Tips for business: A Small Business Owner’s Action Plan for Selling your Business

Planning a business’s sale is important. Most savvy business buyers will fully research the business prior to making a business. No matter what asking price you set for the business, be sure you can back up its worth.

  • Be sure you have at least three years of financial documents to show the company’s revenues.
  • Present the previous three year’s tax returns.
  • Show the expense reports for the business for the last three years.
  • If you do have any existing business concerns, such as unpaid taxes or liens, resolve them before the sales process.

Also use this planning time to get the business in good physical condition. If the building is in good repair, it is easier to sell.  Be sure to handle any problem aspects, such as interior or exterior problems that affect the customer’s point of view of the location.

Be Realistic and Know the Market

Once you are ready to sell the business, it is time to consider the market. It is best to work with a professional, experienced commercial broker for the sale. Pricing the property properly is critical to selling it fast but also at a profit. Consider the following:

  • Consider other businesses in the area that sold recently.
  • Most businesses can expect to see slightly higher sales as the economy grows and strengthens.
  • You can research the sales price of other businesses online. This can help you to see how your business’s value stacks up against other businesses within the industry that are in the same location and about the same size.
  • Know your business’s revenue, too. Most business buyers will not base the purchase of the business on revenues the business received prior to the economic downturn in recent years. Be realistic in the valuing of the business.

It is best to work with an experienced agent to choose the right price point. There is no reason to make a mistake of not selling your business at a high enough level.

Pay for Marketing

One of the other things that today’s business owner needs to take into consideration is the marketing methods available. To sell your business, you will need to market it well. You could end up spending a significant amount of money on the marketing and promotion of the business’s sale. Buyers are out there, in most markets and industries, but getting their attention can be difficult. Look at the experience of the broker you hire. Does he or she have the in depth experience necessary to sell your business quickly?

There are some business owners that are selling on their own. This can be a good option but only if you market your business aggressively. Use all methods of marketing, including the Internet, local print publications and trade publications. You also will want to network with family, friends and businesses in the area.

Selling your business in more limited times can mean selling for less, unless you can justify the reasons for selling at a higher rate. In short, if you expect to get more for the business, you need to plan to make it happen.

There are many things you can do. Consider offering financing to a prospective business buyer. In many cases, new business owners are going to be those who need financing to get started. Know what makes the business a success and show that on paper. Do plan to wait for the right buyer. It will take some time, but the right price and marketing plan will make it possible for you to sell your business successfully.

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