When you want to sell your business, think about it. it’s not a knee jerk matter (unless you are in one of the exigent circumstances like death, disability, ownership battles)
- Try to think 2 years out. Get the marketing rihgt. Gather documents. Make sure your tax returns are accurate. Maximize profitability.
- You’re going to want to Value your business. This goes back to looking ahead and getting it ready to show profitability. If you deduct everything under the sun, eg. Country Club dues, cars, etc. it may weigh down the profits. Valuation depends on many factors – book vs. future profitability. Appraiser vs. CPA
- The Team: Attorney, Accountant, Business Broker, Marketing Consultant. You’ll need to pick and choose.
- When to Sell: Don’t wait until you’ve ridden the mule until it’s dying gasps. Think ahead. When are major upfits due? Is there a big, outside competitor preparing to enter your market? Remember: you want to sell when you are at the top of your game.
- Market Conditions. How is the economy? Sell when conditions are right and people have money to buy your business.
- Be Bought, not Sold. See video http://www.entrepreneur.com/video/223298
- Ask yourself if you can keep up with technology and competition, if not, you need to put a timeline in place. Don’t let the industry leave you behind.
- Are you dependent on one key customer?
- Will you agree to work for buyer for a transitional period? Calculate that into your business selling timeline.
- Any dealbreakers? Do you own your technology? Do you have debt issues? Ownership issues? Start working on them now. One law firm affiliated with Exit Avenue in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Hendrick Bryant Nerhood Sanders & Otis LLP has assisted hundreds of business clients in selling and buying businesses.
- Are there other alternatives to an outright sale? ESOP’s? Joint Ventures?
Call the Exit Avenue team to get started when you say “I want to sell my business”.