Can you have fun while selling a business? Hardly. But you can make this process as painless as possible with proper preparations. Millions of people have sold businesses before you and billions will sell after. However, only a few of them will remember the process without cringing.
If you plan to sell your business in advance, you can avoid the majority of problems in the process. We’ve come up with an ultimate checklist that features all the necessary steps to make the sale successful without leaving unpleasant memories.
1. Put Your Financial Documents in Order
Making sure you have all the right documents is just part of the process. If you want the sale to go smoothly, you need to improve the “curb appeal” of your company. All financial documents must be in order.
The buyer should see a polished company with excellent potential. Impossible? Add some glitter to your business by leasing a company car or buying extra office furniture. Make sure all your expenses are accurately reflected in the balance sheet so there aren’t any grey areas.
Say no to questionable activities during the selling period. All your financial matters must appear clear and transparent.
Check the financial records for the past three years, including tax returns and statements. Ideally, you should hire an accountant to review the documents and make necessary corrections before you put your company up for sale.
2. Hire a Business Broker
Selling a business on your own may be tough. It’s possible but requires a formidable amount of time, knowledge, and research. The majority of business owners choose to hire a professional to do it for them.
A business broker is responsible for reviewing your company, setting the best price, monitoring the market, finding buyers, helping with negotiations, and much more. It’s an irreplaceable assistant for business owners, who want to sell their companies fast without too much hassle.
It’s worth noting that hiring a business broker doesn’t mean that you can take the entire load off your shoulders. As an owner, you would still need to invest time and effort into the sale.
When looking for a business broker, make sure the specialist is licensed to sell companies in your state. Ideally, you should ask for references from the business owners you know. If none is forthcoming, take the time to read reviews, conduct interviews, and check referrals.
A business broker usually charges between 10% and 15% of the final deal amount.
3. Evaluate the Cost of Your Business
Before putting anything up for sale, you need to figure out how much it costs. A company isn’t an exception. A professional evaluation is the best way to go. A business broker can give you pointers about finding an expert or do it without assistance.
A professional evaluator considers several parameters, such as your industry, your target market, the state of your business, revenue, cash flow, expenses, and much more. According to Orlando based business broker, the right evaluation of the company’s cost is the key to the quick and successful sale.
To get a proper evaluation, you have to share all the necessary information about your business with the expert. Otherwise, you may get an improper figure, which would delay the sale substantially.
4. Dress Up Your Business
When the buyer visits your store or office, the first impression matters. That’s why it’s important to dress it up. While the internal polishing, such as getting your documents in order is vital, so is the visual effect.
Washing windows, taking care of the lawn, updating operating systems, installing new equipment, and the like are only a few things you can do for the “curb appeal” of your company.
Such polishing has a high ROI. It can help you boost the price of your business with just a few simple touches.
5. Be Quiet About Your Plans
Only a limited number of people should know about your plans to sell the business. If you are asking for assistance from third-party professionals, such as accountants, legal advisors, and business brokers, make sure they sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA).
As soon as the knowledge about the upcoming sale becomes public, your business may drop in price. Why? Because employees may start leaving, hindering the work process. Meanwhile, many clients who hear about the sale won’t stay long enough to find out how well the business may or may not function after it.
6. Don’t Rush
Selling a company is not a fast process. Usually, it takes about 6 to 12 months to close the deal. For larger companies, it may take years. Don’t try to rush the process and accept a deal from the first buyer, who comes after a month or two of silence. If you don’t like the offer, you can refuse and wait for the next candidate.
Many business owners make the mistake of thinking that they can sell a business quicker than others. Have realistic expectations, and you won’t be disappointed.
Selling a company is a long and complicated process, which requires time, money, and effort. Without assistance, selling a business is possible but extremely tough.
To get the best deal in the shortest amount of time, you need to evaluate your company properly, get professional advice, polish the business, get documents in order, and wait for the right buyer to arrive.
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About the Author
Maria has been writing articles for 5 years. She specializes in business and marketing. On her free time, she loves to read and write about her travel experiences. You can find her doing this by the beach.