Whether you want to move onto your next project or are looking forward to retirement, there are plenty of reasons to sell your business, and plenty of reasons to want to sell it quickly. No matter your personal or business reasons, these five steps can help ensure you’re speeding up the process without hurting the company you’ve built or the number you’ll be offered for it.
Get Your Documents and Numbers in Order
Your first step when it comes to selling your business should be to get your documents and accounting in order.
Accounting is a good place to start. Here you will want to be sure you have up-to-date records (that are accurate!) on your business operations. You should also be putting together information on forecasts, budgets, industry benchmarks, cash flow, and data.
You will also need a business summary. This will help ensure that the potential buyers are getting all the information they need upfront and without wasting time. You’ll want to cover the details of your strategy, what sets you apart from the competition, and answer any FAQ you expect in regard to your company. But never send this over without an NDA with the recipient!
The third document set you’ll need focuses on the day-to-day operations of your business. This should cover management, procedures, marketing strategies, and automation. This will set your buyers up for success after you exit.
These documents should be ready to go before you move onto marketing or selling your business.
Work With a Business Broker
One of the best things you can do when it comes to selling your business, especially if you want to do it quickly, is to work with a business broker. They understand the ins and outs of the process and can help ensure you’re receiving market value or higher for your business while also keeping you on the right side of things legally and technically.
Before choosing a broker, you will want to be sure they’re qualified and have the experience needed to properly help you sell your company. The business is no doubt important to you, so you need an expert you can trust.
Marketing is not just for getting sales for your business. It’s a valuable tool if you want to get your business noticed when it comes time to sell. This route is a must to draw attention to the sale, get interest, and receive offers.
For marketing, you need to target people who would be a good fit for your industry. You need to think about the ideal buyer, the best platform to sell your business, and how to go about properly advertising. If you’re not sure where to start here, a business broker can absolutely help you navigate these waters.
Screen Your Potential Buyers
You don’t want to sell your business to the first person who comes along (unless they’re a good fit, of course). You will want to screen any potential buyers and screen them properly. A simple and straightforward NDA is a good starting point and you will probably find those who aren’t serious about buying will stop at this step. You will also want to ask them about their net worth and experience in the industry if that is necessary to run your company.
Once you’ve properly vetted a potential buyer, a meeting is generally arranged. You’ll want to answer any of their follow-up questions and have a plan for the negotiation.
Properly Plan for the Transition
Your work doesn’t end when you decide on a selling price for your business. It’s essential that you work with the buyer to provide a smooth transition as it changes hands. You need to be prepared to manage the due diligence process and close the sale, while also communicating with your customers, vendors, and employees. This is the time to answer questions, address concerns, and ensure all your ducks are in a row when you hand the keys over.
When it comes to selling your business quickly, one of the most important steps you can take is to work with an experienced business broker. They can help you plan your exit properly while also being sure you’re getting the best price for your business and that your company is in good hands.
It’s never too early to craft an exit strategy for your business. Even if you think you’re not going to sell for years to come, plans can change and it helps to have a strategy in hand if you do decide to sell sooner rather than later. We can help you craft a plan that serves your wants and needs as well as your business. Get in touch.