Small Business Brief

Business Advice

Done with Your Business? 6 Tips on How to Sell it

Over the last few years, the number of small businesses being sold has increased significantly. It even hit an all-time high in 2017.

Are you considering selling your business?

When you first start out on a business adventure, you usually assume that you’re going to keep that company forever. Things don’t always work out that way, though.

Sometimes, you need to sell your business because it’s no longer profitable. Other times, you need to sell so you can focus your energy on issues that matter more to you.

If you’re getting ready to sell your business keep reading. Explained below are some important tips to help you make sure you sell it the right way.

Signs it’s Time to Sell Your Business

Are you still on the fence about selling your business? Selling a business is no small undertaking. Before you decide to go ahead and sell, make sure that this is really what you should be doing.

The following are some signs that selling is the right approach for you to take:

  • Your life circumstances no longer allow you to dedicate adequate time to growing and running the business
  • You’ve received a great offer from a buyer already
  • You have another opportunity to pursue a startup or get into a different kind of business
  • You’re ready to retire and don’t have anyone to whom you can pass on the business

You might also want to consider selling your business if you’re losing more money than you’re bringing in. If you sell now, you’ll get more from the sale than if you wait until your business’s stores are totally depleted.

How to Sell Your Business

After reading through those signs, is the writing on the wall telling you that you need to sell your business?

If you’re ready to sell, you need to make sure you’re doing whatever you can to sell as quickly as possible.

Remember, 90 percent of business listings never actually sell. Here are some tips to help you ensure your business is one of the lucky few:

1. Determine the Value

The first thing you need to do when you’re planning to sell your business is to figure out exactly what it’s worth.

It can be tricky to determine the exact value of your business. Talk to your accountant, financial adviser, and other members of your team to help you figure out what your business is worth and calculate the right asking price.

Avoid asking for too much or too little. A price that’s too high will cause business will sit on the market for too long. A price that’s too low means you’ll walk away with less than you deserve.

2. Be Transparent

Nothing stops a business buyer in their tracks quite like a business owner who seems to be hiding something.

Make sure all of your financial statements are in order that everything is laid out clearly for buyers to see.

If there’s anything questionable to be found, assume that the buyer is going to find it. Remember, too, that they’re not going to be happy if it seems that you were trying to hide from them. They might even take their offer back altogether.

There shouldn’t be any personal assets on the business’s books. Make sure that your personal finances and business finances are totally separate.

Keep in mind that buyers will also likely want to see your year-to-date results as well, so it’s best to have those readily available.

3. Work with a Broker

Selling a business is definitely challenging. You could technically try to sell on your own, but it’s better to work with a professional who has experience buying and selling businesses.

Hire an experienced business broker to help you determine the value of your business and get it in front of the right buyers. For most people, the cost of hiring a broker is well worth it since they can help them sell their business so much faster.

4. Keep it Quiet

Do whatever you can to keep the fact that you’re selling your business on the down low. If that information leaks out, it could upset your clients and customers. They might even leave the business altogether.

Try to keep things quiet until you’ve worked out all the details regarding the sale. This will also help you transition your current employees and customers to the new owner in as smooth a way as possible.

5. Get Offers in Writing

It’s always best to get offers for your business in writing. This makes it easier for you to keep track of who’s offering what and will help you figure out which buyer you want to work with.

Remember that the details of an offer often go beyond price.

Keep track of all the details of each offer so you can compare and contrast and make the best decision for yourself, your employees, and your customers.

6. Boost Your Curb Appeal

Finally, make sure you’re taking steps to improve the curb appeal of your business, too.

The act of selling a business is similar to selling a house, and, as the experts at will tell you, curb appeal can make a big difference when you’re trying to secure a great offer.

Invest in having the building where your business is located professionally cleaned. Take care of necessary repairs to the exterior, interior, and signage, too.

Learn More About Selling Your Business Today

As you can see, there are a lot of things you need to take into account when you’re getting ready to sell your business.

If you’ve determined that selling is the right approach for you to take, keep these tips in mind. They’ll help you find a buyer more easily and make sure you get the most out of the sale.

Something else that can help you in selling your business is to think about the sale from a buyer’s perspective.

If you’ve never considered this before, be sure to check out this article on a buying a business today. It’ll help you see the sales process in a whole new way.