You should explore a variety of methods for selling your business, such as networking with other business owners, hiring a consultant to find possible buyers, or asking a competitor if he's interested. One place where you might reach a large group of potential buyers in a short period of time is online by posting on a classified website like Craigslist. When you list a business for sale on Craigslist, it's important to fully develop the details of your offer and put your listing in the right place.
Sign up for a Craigslist account. An account is required for most postings. Enter your business email address to initiate registration, log into your email account, click the link to confirm and accept the agreement. Text or voice verify by providing a valid phone number. The system will call you with an authorization code, which you must enter to verify your account for posting.
Decide what area of the country—or world—will be most receptive to your offer. If it's a brick and mortar shop, it's best in an area close to the store. For an online business, the decision is up to you, but try to choose a large metropolitan area—like New York City or Los Angeles—to reach the largest audience possible.
Click the appropriate city for the posting. Place your listing in the "For Sale" section of Craigslist under "Business." Select "Post" in the upper right-hand corner of the screen to initiate the posting.
Keep your business listing short yet informative. Post a title that gets right to the point and lists at least one attribute to draw the reader in. For example, if you're selling a computer repair business, you could title it "Computer Repair Business for Sale—50 Corporate Customers."
Start off the posting by describing yourself and your business. Explain how long you've been in business, why you're planning to sell the business, and where it is located.
List the best attributes of the business, such as a location, your customer contacts, expertise or business knowledge you can pass on, and assets that come with it. If it's a website, post the link so that potential buyers can review the content and investigate the popularity of the domain name or concept.
Post an asking price if you wish, but explain that it is negotiable. Post a photo of your business if you have a retail location.
Provide a phone number where you can be reached or ask all serious inquirers to email you to initiate discussions.
Louise Balle has been writing Web articles since 2004, covering everything from business promotion to topics on beauty. Her work can be found on various websites. She has a small-business background and experience as a layout and graphics designer for Web and book projects.