According to a survey on business sales, only 30-40% of businesses listed for sale will actually sell. One reason why people are unable to sell their business is that they cannot find a reliable buyer.
Are you looking for a guide to selling your business and want to learn how to attract the best buyers? Keep reading this article to learn how to sell your business and for tips on finding the best buyers for your business.
Start the Search
One of the first and most important steps of finding the right buyer for your business is to start the search! If you wait for buyers to come to you, you will be waiting for a long time.
Rather than simply posting your business for sale, you need to start a process to find the best buyers in order to get the best deal possible.
One thing that you can do is make a list of potential buyers. Your buyers may come from current employees, customers, or even your competitors. You never want to rule anyone out, as anyone can be a prospect when buying a business.
You can also utilize platforms that allow you to create listings for your business sale. This way, people who are already interested in buying a business in your industry will be able to have your information.
By starting the search and being proactive, you will be able to find the best buyer.
Next, it is important to pre-screen each of your potential candidates when you are selling your business. This is an easy way to weed out people who are not qualified to buy your company and to find the best buyer possible.
A simple way to screen your candidates is by hiring a broker. This way you can be confident that someone is financially qualified to buy your company.
When you screen your candidates, you will want to gather important documents like confidentiality agreements, financial background information, and past experience.
If you have interested buyers that have owned or managed a business in the past, they will be a more experienced option.
Meet With Multiple Buyers
Something else that can help you find the best buyer for your business is to meet with multiple buyers. Just as people test drive several cars before settling on the best option, you should do the same with buyers.
Make sure you meet with each of your qualified candidates so you can learn more about how they would run your business.
Meeting with several buyers is also an easy way to get a better deal on the sale of your business. Rather than choosing the first offer you get, you can wait for someone who is more interested in your business and will be willing to pay a higher price.
Identify Your Company’s Strengths
One of the best tips for selling a business is to get your business in good shape and highlight your company’s strengths. When you are selling a home, you will often get it staged to show buyers its potential.
When you are selling a business, you also should highlight features that make your business attractive and valuable.
Highlighting your strengths will show potential buyers what your business has to offer and will help you find the best buyer possible.
Don’t Hide Your Weaknesses
While you want to showcase the strengths of your business, you do not want to hide your weaknesses. Even if you can hide them temporarily, the truth will eventually come out and may lead to problems with your buyers.
Instead of hiding your weaknesses, it is best to disclose any issues with your business upfront. This way, you can work to improve any problems and your potential buyers will be completely up to speed with your business.
Know What You Are Looking For
Finally, it is important that you know what you are looking for in a buyer. While your main goal may be to sell your business and make a profit, you also want to make sure they align with your business goals as well.
For example, you wouldn’t want to sell your company to someone who would immediately hire all-new employees or who would take your business in a completely different direction.
Make sure you understand the objectives of potential buyers and know what characteristics you are looking for in a new business owner.
Hire a Professional Business Broker
Finally, you should hire a professional business broker to help you find the best solution for your business.
As was mentioned before, brokers can help you screen your buyers. However, they can also help you understand each of your options when you are selling your business.
This way, you will be completely prepared to sell your business and will be able to get the best deal possible for the sale of your business. Hiring a business broker is one of the easiest ways to sell your business.
Start Selling Your Business Today
When you are selling your business, it can be difficult to find the right buyers to take over. By following each of these tips, you’ll find that you can sell your business faster to the right person.
Do you need help selling your business? Fusion can help!
We help our clients understand each of their options when buying or selling a business. With our in-depth planning, you will be fully prepared to make the best decision possible when you are learning how to sell your business.
Contact our team today to learn more about our services or to schedule a call with our expert brokers.Read More
There is no doubt that buying a business can be a very exciting idea; however, it is critical that prospective buyers don’t lose track of what is truly important. Let’s explore the five most important steps that any buyer needs to take when evaluating a business. The simple fact is that as a buyer, you have no choice but to look beyond the sizzle and work to find the steak. In other words, it’s essential to determine the true worth of a given business.
#1 – Evaluate What is Actually Being Sold
No buyer should assume that he or she understands everything that is, or is not, being sold when buying a business. One of the most important tasks for any buyer is to carefully evaluate the business under consideration and invest the time to understand what the business does and what is included in the sale. This is a task that your Business Broker or M&A Advisor will perform as well.
#2 – Understand Business Performance
Understanding the performance of a business can be more complex than it initially appears. On one hand, the numbers don’t lie, and it is possible to quickly evaluate the bottom line.
However, in the process of evaluating the business, you and your Business Broker or M&A Advisor might discover that there are many flexible factors that could quickly alter how well the business performs. For example, you’ll want to take into account the number of hours the current business owner is working and if key employees are contributing enough to the business. These are just two of a wide variety of factors that could influence overall performance.
#3 – Look at the Financials
Ultimately, there is no replacement for understanding the current financials of a business. Perhaps a business has all the potential in the world, and you can easily see that potential. However, remember that almost all buyers must obtain financing; this means that it is usually critical that the business has strong financials in its current state. Before considering any business, you and your team of professionals will want to carefully evaluate profit and loss statements, tax returns, balance sheets, and other important financial documents.
