There are lots of motivations behind the decision to sell a business. Whatever compels you to part ways with the organisation you own, it helps to begin the process with an understanding of what is involved in the sale process. First-time sellers will find the whole prospect rather daunting.
To help you overcome your concerns, we have created a detailed infographic which will guide you through the steps required to sell a business successfully and move on to your next project.
Taking the decision to sell
There are many legitimate reasons to sell your business, one or all of which may apply to you. You may want to capitalise on the years of effort you have put into the firm and life the good life. You may not see potential for further growth. You might be eyeing your next venture, or simply have stopped enjoying the job of running a business. You might have personal debts you need to clear. You might simply want to spend more time with your family or retire.
Determining selling points of your business
Getting buyers interested in your business is all about focusing on the things which makes it attractive. A strong customer base can be a compelling reason to buy. The market you occupy may be undergoing a significant period of growth and prosperity. Your firm may be based in a convenient location, both for employees and customers. You may have developed an admirable track record of successful trading. All of these are enough to earn attention.
Assembling partners to sell the business
A lot of people will need to be on your side of the table when you sell a business. This includes an accountant, a financier, a business sale agent, a lawyer and a tax advisor as a minimum. Pick your dream team and your sale will be built on solid foundations.
Valuing a business
The value of your business is based on the net value of its assets and the goodwill price that buyers are happy to pay on top of this. Work with your sales team to create a realistic expectation for its value based on assets, profitability and revenues.
Valuing your business realistically is an important part of the sale process
Preparing for the business sale
There are a lot of elements to prepare before you dive into the sales process, most of which come down to rooting through paperwork and balancing the books. You will need to supply accounts dating back a minimum of three years, commercial agreements, employee information, IP rights, licensing information, property deeds and myriad other documents. Also be prepared to give buyers a marketing-friendly version of why you want to sell.
Marketing a business sale
Only after you have fully prepared for a sale can begin marketing to buyers. You can do this by working out who falls into your target audience, then creating a promotional campaign which reflects this. You could set up a website that advertises your business’ availability to buy, use location-specific ads to court interested parties, or post an ad in an industry publication.
Qualifying potential buyers
Once buyers are on the horizon, narrow down the field by making sure that they are actually willing and able to buy your business. Seek confirmation of timescales for when the sale will be completed, ensure that they have the cash to complete the purchase, ask why they want to buy and find out if they have prior experience of this.
Negotiating the sale of a business is tricky, so get expert help where necessary. You need to determine the sale price, find out how and when this will be paid and create legally binding terms to make sure any agreements are upheld. Finally, if you are not happy, remember that you can walk away from negotiations with no obligations to commit to a sale!
Contacting Business Trade Centre
If you have found our infographic useful and are thinking about trying to sell a business, our site is the best place to get the ball rolling. You can get in touch with our support team via email Link TBC or social media if you need extra assistance, but the simplest option is to open an account with Business Trade Centre and create a listing for your business so that our millions of visitors can see it. You can also browse businesses for sale and contact us about our other services.