prompt, edit the square brackets, and re-prompt until you have your schedule.
“I want to sell my business which is [describe your business]. My perfect sale looks like: [describe your ideal outcome, timeframe, and any specific conditions]. I need to create actions, which I will carry out, to make this sale happen. What should my weekly plan look like, split by days, to make this vision a reality?”
Find the right buyers
You don’t need hundreds of people to want to buy your business. You only need one, and that one person is out there somewhere. Your job is to find them. What types of people buy businesses like yours? Find the answer to this question and your perfect buyer will materialize. ChatGPT can give you clues on where to look with this simple prompt.
“My business specializes in [describe your industry and niche], and the ideal buyer would be someone who [describe qualities of an ideal buyer in terms of who you want to own your business]. Where should I look to find potential buyers who fit this profile?”
Craft your initial outreach
The more someone can do for you, the harder they will be to reach, the more approaches they receive every day. So you need to stand out. Don’t haphazardly shoot off emails to these people. Think carefully, plan your approach, and get clever about how to get in. Make the offer about them, not you, to appeal to their interests. Ask ChatGPT for help with knowing what to say, then treat your outreach as the serious exercise it is.
“When reaching out to potential buyers, it’s crucial to grab their attention while conveying professionalism and appealing to their best interests. My business’s unique selling points are [list your unique selling points]. I want to engage a buyer who can benefit from buying my business by [explain the ways a purchase would benefit them]. How should I draft a series of four outreach messages that incorporate these points and engage potential buyers in a casual way, in which I assess their appetite and explain more when I have established they are interested?”
Create a compelling pitch deck
If you’ve been diligently approaching potential buyers with your winning message sequence, you’ll have generated some interest, perhaps even meetings. Initial meetings with potential buyers are called chemistry meetings, where you establish the mutual potential for doing a deal. In these calls, let the buyer go first. They explain their business and why they might want to buy yours. When you speak, you explain your company tailored to the synergy. Buyers love synergy. Prepare your pitch deck in advance, but don’t talk through it until you know their intentions.
Here’s how to get your deck’s structure from ChatGPT: “I want to sell my business and I’m preparing to meet buyers. My business’s key metrics include [list key metrics like revenue, customer base size, growth rate, etc.]. Give me the structure of a pitch deck that not only explains my business but also showcases it as a highly valuable asset. [If you’re using internet-enabled ChatGPT, add “Include industry statistics and potential growth opportunities for the business].”
Prepare for questions
During the chemistry meeting and any second and third meetings, you will be asked questions. Lots of them. It makes sense to prepare for potential questions ahead of time, and you can do this with some clever prompting of ChatGPT. But don’t forget that it’s your business. You hold the cards, you own the asset. Prepare intelligent, probing questions for the potential buyer, to make sure your treasured business will be in safe hands.
“I’m preparing for a meeting with a potential buyer of my business. I think they might want to buy us because [list any potential synergies you know of]. List 20 questions that they might ask me in a meeting, and add bullet points under each one to explain what they will be looking for in my answer. Can you also give me 7 intelligent questions I should ask the potential buyer, to make sure they are the right people to trust with my brand, team and clients?”
Prepare for scrutiny
When you sign your initial agreement with the buyer, you’ll enter a period of due diligence. Get prepared ahead of time for asking ChatGPT for a due diligence checklist. If your files are in order, your contracts are saved in a useful place and you know your management accounts from your financial accounts, you’ll breeze right through. The longer your affairs are in a mess, the harder they’ll be to untangle in a rush. Ask ChatGPT what you should prepare so it’s not an issue.
“I understand that due diligence is a critical phase in the business sale process. To expedite this phase and avoid any roadblocks, what documents and preparations should I have in place in advance? Give me a list of actions I should take to organize my business admin.”
6 ChatGPT prompts to help you sell your business
If you want it enough, you can sell your business. Thinking in different ways, preparing the right information and making those audacious requests is how you can sail off into the sunset, safe in the knowledge that your brand, team and clients will be looked after. Make your plan, find the right buyers and craft your approach. Prepare your pitch deck, prepare for scrutiny, and get your house in order so the sale goes through without a hitch. Start the journey now and make the destination arrive sooner.