When it comes to selling your business you have 2 choices. Sell it as is or fix it up and put yourself in a much stronger position to negotiate a better deal. Remember it's not just about the money, often the terms on which you agree are equally as important.
Finding buyers for a business can be more time consuming and often more difficult than you think. Much like selling a house or a car you can fix it up just before you sell or do it in advance and enjoy the benefits for a while. You don't know how long it will take to sell. Count on selling being more difficult, more time consuming and more expensive.
Like many things in life it comes down to doing the work, identifying the weaknesses, making the changes and improving the value. Be careful, you might just improve your company to the point where it makes a better business decision to keep it.
5 Tips for Selling On Your Terms
- Not sure what to do or too tired and not really prepared to do the work. Find suppliers qualified to help you. Engage experts in sales, marketing, finance, operations, human resources and legal.
- Stop working in the business and start working on the business. Pull away from the day to day responsibilities and spend quality time looking at your industry and your business.
- Recognize the imperfections and do something about them. People, systems, finance etc. Often it is the unwillingness of the owner to make the tough decisions that will be their downfall. If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck it won't fix it itself, or it would have.
- Get your sales and marketing updated and aligned, making sure they are working in an integrated effort. Ideally this should happen before you start the selling process but good sales and marketing are always welcome. It's not just about a business with great sales numbers, but profitability and desirability as well.
- Not sure if you really want to sell? Run improvement efforts parallel to selling, as you don't know how long it will take and you just may change your mind.