If the time has come for you to sell your business then it is important that you have a full plan of action in terms of making the process as swift, simple and successful as possible. There are many reasons why people decide that it is the moment to sell a business, it could be because of personal reasons, a lack of passion, illness or even a dispute with a partner. Today we are going to look at what you should be considering during each stage of the process, from the moment that you decide to sell, until completion of the sale.
Planning For The Exit
Selling a business is not as simple as just deciding and then looking for a buyer, you must map out your exit strategy once the decision has been made. The type of exit strategy which you implement will vary from situation to situation and if you want to know more check out the BCMS guide to exit strategies for businesses. The keys which you need to consider once you have decided to sell the company, are thinking about how to maximize the amount which you will receive. With this in mind, you need to ensure that your business is in good health, that it has a strong customer base, incremental profits and consistent figures. It may well be that prior to selling the company, you need to put some months of work in to make it as attractive as possible.
Selling The Business
Once you are happy with the state of your business, it is time to start looking for buyers. An important aspect to consider here is the timing of the sale, doing it at the beginning of December for example would not be a smart tim to put it on the market. Contact a local appraiser to get a realistic valuation of your company, the valuation will help to know how much your business is worth and the valuation document will also help you with negotiations in terms of proving worth. You can sell the business on your own or you could look at using a broker, a broker will charge a fee, but they may be able to find better potential buyers and demand a higher price, the choice really comes down to how much time you have. Plan for the long game when selling your business as it could take months or even a year or so to find the right buyer.
When you do find a buyer, it is key that you have put everything in place for the sale to go smoothly, this will be an attractive feature of the sale for any buyer. In terms of the paperwork you must be ready to present all of the tax information and accounting reports from at least the last 5 years. Have these documents reviewed with an accountant. In the paperwork you should also include a list of human resource data such as employee status, you should add a detailed breakdown of your clients and any live contracts, as well as any other supporting information such as patents or agreements.
Once the buyer has been found and the sale has gone through, you are likely to have quite a lot of money on your hands. It makes sense in this situation to bide your time, and enjoy some relaxing time away from the business, before diving into something. Many like to invest their money after a sale which is fine, just be sure that you have thought long and hard, and made a calculated decision.
Plan and prepare every aspect of your sale, in order for the process to run smoothly, be sure to line up more than one buyer in case something goes wrong, and consult professionals every step of the way to make sure that the deal is the best that you can find.