The buzz is that if you are a Baby Boomer and you want to sell your business in the next few years, then you are in the majority. You are not the only Baby Boomer and will possibly have your business compete against many more similar businesses in both model and industry. In order to be well-prepared, you will need a proper valuation. Establishing a baseline value of your business will help you overcome weak areas that keep you up at night. Why would a buyer want to buy your problems? Some savvy entrepreneurs will want your problems, but most will not.
Check out our short video on the different types of Valuations.
Roger Murphy, our CEO, explains the different types of valuations we provide.
When you’re hoping to sell your business there are a number of things to be concerned about. There are a few ways you can get a step-up on your buyer and anticipate their moves before they have thought them up themselves. If you want to swim with the piranhas you’re going to have to nip a few toes; if you want to sell your business, you’re going to need to think like your buyer.
Understand what the buyer is after – One of human beings greatest faults and one of the things which every business seller can be at fault of is being too rooted in your own self-interest. If you would take yourself out of the equation for a moment, you’ll likely find that your deal is skewed towards your own interests; at least in your own mind. Think about what the buyer is after; what could make this deal impossible for them to say no to? If all business sellers would simply take a minute and put themselves in their buyer’s shoes they may find that the work is done for them. The schematics of the deal will fall into place effortlessly if you let them.
Be Upfront when selling your business – You would hate to be trying to hide something negative about your business; be it the structure of the building, last year’s receipts, inflated accounting or anything else; only for this to be revealed later on and to be bitten by it down the road. Rather than fight that fight, be upfront. Not only does this tactic save time on the vetting; then the buyer is a lot more likely to be straight with you. You can know sooner if this deal is a good fit or if the time has come to part ways.
If you’re able to be flexible with financing, be flexible! – Financing is another bugaboo. If you’re the outright owner and are able to be flexible with financing you may as well offer that up as an option. This may allow you to keep your hand in the kitty just a little longer and enjoy continued fruits of your labor. Be wary of the hostile takeover – Don’t be too nice. If you feel as though you’re being stepped on, best to revert to a defensive pose.
It’s also a good idea to have a trusted partner on your side to help broker the deal.
An established business has much to offer a prospective buyer. A proven product or service exists, as well as a customer base. Typically, there are experienced employees and managers in place (and many choose to remain with the company after the sale is complete). There is a cash flow from the first day the buyer takes over the business. The company is already accustomed to paying its debt service in addition to a reasonable salary for the owner. The following are some of the things that will make your business stand out and be attractive to buyers:
Proven verifiable books and records, tax returns
Leverage and terms, They want to use bank financing, owner financing and as little of their own money as possible
Solid, verifiable cash flow
Furniture Fixtures and Equipment properly valued and in good condition
Positive appearance of facility, good reputation
Favorable lease and lease options
Training, transition period with the seller
Covenant not to compete, non-solicitation agreement