If you plan to sell your business soon, you’ve picked the right time. Consumer confidence is high, and profitable businesses are earning top dollar in a booming economy. Yet many sellers seem overwhelmed. This sense of being overwhelmed can cause them to delay selling to a future date, when the environment for a sale might be less favorable.
Selling your business is time-consuming work, but a few simple strategies can help you make the most of the process.
Seek Expert Insight
No matter the impetus for selling, you need expert advisors to help the process move as smoothly as possible. There will likely be surprising details for which you are unprepared. Your expert team can offer insight that keeps things moving as smoothly forward as possible.
Work With a Broker
A broker can help you list your business in a way that maximizes visibility to the right buyers. A broker can also help with setting a realistic asking price and marketing your business to buyers.
Protect Your Business
Customers and employees dislike change. If a deal could send people into a panic or tip of competitors, you need to keep the deal quiet. That may require an NDA agreement, or a broker or advisor who knows how to market your business without revealing that it is specifically your business for sale.
Set a Realistic Asking Price
Everyone wants to make money from a sale. If your business is thriving, you may be tempted to set a very high price. But buyers will assess many factors when contemplating a purchase. Consider how the business may look from a buyer’s perspective. How are your profits and client relationships? How is the market? How much work will be involved for the buyer? Price accordingly, and get expert insight if you need help setting a fair price.
Make Your Business Sale-Ready
The work to sell your business begins well before you put it on the market. Potential buyers will undertake a comprehensive due diligence process during which they review tax documents, financials, and contracts pertaining to the business. Organize these now and you’ll ensure a smoother sale process down the road.
Separate Personal From Business Expenses
Most business owners run personal experiences through the business. When you sell, this can present a significant liability. Buyers need a clear and accurate picture of the expenses, revenue, and net profits of the business. Personal expenses—as well as other discretionary costs, such as needlessly high salaries for family members—make the picture a buyer sees much less clear.
Get Offers in Writing
When offers come in, it’s easy to get excited and overwhelmed. Ask for each offer in writing so that you can easily compare them. This also prevents later misunderstandings with the buyer. Price alone should never be the deciding factor when selling, so it’s helpful to compare the terms of each deal so you can make a truly informed decision.
Clean Up the Business’s Curb Appeal
Owners sometimes get so eager to sell that they forget about the external appearance of the business. Your building should be clean and tidy, in well-maintained condition. Your equipment must work well, your landscaping must look good, and your signage must be appealing. A little curb appeal goes a long way.