When is the best time to sell my business?
The best time to sell is when a business is doing well. It is best not to wait until after a business has peaked; the selling price can suffer. However, almost any business can be sold, even if it is not doing well, if the sale is handled professionally and priced correctly.
I am planning to sell my business in the next two years. What steps should I be taking now to assure a smooth (and profitable) transition?
Business buyers always confirm the financial standing of a business during due diligence. Financial statements and tax returns need to be up-to-date and accurate before a buyer asks to see them. A buyer is not insulting a seller when he asks you to prove your numbers. He is only being a prudent businessperson.
Appearances Do Count
The time to replace that old worn-out piece of equipment is before you decide to sell. Don't assume that a new owner will want to do it or that the price will be slightly lower because you haven't replaced it. The time to "spiff up" the business is now, even if you aren't selling. Fix the sign, replace the carpet, paint the place - make it look good. Even if you're not selling, it's just plain good for business, and you never know when the time to sell occurs. Keep-in-mind that anything that increases sales also increases profits and the all-important cash flow! Make it easy on the buyer to make a positive decision by making certain your business shows like a winner.