Feel like it might be time to sell your business and capitalize on all the hard work you’ve poured into it over the years? In recent years, business owners have taken advantage of a strong economy and an increased number of active buyers to sell their businesses for record profits. While there is no way to predict with certainty how the market will look in a couple of years, right now may be the best time to maximize value when selling a business.
Selling a business is more than taking a few big steps. It’s a multi-layered process with a series of smaller steps that cannot be ignored. If you are just getting started, here is a general overview of the process.
The decision to sell a business is a personal one and varies for each situation. Small business owners often put in hours and hours of work, dedicating themselves into their company. Without enough breaks or work-life balance, they may also burnout after several years of this. If you’ve developed a growing lack of interest in your current business, know you aren’t alone! In our experience as the MidSouth’s largest intermediary firm, we’ve found this to be the most common reason people choose to sell.
Another reason to sell one business is to start another type of business. Someone who owns a fast food restaurant may want to sell and start a more upscale restaurant. It’s common for an experienced owner to sell a smaller business and buy another that is more lucrative and prosperous. Small business owners are often serial small business owners, finding the process energizing and financially rewarding.
Commonly Overlooked Steps of Selling
If you are feeling burnout and want to move on from your business, consider your exit plan strategy. Many business advisors agree that business owners’ should create an exit plan when they start a business, but that doesn’t mean everyone does. There are multiple options available, depending on what you want for that business’s future.
Prepare the Business To Sell
Many business owners get so excited about selling that they overlook a few important steps that are needed to complete the process. One important step is to prepare your business to sell for maximum value. Sellers are encouraged not to burn out at the last minute and to continue working hard until the very end. It’s not often a quick turnaround between making the decision to sell and final closing. For sellers, it pays to be prepared and patient.
Finding buyers is often the most difficult and complicated part of the process. Sellers usually have a great deal of their wealth tied up in the business and therefore need to find the right buyer to maximize their financial opportunities during the sale. If you don’t already have a buyer in mind, understand that it may take some time to find the right person. Selling too quickly or accepting an initial offer could mean accepting far less than what you deserve.
The Value of a Business Broker
As a business owner, you are probably used to wearing a variety of hats and DIYing many things. However, utilizing the right business broker during the sale of your business could save you a lot of unnecessary stress and complications.
An experienced business broker answers the most important questions about every relevant topic, such as increasing the company’s value, increasing the property value, attracting buyers, collecting the paperwork, etc. They also have access to buyers that you may not otherwise reach. For example, at Alliant our process includes a confidential marketing combination of print media, trade publications, direct marketing and internet marketing. We require that all potential buyers sign a Confidentiality Agreement prior to releasing any information about your business, ensuring that we are only bringing you “qualified buyers.”
If you’d like to learn more about the Alliant process or how we can help you get the maximum value for your business when it’s time to sell, contact us today for a free consultation.