1. Timing, a good time to sell
When your business is doing well and when the economy is strong. Factors that override this can be to raise funding, your age or health.
Sometimes you just have to sell ASAP.
Don’t wait forever for the perfect time because the right time may be now.
2. Preparation, Have your Business “Sale Ready”
You should start working on your end game, the day you start your business. Nothing beats simple good documented practices to maximise your business value and make it easier to sell.
3. Documents & Agreements
If and when you have potential buyer(s) interested, you want them to be able to progress through their due diligence process smoothly. This means having all relevant documents and agreements in place and available for release at the appropriate time.
4. Look the part
A buyer does not know your business and is naturally suspicious, so being well organised gives the buyers the impression of a well-managed easy to operate business. Make sure that all staff know their responsibilities and look occupied.
5. The Numbers don’t lie
Nothing scares a buyer away quicker than poor financial information. Make sure that your accounts are accurate and up to date. As important is that you understand them to quickly and confidently answer any questions.
6. Are you “Selling a Job”?
The biggest thing that buyers want is a sustainable business with maintainable earnings. They want to have a business that can operate for the foreseeable future without relying on you or them. Train a Manager to achieve their Budget. The more that the business is seen to revolve around you, the lower the value and the harder it is to sell.
7. Slow and steady wins the race
In all sales there are one or more moments where people get freaked out and more often than not it is the vendor. A buyer will ask what you consider to be silly or insulting questions, act professionally, and put yourself in their shoes. The buyer does not know the business as well as you and wants to be sure of what they are buying.
If selling business is not what you do for a living it is best to learn lessons from others. Most business owners will not get a second chance to do it well, and it is such an important process for your employees, your customers, and your bank account that you want to maximize your chances of success.