Thinking about selling out? Or do you positively know you’re selling out but not sure how to prepare for it? Selling can be stressful in itself as it can raise many concerns including whether the time is right and how can I maximize the sale? Just make sure you prepare wisely and long before your chosen sale date arrives.
For most small businesses, there is a common process that should be followed and the more you prepare the more you can anticipate a satisfied outcome. Barbara Taylor, a co-owner of a business brokerage in Arkansas says you need to start by asking yourself 3 questions.
1. Are you ready to sell?
2. What is your business worth?
3. Are you prepared to sale your buiness now?
There is a difference between being ready (emotionally) to sell and prepared (itemized list) to sell. Barbara states that you better get your books in order first. Accurate financial information is mandatory to prevent scrutiny from a prospective buyer.
Nowadays, most buyers interested in a business utilize the internet to locate the particular type of business and property they seek. Two primary marketing documents you should have available is a one page document describing highlights of your business and also a comprehensive prospectus available for serious buyers who have signed a confidentiality agreement.
Also, its wise to ask potential buyers for some basic background information of their own including previous ownerships, education, source of funds and reasons they want to buy your business.
Finally, after both parties have shared their information and when you know you are ready to negotiate the deal and finalize it, ask for an offer. But be realistic!
Avoid surprises and cover yourself with a tax accountant and a lawyer that can help you understand what the consequences will be for the terms you may decide to accept.