#4 – Evaluate the Business Plan
Understanding the current owner’s goals and what steps they’ve outlined to achieve those goals is a key step. As a new owner, you’ll want to know that there is a path forward for growing your business, and a business plan is essential for achieving that goal.
#5 – Look at the Demographics
One of the single best ways to grow your business is to understand your customers. For this reason, it is important that you have a clear understanding of the demographics of the business and why customers should remain loyal. If there are challenges on the horizon, such as an expanding competitor or new competitor entering the arena, then you’ll want to know this information as well.
Evaluating a business is not a simple process. Working closely with a brokerage professional who has years of experience in evaluating all types of businesses is essential. This is an excellent first step towards buying the right business for your needs.
The post The 5 Must-Do’s When Considering Buying Any Business appeared first on Deal Studio – Automate, accelerate and elevate your deal making.
Out of all the businesses listed for sale, only about 30% to 40% ever sell. There are many reasons why your business sale may fail to go through. It could be that your business is bleeding cash, you have overpriced it, you have irreconcilable flaws, or you lack a professional business broker.
Now, if you’re trying to figure out how to sell your business for its maximum price, we have a guide for you. Read on to find out what goes into selling a business and how a business broker can help the process.
Start by Finding a Professional Business Broker
When selling a business, you basically have two options to consider. Sell your business on your own or use the services of a professional business broker. Selling on your own would be a great option if you were to sell it to a family member or a trustworthy person.
However, if you’re putting your business on the market, hiring a professional broker would be your best bet.
A business broker will bring a wealth of experience in selling businesses and will know all the secrets of how to sell a business successfully. They’ll come armed with the skills, expertise, and competence necessary to cover all areas of the sale.
One of the best things about hiring a business broker is the fact that they’ll maintain confidentiality. During a business sale, keeping your business information confidential is essential. It could potentially ruin your company’s future if released to the public.
A professional business broker will only release sensitive information to buyers who are ready.
A broker could also keep your company’s name from potential buyers, protecting you and your business in the process. Having a broker take care of the business sale means that you’ll have time to maintain internal focus and prevent disrupting the business.
Even better, a broker will have an extensive contact base and a vast network, so finding potential buyers will be easier and will take less time. Finally, a business broker has experience in negotiations. They’ll scrutinize business contracts, and you’ll be assured of a smooth sale and transfer of ownership.
Determine Your Business Valuation
You may think that you have an idea of how much your business is worth. However, a lot of entrepreneurs have found that the number in their minds is way off the mark of the actual value. This makes a business valuation process imperative before listing a business for sale.
You see, overpricing means it could stay in the market too long, and underpricing means that you could go at a loss. The valuation process involves hiring a valuation expert to calculate a realistic estimate.
They’ll offer you a detailed report and documents showing you approximately how much you should sell your online business for. One good thing about a business valuation is that it will help you give credibility to your asking price.
Now, a business valuation is not something you wish to go through yourself. However, if you do, there are three valuation methods. You can use the market value approach, asset-based approach, or earnings value approach.
Still, there are many other factors to consider. Things like business debts, industry trends, and similar companies for sale. If you decide to hire an appraiser, your business broker will help you find a professional within their network.
Get Your Finances in Order
Now that you have already determined the value of your business, it’s time to get your finances in order.
When you decide to sell your business, understand that it will put a lot of prying eyes on your financial records. Get ready to accommodate not just potential buyers but lawyers, accountants, and valuation firms.
To ensure that your business sale goes through seamlessly, make sure that your bookkeeping is immaculate in advance. Most potential buyers will ask to see accurate financial statements and tax returns from at least three years.
Financial statements will include anything from cash flow statements, income statements, balance sheets, and the like.
Understand that if your finances are disorganized, it’ll be a potential red flag for potential buyers. Any inconsistencies will also raise a plethora of questions. Bring in a professional bookkeeper if you don’t have one already and make sure that everything is in order.
Look for Pre-Qualified Buyers
One of the best things about having a business broker when selling a business is that they’ll help you get pre-qualified buyers.
It’s essential for you to find multiple buyers who are already pre-qualified for several reasons. One of the most significant reasons is that you’ll be disclosing sensitive business information.
Such information could be worth a fortune if it got out to your competitors. It’s possible that one of your competitors or someone acting on their behalf will make an offer just to check out your finances. Beyond that, most business transactions rely on third-party loans.
If the loan is denied, the sale will not push through, and you’ll be back to square one.
On average, it takes about six to eight months for a business to sell though it could be easier with a professional broker. In the meantime, keep increasing your business value for better offers.
The length of time it takes could also depend on whether you’re selling to an individual buyer, a strategic buyer, or a private equity group. Individual buyers may need a loan while private equity groups could fund the purchase themselves
A professional broker will also leverage multiple buyers to get the maximum value for your business.
