As an owner, selling your business is the most important transaction you will make. If you’ve worked hard for many years to make your business a success it is natural to want the best possible price. Whether you started it from scratch or bought in to it, you will have invested a lot of time and effort into making your company what it is today. It’s time to get back what you’re owed. Just remember, you can only sell it once, so you need to get it right. Here are some tips to help you get started:
Plan and prepare
It’s never too early to start thinking about selling your business, and the earlier you start thinking about it, the better your plan for sale will be. When you come closer to making a definite decision about selling, there are a number of ways you can prepare. Speak to experts and select an adviser to guide you through the process. Start gathering relevant documents that will be of interest to buyers ready to be accessed when needed.
Time it right
You may feel the time is right to sell your business, but is your business really ready to be sold? Don’t make the mistake that many business owners make and miss-time the sale of your business. There is always a right time to sell – make sure you are ready when it comes.
Know your business’ selling points
All buyers want to get value for money, so understand – and sell – the unique points your business has to offer. If you want your business to appeal to buyers then it needs to be seen as unique and impressive. Buyers want to feel that they are investing in a sustainable business, with a great reputation and a strong future ahead of it.
Think like a PLC
No matter what the size, a business that looks and feels like a PLC is going to attract more interest from potential buyers. Public companies have to keep their accounts flawless and demonstrate they are running the company in the most efficient way possible. Replicate this attention to detail, ensure that everything is kept in order and a potential buyer will feel more confident in their decision. If you think big and act like a big company, buyers will be able to envisage how they can take the business forward.
Know how much your business is worth
If you understand where your business’ value lies you can maximise its worth. Each buyer will have his or her own perception of how much your business is worth. Whatever the value, just remember it is only worth what someone is willing (and able) to pay.
Plan your exit strategy
If you are wondering whether you need one, the answer is a definite yes. An exit strategy will give you direction and keep the process moving forward. Knowing that you are working towards a specific goal will keep you motivated and put problems into perspective. Finally, by knowing when and how you plan to sell your business, you can truly maximise your business’ value.
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