Although there are many potential issues that could arise as you try to navigate selling your business, there are some that are more common than others. Before you start making your own plan and figuring out whom to hire, removing the bad habits and “don’ts” will ensure that you are on the right track from the beginning.
Timing is a big factor in selling a business. Some people just decide to list their business and then get discouraged when it sits too long. If you didn’t consider the state of the market first, however, your timing could be off. It could also be that your pricing isn’t reflective of the current market, or any other timing issue. It’s important to work with a broker who can help you determine the best time to sell. You can’t just throw your business up for sale on a whim, or at least not if you want the best outcome.
Limited marketing needs to stop. Too often, people stick to traditional advertising methods because they assume that’s where they’ll find legitimate buyers. However, there are a lot more digital sources of visibility and publicity that you can use to get your brand out there. Take an omnichannel marketing approach to ensure that you reach all potential buyers in a way that works for them.
Sellers shouldn’t stay on. Although it might be requested, or even preferred by you, staying on to help the new buyers should only be done in absolutely necessary situations. And even then, you should only do it as long as it’s required. Sellers can stay on to assist with the transition briefly, but it should be brief and have a clearly determined timeline ahead of time so that everyone is on the same page.
Where are you priced? One of the biggest factors in whether or not your business will sell (and how quickly) is the pricing. Have you taken the time to price your business accordingly, based on the values that you have found or the factors that are involved in pricing that impact how much you need or deserve to earn for your business sale? Typically, you’ll be pricing yourself at 3-4 times your profit and assets, but that could vary depending on your needs, debt, and other factors.
Are you using the right people to help you? Selling your business is about taking advantage of the resources that you have and people are one of those resources. If you’re not taking advantage of them, it’s going to be critical that you start now. Hire a broker to help you through the sale process and make sure that you have an accountant or financial consultant to deal with the money, too.
Selling blindly is dangerous. While it might seem enticing to just let someone make an offer and take the business, you’re not just selling some building that you used to own. You’re selling your very own business idea and that can be difficult. However, it’s necessary. Make sure that you know who you are selling to and working with so that you can create that professional image.