One of my business coaching mantras is "The purpose of creating a business is to sell it". And when selling your business you need to be prepared for several things from the outset. Whatever the purpose of sale may be, there are some suitable guidelines to follow that will best prepare you as the seller for the reality of the sale itself.
There are always more buyers than sellers and small businesses with steady cash income are always in high demand. Beef up your business to make sure it remains in the buyers' eyes by widening your niche and boosting client numbers. Update your advertising and sales avenues and get your name out there. Offer warranties to ease your buyers' minds, letting them know that in due diligence, should a matter arise, you will be happy to renegotiate.
Make sure you have a proper figure in mind before entering into any form of negotiation. Get your finances in order and make sure you are audited properly, so that no holes are found in your paperwork. As an experienced business coach I can help you ensure that no loopholes are missed. The result can be a significant boost to your net proceeds.
Our business coaching programmes certainly include a tried and tested process to ensure all steps are taken to achieve your desired outcome. While this may seem like a financial drawback, the benefits of having someone on your side through each step of the process are priceless. From legal ramifications to tax considerations to pairing you up with the right buyers, we can make the transition more seamless.
Be realistic - do not expect to be pulling in a large chunk of cash right off the bat. It can sometimes be advantageous to negotiate a payment deal over a period of time: sometimes over a period of months or years. These terms will of course depend on the size and scope of the business and the nature of the deal.
Remain quiet about your plans to sell; the fewer people that know, the better. You do not want key employees to lose steam or suppliers to pull out. Do not let word of the sale affect the overall aspects of your business. Be honest whenever necessary and keep those in the know to a minimum - do not hesitate to ask for confidentiality agreements.
Gradually reduce your role in day-to-day activities and do what you can to prepare for the changeover. By the time paperwork is signed and the deal official, you do not want to be scrambling to tie up loose ends. It's so much smoother if you step out gracefully.