Selling a business in the media, entertainment, film and TV industries?

The Biz Blog

March 16, 2010 by Stuart Gross

The first thing to consider when deciding to sell your business in media and entertainment (or any of the many creative business sectors including advertising, graphic, communications, branding and even consulting)  is transferability. And it’s not just the creative skills that may need to be transferred, it is also the relationships that mean business to your business.  Can a new buyer learn to do what you do and maintain and attract business? If you conclude that your business is transferable you need to have solutions to some key issues.

  • What kind of buyer is capable of taking over this business?

  • Where will I find this buyer?

  • Will my key people stay on?

  • How will I handle my clients in transition?

  • How long should I stay on to make an effective transfer?

  • Should I work with a broker?

  • How do I make a deal?

  • How will the buyer finance the acquisition?

  • Am I really ready to move on from my business?


If you sell your business to someone else what will they have left when you leave? In some cases it is possible to transfer most of the company based on the buyer’s skill sets and connections. Sometimes it is an individual inside the operation and most often it is someone who has been working in a similar line and wants to become an owner and entrepreneur. Occasionally it is a strategic buyer who is in a similar field and wants to grow by acquisition.

If you are selling your business and choose to stay on board for a year or more, then you have to adjust your expectations of income. You can’t sell someone your business and then take home all of the profits.

If you are working with a broker who understands or has been in your industry they will know that they are seeking a special kind of buyer. If your broker knows the industry he should know how to find and attract that buyer. You will need to go beyond the standard methodologies of listing and brokering businesses. You have to find this kind of buyer where they live professionally.

The right deal happens when you find a buyer who can sustain the business, and even better, expand it.  The best deal is one that works for both sides.

Entertainment, How to Sell

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Stuart Gross

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