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Selling Your Business: The Do’s and Don’ts

Selling Your Business: The Do’s and Don’ts

Selling a business can be one of the biggest financial transactions you will ever undertake. Therefore, it deserves careful preparation and planning to make sure that the sale is successful.

In the United States, there is a major shift in business ownership taking place. The Baby Boomer generation is reaching retirement age and Generation Xers and millennials are stepping in to fill the gap. Some see this point in time as a buyer’s market for purchasing businesses. If you want to get the most for your business, you need to prepare now to stand out from the crowd.

Plan Ahead

It is never too early to plan for selling your business. In fact, planning could start as soon as you launch a business idea and create the shareholders’ agreement. This agreement could include the rules about how the sale of the business will be carried out.

If you try to sell your business in a hurry, you will not get the same return. Cosmetic changes made to a business last-minute before a sale are noticeable and can reduce the perceived value of the business. Planning means taking care of necessary improvements well in advance.

Maximize the Value of Your Business

Things you can do to maximize the value of your business need to be done well in advance. The best way to boost the value of your business is to show solid performance and profit for several years.

This means that you will need to implement marketing plans and develop strategies that increase your client base and lead to repeat customers. Valuable companies are those that have created repeatable and teachable processes that boost productivity.

Be Patient

Selling a business can be emotional, especially if you built the business from the ground up. Don’t allow emotions or a lack of patience to cause you to make decisions that are not financially sound. The sale of a business can be complicated. Dal structures, financing, and validating the value of assets take time. By maintaining a level head, you can improve the outcome of the sale.

Research Your Industry

There are some overall principles that apply to selling any business. However, there are some strategies that work well in certain industries as opposed to others. You should do industry-specific research.

For example, if you have an HVAC business, besides learning about basic business selling principles, search specifically for things like how to sell my HVAC business. With a search like this, you will learn the best marketing plan for selling an HVAC business, who qualified buyers are, what the valuation is for businesses of this type, and what the market is. This will allow you to pinpoint your efforts to produce maximum results.

Don’t Choose the Price

This might seem counterproductive because you are selling your business for money. Obviously, you have a price in mind. However, the buyer you choose could impact how the transaction plays out, including the purchasing price. For example, you might accept a little less from a buyer who can pay everything upfront. Or, if a buyer needs to defer payments, you might ask for a bit more. When choosing a buyer, you need to decide what is important for you. It is best if you can generate competition and garner multiple offers.

Don’t Be in a Rush

You may want to sell your business now. However, if you are in a rush, you will make mistakes that could impact the amount you can sell your business for. Be empathetic to the circumstances of your potential buyers. Buyers need to interact with investors and lenders to fund the transaction. Things take time. Wait for a good outcome.

Don’t Try to Do the Sale Alone

Get external advice because business transactions are complicated and the stakes are usually high. You need to talk to advisors, including your lawyer, bankers, financial partners, and accountants. Talk to someone who specializes in selling businesses as they can give you advice to make the process go smoother.

Selling a business is an exhilarating, stressful, and emotionally charged event. You need to keep a level head, talk to people who you can trust, stay patient, and do your research.


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by Amy Sloane //

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.