Selling a business can be one of the biggest decisions you will make in life, so it is wise to investigate the best way to do it. Simply put, working with a reputable business broker is the best way to sell your business. Business brokers can help you find the right buyer, navigate the selling process, and achieve the best outcome. In addition to working with a broker, we have compiled a list of other factors that will aid you in the selling process.
The Best Way to Sell Your Business: Questions to Ask
How much is my business worth?
Obtaining an accurate business valuation is essential. Receiving a thorough valuation that will tie out to a lender’s review can be complex. Work with business brokers who have a proven valuation process with a track record of success. Your valuation will help you price your business well and sell it for top dollar.
When should I tell people I am planning to sell?
The short answer is, you shouldn’t. Maintaining confidentiality throughout the selling process is extremely important. In order to preserve the stability of your business and the integrity of your selling process, confidentiality must be a top priority until the close of your sale. This means you should work with business brokers who take measures to protect your confidentiality.
What is the business sale process?
Selling a business is more than a singular transaction. Work with business brokers who have a time-tested process with a successful track record. For example, Viking has a proven 7-step selling process that we have developed over the past 25+ years and 700+ successful transactions.
How long will it take?
There are many factors that can influence how long it takes to sell a business, but on average, the selling process takes approximately 6 to 9 months. Trying to sell a business on your own can extend this timeline as it can be difficult to focus on operating your business at the same time as selling the business. Meeting with a broker early on can help ensure a smooth and organized process.
The Best Way to Sell Your Business: How to Prepare
Obtain A Business Valuation
In order to answer the first question we suggested above, you must take the time to obtain a business valuation from an experienced professional. The best way to sell your business for top dollar is to use a professional who will be able to provide you with an estimate of your business’s value as well as actionable recommendations for maximizing that value.
Organize Your Financial Documents
Gather your last 3 years’ federal tax returns, profit & loss statement (P&L), and balance sheet. Be sure you also have the interim P&L and balance sheet, the average value of saleable inventory on hand, equipment list, lease information if applicable, and if any real estate is owned, a copy of the tax bill and any real estate appraisal. Employ your CPA’s assistance as needed.
Tend To Property & Equipment
Complete any overdue maintenance or upkeep of facilities and equipment. Remember that your business’s “curb appeal” will affect a prospective buyer’s perception of the business value.
The Best Way to Sell Your Business: Employ an Expert
Employ the services of an experienced and reputable business broker as early in the process as possible. This is the best way to sell your business and achieve the results you want. Business brokers can help you avoid common mistakes and ensure a smooth selling process. Brokers help find the right buyer for your business, negotiate the best terms, and guide you all the way through closing, saving you time and money.
If you are considering selling your business, or if you would like to learn more about the process, contact Viking today for a no-cost consultation.