Selling a business is a very personal and important decision. If you want to get the maximum financial return for your years of hard work, then you need to take your time and create a plan that will bring in only interested bidders.
Every aspect of your company should get involved in your selling process, including:
- Your staff;
- Your outsourced services;
- Your vendors;
- Your attorney;
- Your accountant.
As you go through the process of selling your business, there are some do’s and don’ts that you should keep in mind to help you get the most from your business sales and to make the whole experience as smooth as possible.
Do Invest In Upgrading Your Business
In order to get top price for your business, you need to improve the first impression your business makes on potential buyers. To do that, you need to invest in improving:
- Your retail location;
- Your computer systems;
- Your staff;
- Your customer base;
- Your flow of revenue.
Don’t Tell Your Customers
During the process of selling your business, you want to increase your business as much as possible. That means that you cannot let your customers know that you are selling. If customers find out that you are selling your company, it will appear as a sign of instability and they will take their business elsewhere.
Do Use A Broker
A professional business broker will give you good advice on what to do to increase your company sale price but, more importantly, the broker will bring you a steady stream of interested buyers.
Don’t Allow Service To Slip
The temptation for many business owners who are selling their companies is to keep an eye out for potential buyers and make sure that the business is at its best when those potential buyers show up.
The truth is that you never know when a potential buyer will walk through your door, so you should always deliver premium service at all times.
Do Get Your Business Appraised
No matter what kind of broker you get or what kind of professional assistance you consult to sell your company, you should have a third-party appraisal done so that you know how much your business is worth.
Don’t Take On New Debt
One of the first things a potential buyer will look at when considering buying your company is the company books. If you are constantly taking on debt, for whatever reason, it will drive good buyers away.
Do Get Educated On The Process
When selling a business, there are things you have to do and things you do not have to do. Just because you have a broker working on your behalf does not absolve you of the responsibility of making sure that you understand every step of the process and that you know exactly what is expected of you.
Don’t Take An Offer Without Doing Your Own Homework
The worst thing you can do is sell your business to an entity that cannot afford it, or has a history of defaulting on significant transactions.
Use your lawyer and broker to perform due diligence on every potential buyer before accepting any offer.
Do Act Professional At All Times
During the process of selling your business, you may hear a lot of information that you consider to be insulting. A prospective buyer may refuse to make a bid because of certain things they do not like about your business. You may also have to listen to a long list of reasons why a certain buyer thinks you will never get the asking price you want.
In all instances, it is important to act professional and stick by your asking price.
It takes a long time to sell a business of any size. The preparation to put the business on the market takes a while, it can be a long time before you find a buyer and the closing all of the paperwork takes a long time as well.
The best thing you can do is keep running your business and not worry about the process. At some point, your business will sell.