Listing a business for sale, as common and benign as it is intended, can send the wrong message to unintended audiences, which is why many business sellers opt to sale their business privately. If this is a position you find yourself in, do you know where to start? Read on as we walk you through the steps to sell a business privately.
First things first – ask yourself why you are thinking of selling your business, and make sure it’s not for any fleeting reason. If you’ve been contemplating sale because you’re sick of keeping up with changing regulations, market, or complex operations, you might want to consider working with a business advisor to help streamline the business, which only improves it’s salability and value in a transaction, should that remain your goal.
Listing a business for sale does include risks. Are your employees in favor of sale? Are your customers concerned about the longterm dependability of the business if it changes hands? Are the books in order for you to sell cleanly? Have you prepared an exit plan that doesn’t include your phone ringing 3 times each day to answer random questions?
While some risks are unavoidable, there are a wide range that can be avoided by choosing to sell your business with a business broker. Often, a seasoned business broker will already have a network of buyers, and effective tactics for marketing your business confidentially, affording the seller the ability to maintain operations, improve the valuation, and continue to train the staff before the topic of selling comes up in the workplace.
It all begins with having an initial confidential conversation with a business broker about your desires for sale privately, and begin to share the details of your business. This is where you’ll find out if business brokerage is actually the best option for you.
From there, a business broker will be able to help you develop plans that sell the business in the best way possible, while minimizing risks involved. This will often involve the business broker taking a dive into the books and examining the market; he may recommend holding off on listing for a period of time while you improve aspects of the business to maximize the valuation. From there, they’ll take care of all marketing logistics and detailed negotiations between interested parties, so you can sell a business privately with minimal risk and drama for everyone involved. If you would like to schedule a complimentary confidential consultation, please fill out our contact form or give us a call.