5 Steps For Selling Your Business

5 Steps To Selling Your Business

5 Steps to Selling a Business
Before anything else, preparation is the key to success. 
- Alexander Graham Bell
Being prepared is something of a virtue that most of us have been taught since we were children. Our childhood storybooks were full of fables that praised preparation and exposed the folly of procrastination. As we grew into adulthood, however, we learned all too hard that those childish tales were not just fiction but were lessons for life. 
Preparation is also crucial when it comes to selling your business. Statistically speaking, as many as 70% of businesses that list for sale never get to closing. The one crucial factor that makes the difference between the businesses that sell and those that don’t is the extent to which the sellers invested in being prepared. 
Having the will to prepare is great but willpower alone will not get the job done. In order to beat the odds, business owners also need the knowledge of how to prepare. 
Ask any reputable business broker and they will invariably share any number of ways that sellers enter the sales process unprepared. 
Let's talk about 5 things that you can do to get ahead of the curve and ensure that your business is ready to meet the challenge of the sales process.
Step 1: Know where you are
It can be very difficult to plan where you are headed if you don’t even know where you are. Likewise, how can you know when you ought to sell your business or what you should sell it for if you don’t even know what it is worth? The simplest solution to this problem is to have a business valuation done.
Step 2: Know your finances
If your business has been marketed well enough to attract buyers, one of the first things they will want to see are your books. Well-kept books help buyers piece together how you have earned your revenues and how well you have managed your expenses. The absence of clean books is a huge red flag that will scare good buyers away from pursuing your business
Step 3: Know who is on your team
Selling a business is not a sport for loners. If you are to successfully see your business sold, then you will need to ally yourself with professionals who can help you to see it through to the end. One of the first professionals you need to get to know is a good business broker. A good business broker is an invaluable source of information who can help you understand things about your business from a completely different perspective. Their objective opinion will help you to be prepared to withstand the rigors of preparing and selling your business. In addition to a business broker, you will also need the services of a good accountant or bookkeeper, an attorney, and a financial planner just to name a few.
Step 4: Know the value of presentation
There is nothing more off-putting than going into a restaurant with shabby run-down furniture and outdated fixtures. The same is true of your business. If your place of business and the equipment or inventory you have looks worn out, then it is going to be hard to convince a buyer that you are worthy of pursuing.
Step 5: Know that you have an obligation to finish strong
It can be easy to take your foot off the gas if you think you are nearing the finish line. When it comes to selling your business, however, coasting can greatly decrease the attractiveness of your business. Buyers want to see a consistent pattern of intensity and dedication to improving the bottom line of your business. You need to run your business every day with the same enthusiasm you had when you started and keep that enthusiasm going until your name is no longer on the door.