If you’re ready to sell your business, chances are you’d like to do it as soon as possible. A long, drawn out process is never a sign of a healthy sell, nor is it particularly enjoyable to live through. So before you take your business to the market or approach a broker for help, be sure you handle the following.
Get Your Books in Order
Selling a business is a very unique thing as you can probably imagine. It’s not like selling some conventional item you own. In order for your business to give you a high return, you need to make sure it’s showroom ready.
Start by ensuring your books, and all of your accounts, are in order. It should go without saying that a buyer is going to want to see that. You also want to make sure you have any other relevant information ready to be viewed and understood. No buyer should have to feel like they’re pulling teeth to get the information they need. Have it ready for them and make it easy to go through.
Clean the Premises and Keep It That Way
Obviously, if you have a physical premises, it needs to look presentable at all times. This includes times when you’re not expecting buyers as well. You never know when they’re appraising your company.
Failing to prepare properly is probably the number one reason otherwise good companies don’t sell, don’t sell as much as they should or take forever to finally get taken off the market.
Plan for the Long Term
When it comes to selling businesses, it can easily take years and that’s often considered quick. So make sure you’re ready for that kind of commitment—personally and financially. If you can’t weather this storm, you could make a costly mistake like letting impatience affect your pricing.
Get Your Business Valued
This is generally where a good broker can help, but you may also decide to have your business valued by a third party too. Either way, someone needs to perform a valuation on it besides you. No business owner is objective enough to think of a fair price for their company. Your love for it, the work you’ve put in and the potential you see in the business are too much for you to come up with an accurate number. Plus, there’s no law that says you need to accept the amount a third party places it at.
For some, it’s easy to move on to the next project as soon as they know their time with a current one is almost over. This can be deadly to the sale of your business though. Even when you bring it to market, you can’t start slacking on your end. Until papers are signed, your company is being judged, so stay consistent in your work ethic and dedication.
So long as you do the above, selling your business quickly should be a very real possibility. Personally, as a broker, this type of preparation makes my job a lot easier.