Selling your business can be a bit of a minefield if you don’t know what you’re doing. Underestimating the work involved and the preparation needed has been the stumbling block for many business sales so it’s important that you don’t make the same mistakes as countless others. First and foremost, preparation is key. Trying to sell your business without proper accounts, premises and staffing structure in place can get you off to the worst possible start and create a bad impression from the outset. Trying to go it alone without professional help can also be counter-productive, especially when it comes to making sure all the legal aspects are sorted out correctly and that you get the best price. Overpricing or even under-estimating the price of your business can lead to a lot of heartache so here are my top tips for getting the process right…
- Ensure that your accounts and financial documents are up to date and accurate. If the buyer can see that these have been well-managed, it creates the best first impression.
- Don’t go it alone. Whist you may think that you know your business best and want to avoid professional fees, this process it too important not to have a professional by your side. You can be sure that the buyer will and if you try to go it alone, you will potentially give them an advantage.
- Value the business with professional help before you put it on the market. Trying to negotiate the price higher if you mistakenly set it too low from the outset will be virtually impossible so make sure you enter the market at the right level.
- Don’t sell your business whilst there are any ongoing issues. If there are a few problems in your business that still need to be ironed-out, get those sorted before the sale. If you don’t , then buyer interest will wane significantly.
- Keep the sale of your business under your hat. Selling your business is exactly that…your business. Telling employees, customers and suppliers too early in the process can lead to negative responses so it’s simpler to keep it quiet.
- This is not rocket science but try to sell the business at the best possible time i.e. when your accounts are looking favourable and the economy is performing well. It can be tricky to get this exactly right but doing so will enable you to maximise on returns.
- Last but not least, don’t overvalue your business. If you overprice your business, then you simply won’t get any interest and you will waste a lot of time and effort This is where the professional help that you seek will come into its own. Working with a trusted company that knows the process inside out can be worth all the investment you make.
Stick to the above and you can steer clear of the pitfalls that definitely appear in this process. Happy selling!