Planning to sell a business? Now is a good time.
The US economy continues its upward cycle and consumer confidence is at its highest level. Adding up to solid economic numbers is the low-interest rates that enable buyers to venture on new businesses at a lower capital cost.
But while the economic conditions are all favorable for business selling, the mere thought of it can be daunting. Basically, how you feel about selling your business will depend on your motive. The feeling is entirely different if you’re selling a successful business to move onto another bigger venture as compared to selling it because of poor revenues or an unexpected life circumstance. You’d also feel differently if retirement is the reason for selling your business.
But regardless of your reasons and motives, expect some stress in the entire business-selling process. From planning the sell-off to preparing the documents to the final transfer, the entire process can be time-consuming and there is a lot of nitty-gritty that you have to look into. Orlando Business Broker Cress V. Diglio noted that a lot of businesses eventually back out or simply end up closing their business once they learn about the hassles they have to go through. Meanwhile, there are others who settle with low valuation and never fully gain the actual value of their business.
To ensure a more profitable and rewarding business selling experience, we’ve listed below some tips.
1. Ask financial and legal expertise
The moment you think of selling a business, make sure to seek expert financial and legal opinion. The entire process entails tons of legal, financial and tax-related concerns. You need guidance from someone familiar with these details for an informed decision.
2. Keep it discreet
The news of an impending business sell-off can be alarming for clients and customers. It is recommended that you keep the plan a secret until the acquisition is finalized. This should help make the transition smooth without any disruptions on the business operations.
3. Seek professional business broker
A business broker can help increase the marketability, visibility, and profitability of your business. They are up-to-date with the current market rates; hence, they can help you set a realistic asking price.
4. Determine the best business valuation
Determining the right market value of your business is crucial. If your price is too low, you’ll not fully maximizing on your business’ full potential. On the other hand, if your price is too high, you’ll find a difficult time looking for buyers. A professional business broker or appraiser can help you establish the fair market value of your business that is backed with detailed analysis and market study.
5. Choose the right buyer
You might be tempted to get the first offer just to get the selling process finally over. Take different offers and compare them on all aspects – financial capacity, business experience, leadership, etc. This is especially true if the acquisition involves an extended transition process. If you sell your business to a new owner who lacks experience, limited financial capacity or has poor leadership skills, the operations might suffer. In the end, you’ll be left with a poorly performing business.
6. Request potential buyers to put the offer in writing
It is important to ask buyers to have their offers in writing. This would help compare their terms and make a better decision. Aside from the offer price, there are a lot of other factors you have to consider. A written offer should also help you determine who among the potential buyers is most capable to run your business.
7. Prepare all paperwork
Sort out all the paperwork related to your business: taxes, financial/cash-flow records, existing contracts, inventories, etc. Take time to organize your files. This will help make the entire process smoother.
8. Clean up your location
Expect the buyers to visit your location so be sure to keep it tidy and clean. If you need to make some repairs or renovations, do so ahead of time. Check all equipment and make sure it’s in good condition. The outward appearance of your business will have a major impact on the decision of the buyers.
Finally, you need to have patience. Selling a business can be a very long and agonizing process. Expect potential buyers to scrutinize and criticize your business – only to back out of the acquisition. You must be ready for a slow pace. Always remember that business acquisitions don’t happen overnight. By having this mindset, you’ll be ready for the long haul and not end up with bad terms or giving up.
Hopefully, these tips will help you succeed and increase your chances of finding the best offer and the perfect buyer for your business.