If you’re considering selling
your business, congratulations!
This could be a great move for you. Or, it might not.
It’s definitely a big step,
though, and one that requires thought and preparation in order to optimize the
outcome for everyone involved.
Unfortunately, many business owners go into the sale of their business
with unrealistic expectations, or without properly preparing, and they end up
making costly and frustrating mistakes that can be detrimental to the effort.
Here are five specific things to
avoid when selling your business:
As everyone knows, failing to
plan is actually planning to fail. When you’re taking on a complex and high
stakes task like selling a business, that axiom is certainly true. Murphy’s Law also dictates that
anything that can go wrong will go wrong, so it’s important to
prepare well ahead of time to minimize any bumps in the road.
In many ways, the groundwork for
a successful and profitable sale can be made back when the business is first
opened. Having one or more strong
and well-planned exit strategies in place is key to developing the business
with a successful sale, acquisition, or merger in its future.
When it’s actually time to
prepare to put the company on the market, detailed preparation is also
necessary in terms of documentation, and many other intricate details that you
may not think about often as you’re running the business day to day. It’s always best to get professional help.
2. Going it alone
The independent “can-do” passion
of the entrepreneur is what got you to this point in the first place, so it’s
understandable that you’re ready to roll up your sleeves and handle this sale
all by yourself. But please don’t.
The sale of a business is a
complicated, time consuming, and potentially very costly undertaking. It will be better all around – in terms
of your time and stress, as well as the eventual profit you make from the sale
– if you bring in professionals who handle the minute details of a business
sale every day. They will be able
to lessen the burden on you while you’re still running the business, plus
you’ll end up getting more for the business faster than you would have on your
Hiring a professional business
broker is a must; they will be able
to guide you through the whole process from accurate valuation to marketing to
the right buyers.
glitch in timing
Sometimes, it’s the economy
itself, which you have no control over.
Or, it’s your industry, which you have little control over. Or, it’s just your company itself,
which you have plenty of control over, but which you may not realize is causing
Timing is everything when it
comes to negotiating a successful and profitable sale. If the timing is right, it can go off
without a hitch, quickly and efficiently.
If the timing is off, though, it can become a long, arduous process.
Again, the help of seasoned
professionals should eliminate any issue in this regard. They may be able to assist you in
making the necessary adjustments to fall in line with how businesses like yours
are selling right now, or they may be able to make some recommendations that
will get you in shape to put the company up for sale in six or nine months.
In many cases, this is a matter
of emotional investment. You’ve worked your fingers to the bone building this
company from nothing. You’ve given
it years of your life, not to mention your blood, sweat, and tears throughout
all that time. There’s no way its
worth less than $45 billion! But, actually, it’s only worth $2.3 million, and
not a penny more.
The input of objective outside
parties, such as the business sale professionals mentioned above, can help you place
a realistic value on your company.
But you will also need to make the conscious decision to accept their
advice and step out of the way, or the sale will never succeed.
It’s rarer, but it does happen:
the business owner is so eager to be done with the business, he’s ready to give
it away at a bargain basement price.
It seems reasonable that anyone
should be able to see the value in a business being sold at half its expected
cost. But, instead, it just ends
up raising red flags in the minds of potential buyers who want to know why the
owner is in such a hurry and what they’re missing about this company that
indicates it’s ready to sink.
Again, professional help can
mitigate this concern as they can assist you in placing a reasonable,
profitable, and accessible value on your company in preparation for the sale.
For more information on selling
your business and what to avoid if you want to do it right, speak to a business sales professional near you.
This article was contributed by BusinessesForSale.com, the
market-leading directory of business opportunities from online media group