- The first step to selling any business is to do your market research and determine what your business is worth in it's current state.
- Make sure you don't leave anything pending on your To-Do list before you entertain buying offers. If there is undone work or projects, the buyer may use that to negotiate a lower price.
- Know how to negotiate well. Understand your sales, your costs, and your current stage of maintenance to determine what you can use to negotiate a higher price for your business.
You’ve put your heart and soul into your business. It’s been a fulfilling adventure, bringing you the success you hoped for when you opened your doors. You’re ready to move on to the next chapter in your life. It’s time to pass the torch to someone else. Before you can hang up your “for sale” sign, consider the following tips to smooth the way as you prepare to sell your business.
Know What Your Business is Worth
You can’t put a reasonable price tag on your business until you do your homework. Turn to a financial advisor or accountant as you determine the true value of your life’s work. You should look at every aspect, from the revenue you bring in to your expenses going out. Tally up your monthly expenses, including insurance, taxes, utilities, and your payroll. Track your profits over the years. Work with a real estate agent who specializes in commercial properties to make sure you are in the right ballpark when you list your business. You don’t want to give it away, At the same time, you don’t want to wait forever for a prospective buyer.
Make Sure Everything is in Order
Don’t leave any unfinished items on your to-do list before you get ready to hand over the reins. If you have loyal clients who have always filled orders with you, prepare them for the transition. Make sure all of your accounts are in good standing with your balances paid. Talk with your suppliers about a change in the future. Your good reputation is going to help your business continue to prosper under new ownership.
Check Your Property with a Critical Eye
Study your property closely. You want it to shine. Bring in your landscaping crew to address the grounds. Hire a painter if your building could use freshening up. Otherwise, a pressure washer is perfect for cleaning vinyl siding. Fresh paint and new curtains can make the interior of your business look like it is new again. Retire any old furniture that has seen its better days. Dress up the office and additional rooms with flowers. You want to put your best foot forward when someone checks out your business. Give it a facelift to turn back the hands of time.
Increase Your Sales
Whether you have a pharmacy for sale or a restaurant, you need a glowing report for those who are interested in taking over. Run promotions and step up your game to bring more money in. New buyers will build on your success. Don’t be afraid to pass on any of your tricks of the trade. You worked hard to establish yourself. You want to trust your business will continue to flourish when you walk away.
Think About Staffing
You may have valued employees that are indispensable. They are an essential piece of the puzzle. As potential buyers come your way, sit down and discuss keeping on the best of the best in your business. If you are fortunate, your buyer may want to keep everyone on to simplify the process. Even if new people are coming on board, there could be room for more staff.
Don’t Jump at the First Offer
Don’t be spontaneous in accepting an offer. While you want your business to sell, you also need to make sure it lands in the right hands. Clients and the community count on you. They have been coming to you for years. They know what they can expect. They should receive the same level of service when someone new is at the helm. Make sure your buyer has the qualifications, experience, drive, and common goals before you sign on the dotted line.
Selling a business can be bittersweet. It’s the end of a personal era. However, it is also a time of new beginnings. As you set off on your next adventure, someone else will be taking over your life’s work. Your careful preparation will make it easier for the new owner to take flight. With the proper team in place to help you, you can have peace of mind when you walk away for the last time.