It may take months to make a decision about selling a business. It shouldn’t take years to do it. Many business owners put the sale off because they view it as a complicated never-ending process.
In reality, it’s possible to sell your business fast without spending too much time, nerves, and money. All you have to do is homework.
We’ve collected several tips and tricks tested by business owners from all over the world. Armed with them, you can sell your business quickly and go on to new projects.
1. Start in advance
It takes a while to make a decision about selling a business. Preparing for a sale could also take time. Once you decide to sell, start making small preparations. The majority of them has to do with making your company look attractive.
Early preparations aren’t just crucial for the size of the deal. They help you get ready for the sale emotionally. For many business owners, companies are like children. Letting them go may be painful. Being overly emotional about the sale could hinder its outcome.
2. Ask for help
Selling a business without help is almost impossible. Unless you have vast experience selling companies, you can’t do it alone. You may be an excellent business owner, who knows how to grow and develop a business, find clients, and make amazing offers. But are you a legal or finance expert?
To sell a business, you would have to enlist the assistance of such professionals to prepare the right documents and make your company appealing to the seller.
While you should ask your in-house financial specialists for help, try to find someone outside your company as well. Look for a legal professional, who has worked with selling similar businesses before.
3. Keep quiet about the sale
When you decide to sell your business, you should keep it a secret from as many people as possible. Even the slightest rumor about the upcoming sale could make the process much harder.
Firstly, when your clients hear about the sale, they are likely to turn to the competition. Hardly anyone wants to stay and see what happens to the company after it’s sold. Secondly, your employees may start abandoning the “sinking” ship.
The above could lead to problems with your company, which would lower its price substantially. Nobody except for people whose help you need with the sale should know about it. Ask all of your confidants to sign a non-disclosure agreement.
4. Hire a business broker
Hiring a business broker is an excellent choice for business owners, who don’t have the time and skills to arrange the sale on their own. A business broker knows how to market your company, where to find clients, and how to deal with the paperwork.
According to Florida business broker, Cress V. Diglio, the majority of business owners, who try to sell companies on their own, eventually turns to a broker.
A business broker charges about 10% of the deal amount. They are interested in selling your company quicker and at a higher price because his or her payment depends on it.
The key to simplifying the selling process is hiring the right broker. Don’t be afraid to spend weeks looking for the best broker. It’s one of the best investments you can make.
5. Improve the curb appeal
When you sell a house, you work hard to improve its curb appeal. The same works for a business. You have to make sure all your paperwork is in top shape, all financial matters are solved to the best of your ability, and all the legal issues are dealt with.
If you want to sell a company for a reasonable price, it must appear appealing to the buyer. Remember, all buyers work hard to dig deeper and find out what you may be hiding. So make sure the business stands the test even when they scratch the surface.
You may need to invest extra money into polishing your business. But such an investment is likely to have a high return.
6. Be patient
Selling a business is much tougher than selling a house or a car. Be ready for it to take several months. The time it takes to sell a company often depends on its size. Smaller businesses may find their buyers in under six months. Larger companies can be out on the market for up to a year.
The worst mistake business owners make is hoping that the deal could be closed in a couple of months. After that doesn’t happen, they are ready to accept the first offer. Don’t hurry into closing the deal. Be prepared to wait for the right customer.
7. Trust your intuition
More often than not, business owners have gut feelings about selling their business. If you are a successful businessperson with formidable experience, learn to trust your intuition. If you feel as if something is off about the deal, don’t go through with it immediately.
Even if something seems too good to be true, don’t rush into it. Make sure to take your time and do proper research about the customer before finalizing the sale.
Selling a business is a tough process, which requires assistance, patience, and a little luck. If you enlist the right professionals, prepare your company properly, and do the right research, your deal is likely to be finalized sooner than you think.