Step 3: Attract Buyers

How to Select Great Photos for Your Business-for-Sale Listing

5 minute read

How to Select Great Photos for Your Business-for-Sale Listing

How to Select Great Photos for Your Business-for-Sale Listing

Using great photos in your business-for-sale listing, even if it’s listed confidentially, is a great way to attract buyers and help it stand out from the pack. On average, business-for-sale listings that include photos, receive more views than those that do not. Yet, it’s important to be discriminating when choosing the imagery for your listing. While a well-chosen, high-quality photo can convey the impression of a thriving business, a poor quality photo can turn buyers away.

Whether you’re taking your own photos or using stock images, here are some important tips on how to select photos that enhance your business-for-sale listing, engage buyers and motivate them to learn more.

Taking Your Own Photos

Choose a clean and well-lit space. Choose which areas of your business you want to showcase in your ad; make sure these areas are presentable and in tip-top shape. Clean surfaces and clear away any clutter that could show in the background of your photo. Your photos should represent a clean, smoothly running business, where a potential buyer can easily envision himself or herself at the helm.

Shoot your photos at a time when you can take advantage of sunlight. Open your curtains or blinds and use indoor lighting as well to show your business in the best possible light. Not only will your images appear bright and well lit, you’re less likely to end up with pixelated photos when you use adequate lighting.

Create an interesting composition. Be creative with your camera angles. Take several shots of the areas that you want to feature from different angles and heights. Diagonal angles are dynamic and add more depth than straight-on shots which appear more static and can make a space appear smaller.

Rather than centering the area that you want to draw attention to, try using the rule of thirds to create an interesting composition. Using your camera’s grid lines, line up the area that you want to focus on with one of the points where the gridlines cross. Thus drawing focus a third of the way into the picture.

Consider confidentiality. If maintaining confidentiality is important, it’s best not to use images that could reveal your business’s identity, such as the exterior of your building. Go through your photos to check for anything that could identify your business before including them in your listing. If using actual photo of your business is not an option, read further and learn about selecting stock photos.

Edit photos to look their best. After you’ve shot your images, edit them. Even if you’re using your smartphone to take photos, it likely has simple editing features, if not, consider downloading a free photo editing app. Edit lightly for brightness and contrast in order to make your photos a bit crisper. Be careful not to overdo it. It’s easy to get carried away with editing and you want to produce realistic representations of your business, not turn potential buyers off with artificial-looking pictures.

Selecting Stock Photos

Check the photo licensing. There are several free online image databases that you can use to search for photos to use instead of, or in addition to, your own photos. Keep in mind that many online images are copyrighted, so if you use a free service, make sure that the images you choose are “free for commercial use”.

Choose photos that are relevant. There are a tremendous amount of photos out there, so choose carefully. Look for generic images that represent your type of business. For example, if you own a restaurant, you could use an image of the type of food you serve, or perhaps an image of your geographical region. Avoid using stock imagery that features specific buildings, as that may misrepresent your business.

Keep the imagery in context. Choose professional looking photos that are realistically edited. Over edited photos can cast doubt on the veracity of your offering. Avoid flashy borders and kitsch imagery unless it relates to your business in a relevant way.

Choose high-quality images. Be aware that just because a photo is available online doesn’t mean that it‘s a good image. Once you’ve narrowed down your search to the type of subject matter that you’d like to use, look for well-lit photos that have good contrast and color. Chances are that if an image catches your attention as you scroll through photos, it will also catch the attention of prospective buyers as they scroll through listings.

Stock photos are often available to download in several resolutions. Always choose photos with a resolution high enough to display clearly in the image size that will be used in your listing. If an image is not available in a large enough size, skip it and choose another image. Using a pixilated image shows a lack of professionalism that will not reflect well on your business.

One of the most important features of a business for sale listing is the photos. These are what catch the buyer’s first, offering a visual representation of what your business is all about. When it comes to selling your business, including impressive, high-quality photos in your business-for-sale listing can make all the difference.

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Luba Kagan heads Business Development and Strategic Partnerships for BizBuySell. 

In her current role she does a variety of education and speaking engagements on topics such as Buying, Selling and Valuing a Small Business.  Luba is a contributing author to the book ‘Small Business Hacks: 100 Shortcuts to Success’.

Prior to joining BizBuySell, Luba was investing in, turning around and growing small and medium sized companies.  Luba has over 15+ years of experience in investing and helping grow family/founder owned and operated businesses. She loves helping apply best business practices to small businesses. Luba holds an MBA in Finance from the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania and a B.S. in Operations Research Industrial Engineering from Columbia University.

When Luba is not hacking away at solving small business problems, she chases after her very inquisitive daughter and that proves to be a lot harder than training and running a marathon or two.