Over the past year, many owners have been working hard to keep their businesses afloat. Now, as things are turning around, some are asking “Should I sell my business?” Here are some steps to follow to achieve the best price and experience.
Step 1: Get a business valuation
Once you know the value of your business, you’ll have the opportunity to increase its worth before listing to achieve a higher selling price. In today’s climate, business valuation experts will be assessing your 2021 revenue and earnings. Meanwhile, ignoring your 2020 profits. That’s why it’s crucial to get your business to where it was pre-COVID or better.
Step 2: Organize your financials
Buyers are shifting their focus to businesses that not only survived the pandemic but will provide long-term viability. Before choosing to make an offer, they’ll want to know everything about your business — from your financial statements and taxes to your inventory and equipment. This is the time to take care of any outstanding orders, like tax liens or PPP loan forgiveness, that can prevent any sale from going through. For a smooth transaction, meet with a business advisor to review your financials before you begin the sales process.
Step 3: Prepare your exit strategy
You shouldn’t wait until the next downturn to sell your business— it’s always good to sell when things are getting better.
Putting a sound plan in place will help facilitate a faster exit. It can also help you achieve a higher return on investment. Baby boomer business owners will be looking to retire in the upcoming years, overwhelming the market. This is the perfect time to maximize your value and ensure your business stands out from the pack.
There are many exit strategies to consider — selling to friends or family, selling to an internal party, or selling on the open market. Each plan of action has its advantages and disadvantages.
Step 4: Find a business broker
The most important thing an owner can do while selling their business is focusing on running their business. A broker uses their expertise and aggressive marketing program to create competition for you, manage prospects and help you achieve the best price. No matter the size of your business or industry, a business advisor is going to be an expert. With the right guidance and advice, you’ll be able to seamlessly sell your business to the right buyer.
Step 5: Qualify potential buyers and negotiate
One of the main reasons a transaction will fall apart is because buyers fail to secure loans after entering into a sales agreement. When you work with a broker, buyers are qualified for financial ability to meet the offer.
A business broker can approach and continue to track potential buyers without weakening your position. The best part is brokers will control the information being released, and pre-qualified buyers are required to execute a confidentiality agreement. This will protect you and your company from someone prying through your financials without proper supervision.
When you’re selling a business, especially in a hot market, it’s crucial to negotiate to achieve the best price and terms. With the help of a professional, you’ll be able to avoid confusion during your sales transaction. They’ll be able to identify when a buyer is asking for too little and have your best interest at heart.