The process, or journey, of selling a business is not going to be linear. It also may not always include the same steps as another business deal. However, some general things need to happen in any sale situation, which we will outline here to assist you.
Prepare the Financials (and Everything Else)
Preparation is the biggest part of the transaction when it comes to selling a business. Some people overlook it, underappreciate it, or just don’t think about how it can be such an asset to the road ahead. Planning allows you to come up with a strategy, a marketing plan, and to gather the resources and things that you need. This is where you want to gather your financial information, generate a profit and loss statement, and make sure that you get the business properly valued for sale.
We discussed bad pricing a little bit in the mistakes section, but it’s something that needs to be on your radar. When you are getting things ready for sale, getting the business value right is a big part of the process because it will ensure that you can price your business effectively enough to get results.
Create the Executive Summary
The Executive Summary is where you will be showing off your business and its best assets. This should include a description of the business and other details. It can also include financial information, including a profit and loss statement. Some of these even have an FAQ section or additional insight for potential buyers. Yours can be whatever you want, as long as it speaks to the nature of your business and essentially tells buyers what they are getting for their money.
Choose Your Resources
We didn’t number these steps because, as mentioned, they’re not all linear. This is one that can happen simultaneously, or before the rest, depending on how it works best for you. By resources, we don’t just mean educational resources, where to list, and other “things”. There is a host of “people” resources out there that you can add to your arsenal to get the most of your business sale:
- Financial Planners
- Business Lawyers
- And more!
All of these people can play an important role in preparing and listing a business for sale. They may provide different resources and services, depending on each company’s needs, but as long as you’re enlisting their assistance as much as possible, you can streamline the process and save yourself from doing it all alone. Plus, when you have the pros on your side, everything will be easier.
List and Market the Business
Once you have the rest of the business in order and ready to sell, you’ll be able to publish the listing. It is important to create a single, cohesive listing that you will share everywhere. You should market your business in as many places as you can to ensure a quick sale and better visibility. Social media advertising and other newer methods might be more effective than you realize—use them all.
We consider negotiations part of the sale process because the deal still isn’t done. After all, you can accept an offer and get all the way to the closing table, and the buyer could still walk. There are no guarantees until the ink has dried. Negotiations are where you can benefit from having a dedicated business broker because they will do the haggling for you. They can handle all communications so that you have the professional representation that you deserve with clients and their brokers.