Selling a business may be your door to new opportunities. You can explore other career paths or spend your sudden free time to pursue new passions, hobbies and interests. Considering how you invested time, effort and resources to building and growing your business, you might want to ensure that you derive the most benefits out of the business sale.
Selling a business, like buying one, is never as simple as it sounds. We have prepared a set of tips to help you avoid losing out on the business sale.
1. Make sure you really want to sell.
Putting your business in the market is something you can’t go back from easily, so make sure you are absolutely certain about the sale. Mull through your decision to sell; if you are in doubt, then it may be wise to not proceed. Seek counsel from people you trust while keeping secrecy in mind. One of the first things to remember is that in a business sale, the fewer the people who know during the first few stages, the better.
2. Get a broker.
Your business broker will be your partner in securing the success of the sale. They will iron out the complex aspects of the process by helping you with most of the legwork, including processing licenses and documents and pre-screening potential buyers. Their database of buyers will speed up the process and their mere participation will allow you to do business normally despite the impending management change.
3. Know the value of your business.
You wouldn’t want to get less than what you spent on your business. Get your lawyer, accountant and broker to help you determine the value of your business. Their expert opinion is necessary as they can help identify key elements that the inexperienced eye may miss, helping assure you of a value that is accurate and one that may even be higher than you initially expected.
4. Organise your data.
Help expedite the business sale by ensuring that your business’ records are on point. This is crucial if you want to get as many expressions of interest in your business as buyers are always keen on performing due diligence prior to considering buying any business. Again, you might need help from your accountant and lawyer, as well as your broker, in securing the right data and making them easily readable for your potential buyer.
5. Get to know your buyer.
Selling your business will affect not just you. Your staff will also benefit (or not) from the sale, depending largely on who replaces you as business owner. Get your broker’s assistance in screening your potential buyers. Get to know them, their capability to proceed with the business sale finance-wise and their ability to lead your business and your staff to further growth.
You have invested a lot into your business, so make sure you don’t get the short end of the stick once you do decide to sell it. Other people’s advice, along with recommendations from experts, will help assure you of the best results.
How do you think should business owners prepare before selling a business? What other steps would you suggest to maximise the benefits one can derive from a business sale? Tell us in the comments below.