There are many reasons business owners may look to sell their business. For example, sometimes the decision to sell your business is because you want to move forward with a new stage of life. Other times it may be because you want the freedom to explore another business opportunity. Regardless, if you’ve decided to sell your business, it is important to be prepared with an exit plan.
As the Midsouth’s largest brokerage firm, we have years of experience in how to help business owners get the most value for their business. Here are five basic steps to help you get started.
Step 1: Research
All too often a business owner will sell their business without conducting research beforehand. Unfortunately, this often leads to undervaluing or overvaluing of their business. Do some market research and look for recent businesses (similar to yours) that have sold. This will give you a general overview of how the market has been trending.
A few of the factors you would look for include:
- Size of the business
- Geographic location
In fact, most business owners don’t know the true value of their business. How do you find the balance between selling quickly and getting the best price? At Alliant, we provide you with a free business valuation so that you know the true value of your business and how to make it most attractive to buyers.
Step 2: Enhance
The next step toward selling your business is enhancing its value. Here are a few things you can do to improve its market value:
- Look to gain more sales. If your company is losing money or breaking even, it will reflect poorly upon your business.
- Find a way to differentiate yourself from other businesses. Ask yourself, “What sets us apart from the competition?”
- Stay focused on the business itself even after you’ve decided to sell it. Now is the time to ensure key employees and efficient business strategies are in place.
Step 3: Locate Buyers
The next step in your exit plan is to locate potential buyers. This is often the most difficult part of the selling process. That’s because there aren’t buyers readily available. Part of the Alliant process is a Confidential Marketing Package and we use a combination of print media, trade publications, internet marketing, direct mail and telemarketing to reach potential buyers.
Step 4: Negotiate
Once you’ve found a buyer, it’s time to proceed into negotiation. We recognize that some people thrive on negotiation while others can’t stand it. Our experienced team of business brokers works with clients by guiding them through the selling process, obtaining fair market value for the business, and ensuring no one “leaves money on the table.”
Step 5: Close
Finally, the last step towards selling a business as a business owner is closing. Believe it or not, many potential business sales end up falling through the cracks because of closing issues. There are several documents you will have to sign to relinquish the rights of your business. Additionally, part of closing is beginning to transition. You should work with the buying company to successfully integrate new employees into the business.
Our team at Alliant is here when you are ready. From marketing to closing, we handle all the details. Contact us today to get started.