Selling your business has many benefits. Selling gives you the opportunity to generate a return from your investment and it could allow you to pursue new business opportunities or potentially retire. However, the process of selling a business can be very daunting. Some of these fears can put off business owners from selling at the right time, despite no longer wanting to run their business. Below are four of the scariest aspects of selling a business – and how you can overcome each of them.
Getting your finances in order
If you want to appeal to buyers, you need to have organised financial records that prove your business is profitable. Outstanding debts, cash flow problems and missing financial information can all raise red flags for buyers. Paying off debts, building a steady cash flow and filling in blanks can be important if you want to sell up. This is a process that many business owners dread. It could be worth speaking to a financial advisor and getting help with this process.
Telling employees and customers
You will likely have to inform your employees and customers that you are selling your business at some point during the process. However, this needs to be done in a way that doesn’t scare off your employees and customers. Only you can decide when to tell your employees, it can be better not to tell employees that you’re selling until the deal is done. This way you can introduce the buyer shortly after and reassure employees that they’re going to keep their job. Tell your employees too early and you could give them time to worry. As for your customers and suppliers, you should inform them after the deal is done that there will be a change in management (this could be important if you are the main person they correspond with).
Getting the right price
A lot of people worry about what price to put their business on the market for. As well as how to deal with the negotiations between themselves and the potential buyer. With the help of a broker such as ourselves, we can act as a middleman and help you to prevent the sale from falling through at the last minute. Make sure that you’ve valued your business correctly and that you are advertising your business at the right price. Too high and you won’t get much interest, too low and you might not get the right price for your business.
Beginning the next chapter of your life
It’s important to plan out the next stage of your life after you sell your business. After pouring a lot of time and energy into a business, many people can be afraid of giving it all up to start something new. Even if you find your business stressful to run, there are likely to be emotional ties to it. It may even feel as if you’re giving away your baby. Try not to get too sentimental about it and focus on the positives of selling such as your return on investment you’ll get from it and the newfound freedom it will bring. If you’ve got a new business idea lined up or have been thinking about franchise resales, you may even want to start planning out this new business goal as you’re selling up to give you something new to focus on. Alternatively, if you’re retiring, consider new hobbies and projects that you can sink your teeth into.
Find out how we can help you prepare your business for sale. Call us on 01522 246811.