Finalize the Process
When you finally find a qualified buyer, finalizing the process will involve signing contracts and getting legal documents in order. This is where your business broker really comes in handy because the process can be confusing, if not messy.
It’s also advisable to have your business lawyer present. They’ll handle all documents associated with the sale. These include asset listings, the non-compete agreement, bill of sale, security agreement, and purchase agreement.
Once they have everything in order, all you’ll have to do is sign the agreement, and your business sale will be complete.
A Detailed Overview of How to Sell Your Business
Now that you have some basic understanding of how to sell your business, go ahead and search for the best broker in your area. That said, if you’re looking for professional brokers to sell your business, get in touch with us, and we’ll embark on this journey together.Read More
Eventually every business owner will have to turn over control of their business to someone else. There are many options for how this can play out. They range from selling the business to a prospective buyer or selling to a competitor, to turning your business over to a family member. It is key that you start thinking about these options years before you end up in a situation where you actually have to sell.
Working with a Business Broker or M&A Advisor is one way to determine what sales options are optimal for you based on your specific situation. Let’s explore some of the variables you’ll want to consider when you decide to transfer your business to a family member.
There are some significant advantages to transferring your business to a family member. No doubt topping the list of advantages of going this route is the fact that the transfer can be considered a gift. One advantage of this approach is that you’ll reduce your real estate taxes. Depending upon how the agreement is written, you also may be able to maintain some control over the business. For many business owners, this factor can be a big advantage.
One issue you’ll want to explore when opting to transfer your business to a family member is seller financing. Seller financing is a common practice when it comes to buying and selling businesses in general. This type of financing is even more common where transfers to relatives are concerned.
Seller financing opens up the versatile option of implementing a private annuity. A private annuity can serve to spread payments out across a long period of time. This could be a win-win situation for both you and your relative. You would receive a long-term stream of income as a result of ongoing payments. In turn, this decision may very well make ownership more financially realistic for your relative.
Keep in mind that if you sell your business to a relative, this in no way negates the need for a buy-sell agreement. Even when you are dealing with your most trusted family members, legal agreements must be firmly in place. A buy-sell agreement is an invaluable tool that protects everyone involved.
This contract clearly outlines all aspects of the arrangement. Your buy-sell agreement should include such key information including the value of the business, amount being paid, information on which employees will be retained, the current business owner’s level of future involvement, and much more.
Working with Professionals
Ultimately, there are a range of potentially powerful benefits associated with transferring a business to a relative. While it is true that you can expect the IRS to closely evaluate the sale, this should not dissuade you from considering this option. Business Brokers and M&A Advisors are experts at buying and selling businesses, and they understand the specifics of transferring a business to relatives. Working with professionals early in the selling process can help you gain tremendous insight into the best way to proceed.
The post Important Points for Selling to a Family Member appeared first on Deal Studio – Automate, accelerate and elevate your deal making.
After decades of hard work, selling your business can be an exciting and rewarding time. Yet, many business owners overlook the importance of focusing on the legal matters associated with sales. In this article, we’ll explore three of the most significant mistakes sellers make.
1. Use an NDA
The first critical mistake that business owners should be guarding against is skipping the use of a non-disclosure agreement. Simply stated, a business owner should always make sure that a non-disclosure agreement is in place before disclosing to any buyers that a business is on the market.
NDA’s stand as an invaluable way to restrict who does and does not know your business is for sale. After all, the last thing any business owner looking to sell his or her business wants is for competitors or employees to learn confidential information.
2. Hire an Attorney
The second critical mistake that many business owners make is they skip working with an attorney. There is no way around the fact that if you are selling a business, or for that matter anything of significant value, you need to work with a lawyer experienced in the area of sales.
Business owners become accustomed to doing a great many things themselves and learning on the job. There is no doubt that this is a personality trait that has served them well over the years. However, when it comes time to sell your business, there is zero room for “on the job training” or relying on your own instincts. One of the best ways that you as a business owner can protect your future is to work with a lawyer when selling your business. In fact, a Business Broker or M&A Advisor can be a vital resource for helping you to find a proven lawyer with a background in the buying and selling of businesses.
3. Get a Letter of Intent
A third significant mistake that business owners frequently make when selling their business is that they fail to get a letter of intent. Much like an NDA, a letter of intent is a key legal document in the process of selling a business. All too often business owners will skip requesting a letter of intent out of fear of slowing down the process and potentially disrupting a deal.
The letter of intent is designed to both clearly spell out expectations, while simultaneously protecting your interests as a business owner. When a buyer signs a letter of intent, it indicates that he or she is taking the process seriously. This will protect you from wasting your time.
The process of buying or selling a business is complex in many different ways. Whether it is dealing with human psychology, organizing your books, thinking about what information prospective buyers are likely to want to see, or addressing a wide array of legal issues, it is a complex and time-consuming process. Working closely with a Business Broker or M&A Advisor is one of the fastest ways that you can increase your chances of a successful sale.
The post How to Circumvent Three Legal Mistakes Sellers Make appeared first on Deal Studio – Automate, accelerate and elevate your deal making.