Starting a business is a rough ride, and it’s incredibly daunting. Will it work? Will we be successful? It’s impossible to predict the future, or the circumstances that will arise.
It must come as quite a relief then, when your company becomes so successful that you’re ready to sell. At a high price. That small operation you ran from your old garage has now turned into an extremely profitable venture, and you deserve credit.
But selling a business isn’t as simple as putting it on eBay. If only that were the case. Rather, it’s quite an intricate process, with more pitfalls than you’d imagine. So, whether your business is big or small, here’s how to get the sale done.
Put your business in the best possible position
You have to think about your legacy as much as anything. Ensuring your business is running as perfectly as possible will leave a positive lasting impression on the new owners. Plus, you may bump up the price a little.
So, complete that profitable deal, decorate the store, do whatever it takes. Just make sure your operation is running as smoothly as a brand-new watch.
Assess the financial climate
If the economy is on a downward spiral, it may not be the best time to sell up. Or, it could be good to get out of a sinking ship! Only you can read your business, so see where it stands in comparison to the rest of the market.
You could discuss your options with a business broker, to glean additional advice. You should also set a price that you feel your business is worth. To do this, tot up all your assets and estimate how much you think it’s all worth. Take into account the money you first spent on the company, and how much you’ve spent since.
You should have accurate financial records, so consult them for help. See what your annual turnover is post-tax, and use the price/earnings ratio to get a rough valuation.
Give potential buyers a tour
It really is as simple as that. Would you buy a house without inspecting every little nook and cranny? Absolutely not. As such, you need to demonstrate to potential buyers exactly what they’re getting for their cash. Show them that your company is worth the investment. Show them how profits have increased, and show them how much they could make.
Additionally, you could use this opportunity to showcase the skills of your staff. If you have some of the best IT experts in the country, don’t be afraid to flaunt them. The better your staff is, the less work the owner will have to do, so make it known.
And above all, be patient. Many business owners put in decades of work to their company, only to sell for a cheap price. Just because you want to get out quickly, doesn’t mean you should accept a low offer. Choose a price, and stick to it. As long as it’s an honest price and fully represents your company, you’ll attract people in time.