For many people, their business will be their life’s work. As a result, when it’s finally time to sell, it’s important to get it right. Selling a business is a little more complicated than selling a car or a laptop, and there are a few extra steps you need to be aware of. Let’s look at where you should begin.
Assess What You Want
First, you need to think about what it is that you want from the sale. If it’s a community business, you may care about it going into the right hands going forward more than you care about the financial aspect. If it’s going to fund your retirement, then you’ll likely want to get as big a return on investment as possible.
Next, you’ll want to get an accurate valuation carried out of your business. This is a complex process that will consist of assessing its overall financial health, liabilities, earnings, assets, and short and long-term growth potential.
It can be difficult to objectively place a value on your own business; as a result, it’s generally necessary to seek assistance from a range of other experts, including accountants and valuation professionals.
Get a Business Broker
While you can try to do the sale all by yourself, most people find that it’s necessary to engage a business broker that you can rely on.
They’ll be able to market your business via a range of appropriate channels, ensuring that it gets as much exposure as possible, in a discreet and responsible manner. They’ll then be able to help you to identify the most appropriate buyer, and assist you in portraying your business to that buyer in an honest yet favourable light.
Sort Out Your Paperwork
When selling a business, the buyer will generally be required to conduct due diligence. That will consist of inspecting your business in detail, looking for anything that could pose an issue in the future. To do this, they will often need extensive access to your business’s documentation, including contracts and financial records.
Before selling your business, you’ll need to make sure that all of these are organised, and that any issues are dealt with where possible. You don’t want a potential buyer to be scared away by something that you could have easily sorted out yourself.
Once your business is prepared for sale, and you’ve identified some potential buyers, it’s time to start negotiating.
Your business broker will likely be able to help you with this, but you’ll often be involved to a certain degree as well. Make sure that you’re certain about where you won’t compromise beforehand – you’ll likely need to make some compromises here, and you don’t want these to be unnecessarily prolonged.
With the right help, selling your business needn’t be too difficult at all. There’s a lot to deal with, but with the help of an accountant and a business broker, you should be able to cover all the necessary bases without too many issues.