The approaching retirement of many baby boomers is set to cause a never before seen wave of business ownership transfers. Over the next five to ten years, it is estimated that 72% of small to mid sized businesses will be handed down or put up for sale. From the businesses that plan to transfer ownership, the vast majority (81%) intend to sell or transfer their business to fund their retirement.

If you are one of the many business owners who are looking to exit in the next decade, it is important that you create a plan and begin to think about how you can make your business stand out from the competition, so you can attract the investment needed to retire.

With so many businesses being put up for sale, it will be more important than ever for your business to stand out and to be turn key for a new owner.

According to CBC, the latest trend in new business growth is millennials who are purchasing franchises. This trend creates an opportunity for established businesses to market themselves to millennials as a safer, turn key investment backed by a history of success.

According to Carmelo Marsala, the owner of Spray-Net – a franchisor with a majority of millennial business owners, millennial business owners are drawn to structured and controlled business environments. This means that if you hope to secure an investment and sell to a millennial business owner, you need to be able to create a plan and show them how they can take over and continue to successfully run your business.

Knowing your cost per acquisition, your average sale value, and returning customer ratio are all important when selling your business. While these items are nearly impossible to accurately track conventionally, investing in a digital platform that can begin to track this data now, can allow you to build up a history of data that can be accurately and easily digested by an interested purchaser.

Part of that plan should also include a well thought out and optimised digital marketing strategy. When creating a digital marketing strategy it is important to gather data about your customers, and to continually analyse and optimise your advertising campaigns, so you can achieve the optimal ROI for your ad spend. Being able to provide a forward looking marketing & growth plan can help build confidence in a purchaser by showing a well thought out path forward for them to follow.

Your business’s website should be looked at as an asset, similar to a piece of real estate. With the majority of customers looking for businesses online, it is important that an investor sees your website as a valuable part of your business. Having a clean, modern, website that provides information about your business is an important selling tool when marketing to millennials – the generation that was shaped in a large part by their access to the internet.

Along with your website, it is important to show a strong presence on social media channels, local directories, as well as review websites that show a customer base for a new owner to interact with.


  • 72% of small to mid sized businesses will be handed down or put up for sale within 10 years
  • 81% of owners intend to sell or transfer their business to fund their retirement
  • Millennials are the generation who are currently looking to invest in businesses

Last modified: December 31, 2019

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