Selling your business is a life-changing event. It’s a big decision, and you want to get it right.
Whether you plan to sell your business now or in the future, you should have a plan for a smooth transition. It’s a complex process, and you don’t get a second chance to sell your business.
That means you need to get your business in shape and attract the right buyer. Here’s a checklist for selling a business that can help prepare for this next big step.
Be Sure About Selling
Before you put your business on the market, be sure it’s the right decision. You don’t want to second guess your decision later, so make sure it’s what you really want.
Be clear about why you’re wanting to sell. Any potential buyer will ask, so it’s important to be upfront about your reasons.
When you know that selling your business is the right step to take, the transition will be easier. And you’ll feel better about what comes next.
Determine the Value of Your Business
Knowing the value of your business is an important step in the selling process. Unless you’re a real estate expert, this isn’t a decision you should make on your own.
Seek the advice of an experienced business consultant who understands your industry and real estate market in your geographic area. They understand how to ensure you’ll get the best possible price for your business.
They understand business valuation and know how to present your business in the best possible light. They can take the stress off you by vetting potential buyers and managing the selling process from start to finish.
Seek Professional Advice
If you know you want to sell your business, make sure you have the right team to help you through the process. Having experienced players around you can make the process easier and less stressful for you.
Whatever your reason for selling, you need an experienced business consultant who understands your business sector and how to look out for your best interests.
Be present, ask questions, and know you have the right team in place to market and sell your business. You don’t get a second chance, so take the time to gather the right advisors before you put your business on the market.
Keep It Under Wraps
Hearing that a business is for sale can send customers or clients straight to your competition. Your business may not sell right away, so it’s important to keep it moving forward while the process unfolds.
That means keeping quiet until you have a buyer in place. If your employees find out you’re selling, they may get nervous and look for another job.
This can make your life more complicated. So, confidentiality is critical until you have a definite deal in place.
Set a Fair Price
It’s important to understand the fair market value of your business. Many business owners think their business is worth more than it actually is.
It’s normal to have an emotional attachment to your business, but you can’t let it cloud your vision of its actual worth. A business broker can help you set a fair asking price and understand the reasoning for the decision.
You must consider multiple factors before naming a price. And you must consider how a buyer will view your business as well.
Potential buyers consider the past and present success of a business, the profit margin, client relationships, and more before making a decision.
Your price must reflect the reality of your business and the current market.
Although you have people handling the sale of your business, you should stay involved in the process. You care more about your business than anyone else.
And you understand your business better than anyone else. You have a lot at stake, so it’s critical to part of the selling process.
Attend meetings, read the documents, and ask questions. Do your part to market your business to potential buyers.
You should be at the front of the process from the beginning to the final sale.
Get Your Ducks in a Row
Before it’s time to sell, make sure you’re current on any loans, late payments, or defaults. Make sure all your financial documents are in order and be prepared to share this information with potential buyers.
Tying up loose ends now can simplify the selling process and help you find the right buyer at the right price. Many sales fall apart due to red flags that halt the final sale.
Be prepared and lean on the expertise of your broker or business consultant. This can help you eliminate red flags and find the ideal buyer for your business.
Spruce Up Your Curb Appeal
In a rush to sell, many people overlook the outward appearance of their business. This is a mistake.
People want to see a clean and tidy business. They don’t want to picture themselves making extensive repairs after taking ownership.
Take a good look at the exterior of your business. Make needed improvements and repairs before you put it on the market.
Be sure your business equipment is in good working order and the interior and exterior of your building are appealing. Update your signage, landscaping, paint, or anything that may take away from the look of your business.
Keep Your Business Running
If you plan to keep the sale of your business under wraps for now, it’s important to keep your business running as usual. Although you hope the selling process is quick, it may take some time to find the right buyer.
That means you need to keep your employees and your customers happy. You don’t want to lose sales or spend money training new employees right now.
You want the buyer to see the potential your business has. So do your best to keep it running and moving forward at this time.
Following a Checklist for Selling a Business
Selling your business is a big decision. Planning ahead can make your life much easier as you navigate the process.
Having a checklist for selling a business can help you as you make this life-changing decision and prepare for the future.
We’d love to help you get the best possible price for your business. Contact us today to learn more.