Inevitably, most business owners reach a point where it’s time to consider transitioning out of the business. For a few, this may mean passing it on to another family member. For most, it means selling the business to someone new.
Whether you are currently asking if this is the right time to sell your business or are ready to list it today, we have some advice based on our decades of experience as business brokers. Here are our tips on selling your business with both your legacy and future in mind.
1. Don’t Wait Too Long
We aren’t referring to trying to time the market. What we’ve seen all too frequently are business owners who have burnt out or lost interest in their business. While the business itself may be operating smoothly, selling a business is a marathon not a sprint. It’s best to ensure you have plenty of time to implement your exit plan and the things that need to be done to sell the company. Otherwise, you run the risk of accepting far too low of an offer.
2. Keep Things Confidential
It may sound tempting to tell associates, key employees and friends once you decide to sell but we advise against it. Privacy is essential and you run far greater risk for negative consequences without it.
3. Know The True Value of Your Business
Another mistake we’ve seen is when business owners attach either too much value or too little value to their business. Best to remove the emotional decision-making here and get a confidential opinion of value to find out what it’s really worth.
4. Only Work With Qualified Buyers
It may be tempting to try to fast track an initial offer from a buyer without buyer management but our process avoids such risk. At Alliant, all buyers must sign a confidentiality agreement, complete buyer screening, and will only receive all pertinent data after due diligence and an offer. This limits the potential for scams that could affect both your business and your legacy.
5. Use Experienced Business Brokers
Professional business brokers will not only help you avoid unqualified buyers, they understand the process, the market, paperwork and negotiations. It’s possible that you’ve spent decades wearing different hats as a business owner and have en done some negotiating on your own. Trust us, you don’t want to try to DIY selling your business. An experienced business broker brings honesty and integrity and ensures a smooth process so you get the full value you deserve.
If you want to find out the true value of your business or learn more about the Alliant Process we use when working with our clients, contact us today.