How to Sell Your Small Business in St. Louis
What if you could swap worrying about driving your business forward with relaxing in retirement? 45% of entrepreneurs report feeling stressed compared to other workers. It’s become something of a modern pipe dream, but it doesn’t have to be – provided you do the right things.
One of the wisest and most profitable things you can do is sell your small business.
Why not share your legacy with another ambitious entrepreneur and watch them carry on where you left off? If you live in the greater St. Louis region, we’ve got plenty of tips on finding a buyer.
Read on for our in-depth guide on how to sell a small business in St. Louis.
1. Know Your Worth
Before you put a price tag on your business, it is important to have your finances in order. Your books must be immaculate and ready to be looked over by accountants, lawyers, and valuation specialists. The prospective buyer will also look at your financial records to see if your business is worth their investment.
Once your finances are in order, you can calculate your business’s value. The value of your business is less about your assets and more about profitability. If your books are up to date, then it shouldn’t take long to calculate the value of your business.
The best option for calculating the value of your business is to hire a business valuation expert.
2. Find the Right Buyer
Providing intricate details of your business to serious prospective buyers is an important part of the selling process. Unfortunately, this is an opportunity for your competitors to find out information that could undermine your business. Including a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) along with your sensitive documents will prevent other business owners from posing as buyers for nefarious reasons.
Many business owners allow prospective buyers to view sensitive documents on their premises to avoid them falling into the wrong hands. Gather a shortlist of buyers so that you have plenty of options if the deal falls through. Allow some room for negotiation and keep in touch with potential buyers to build a relationship.
3. Have a Solid Plan
Every business owner should have an exit strategy in place for when they want to sell. The details of your plan will depend on your personal and business circumstances.
Are you selling to family or friends? Your employees may also show interest in buying the business. Make sure that you get everything in writing and keep the transaction as professional as possible.
Your plans should also include details of how the new business owner will take over the business to ensure a smooth transition. This may include information about equipment, location, and competition so that your successor can continue to make a profit. A business that is growing will sell quickly to investors who are looking to take advantage of your success.
A business broker could help you formulate a plan for selling your business. You can concentrate on running your business while the broker takes care of the sales process. They can also help to increase your business value before you agree on a sale.
4. Consider Your Options
Depending on your goals for the business, there are lots of options for you to consider. Selling to someone you know can reduce the business transition risk because they have prior knowledge and understanding of your business. Some of the options for selling include:
- Management or employee buy-out
- Sell to a third party (individual or company)
- Partial recapitalization
Be clear about why you are selling and how you will support yourself in the future once your business has sold. Planning your future is an important part of the sales process to avoid any remorse after the transaction is complete.
You can choose to sell your business with or without a business broker. If you have the knowledge and tools to complete the process without professional help, then this is a viable option. You’ll get to keep the money from the sale and will earn more than if you hired experts to help you.
5. Get Professional Help
Enlisting the help of a business broker and pre-qualified valuation expert could make the sale of your business easier and more profitable. Selling a business can be stressful and time-consuming. With the help of a professional business broker, you can get the best deal possible for your business.
A business broker could also help you identify the best time to sell your business. It makes sense to sell your business when profits are high. A business with falling sales is less desirable to a potential buyer.
It is important to note that there are risks to selling your business without a business broker or legal team. You may cheat yourself out of potential profits by skipping a business valuation. A broker could negotiate a better deal for your business that will cover the costs of their fees.
Your team could also include an accountant, financial advisor, and lawyer to help guide you through the process of selling your business.
Learn More About How to Sell a Small Business
Learning how to sell a small business can be overwhelming without the right help on your side. After years of building your business, it can be difficult to let go of what you have built. With these helpful tips, you can start formulating your exit strategy and sell your business with minimal stress.
Are you ready to sell your business? Contact Fusion Business Services for expert advice and support on how to sell your small business.