News & Events
Ten Steps to the Successful Sale of a Business
ENLIGN DEAL TEAM | 06/27/2012
1. Make sure you have a valid reason for selling your business. Don't decide to sell because you have had a bad week or because moving closer to the grandkids sounds like a good idea. Also, don't decide to "test the waters" just to see what sort of price your business will command. Before you decide to sell your company, focus on your true objectives. The first thing a prospective buyer will want to know is the reason you are selling. The more valid the reason you offer, the more serious the buyer will be. 2. Don't wait until you have to sell, for either economic or emotional reasons. You don't want anxiety to force you into accepting a deal that's not good for you--or for the buyer. During the two months preceding the new year, sellers always say that they don't want to sell until the after the first of the year. This delay can be an unfortunate one. 3. Once you have made the decision to sell--and before talking to your business broker-- you should gather the information needed to market and subsequently sell your business. Here's a list of the key items:
- Three year's profit and loss statements
- Federal income tax returns for the business
- List of fixtures and equipment
- The lease and any lease-related documents
- Copy of the franchise agreement (if applicable)
- List of loans against the business with amounts and payment schedule
- Copies of any equipment leases
- An approximate amount of the inventory on hand
- Names of outside advisors
- Keep normal operating hours. There is a tendency for sellers to "let down" when they put their business up for sale.
- Repair signs, replace outside lights, and do a general spiffing-up for first impression purposes.
- Tidy the outside premises (if appropriate).
- Spruce up the interior as well.
- Repair non-operating equipment or remove it.
- Remove items that are not included in the sale.
- Maintain inventory at constant levels.