Home Business Insights & Advice How to sell a business in six steps

How to sell a business in six steps

by Sponsored Content
5th Feb 21 10:00 am

Selling a business can involve many complex processes. It can require an accountant or broker to assist with negotiation. Additionally, a corporate lawyer can help you prepare all the necessary documents during the sales process.

The sales proceedings will depend on the business structure and its operations, the sale’s timing, and the reason for sale. Selling a business can take significant time, and once it is sold, the owner will have to look for ways to manage the profit. Here are a few ways to negotiate for a successful business sale.

Consider sales timing

Sales preparation should be done as early as possible, preferably several months or a year ahead of time. It can help widen the customer base, improve the business structure and financial records, and bolster your profit. These improvements can ensure smooth operations of the business and ease the transition process.

Determine whether to hire a broker or not

Avoiding brokers can allow you to save money by eliminating the brokerage fee. It would also be a viable option when selling a business to a friend or family member. However, a broker can help in other circumstances and free up time for you to focus on other business operations.

Brokers can also help a business owner get the highest value out of a deal because they will strive to maximise their commission. Business owners should discuss their expectations with the broker and keep in touch with them.

Determine your business’s worth

It may be necessary to determine the worth of a business to avoid under or overvaluing it. Search an appraiser online or within your municipality for valuation and ask them to draft a detailed report about your business’s worth. The valuation report can help gauge the asking price and bring credibility to the sales process.

Determine why you want to sell the business

Businesses are sold for many reasons. The first question a potential buyer will probably ask is the reason for the sale. Companies are often sold for various reasons, including illness, boredom, partnership disputes, retirement, and being overworked.

One mistake a business owner can make is to put an unprofitable business up for grabs. Such a decision can make it hard to attract lucrative deals. So, consider the readiness of the company, the timing of the sale, and its attractiveness. Some of the attributes that can attract lucrative deals include lengthy contracts, a broad customer base, consistency, and increased profit.

Do the paperwork

It might be necessary to review your past three to four-year tax returns and financial statements with an accountant before listing your business for sale. You might also need to compile a list of equipment that will be sold together with the company. Make sure to create copies of contacts related to supplies and distribute them to potential buyers for review.

Your paperwork should also provide a summary of how you operate the business. Everyone would want their business to be as presentable as possible before listing it for sale. It is wise to replace or fix any broken parts of the company or equipment before the sale. If you’re not sure you have all your paperwork in order, you can enlist the help of an attorney. A corporate lawyer can help you prepare all the necessary documents when starting a business or when selling your business.

Search potential buyers

Most business sales take between six months to two years to finalise. Finding the right buyer for a business isn’t as easy as you might think. You might need to invest heavily in advertising to attract more potential buyers. Keep in touch with at least three prospective buyers because the initial deal might falter.

Also, avoid giving out your business information to anyone who doesn’t pre-qualify for financing. Allowing some room for negotiation can be an ideal way to lure potential buyers. However, stand firm on the price and consider future price fluctuation.

These six steps will help you in your endeavor to sell your business. If you need more assistance, enlist the help of a broker or your corporate lawyer to make sure the process goes smoothly.

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