Price Your Business to Sell
Sellers are good “business people;” they naturally are after the best possible price for their business. Realistic pricing is perhaps the most important factor in selling from a point of strength. Understanding the marketplace, and not some high mark in the past or potentail. Remember that buyers want a business that has potential, but they don’t want to pay for it. Buyers will pay for what you have done recently.
First locating and then qualifying buyers is a key function of business brokers. They will use computerized data bases, professional associations and other networks nationally and internationally — all to increase the chances of selling a business at top value.
In addition, the business broker will determine the right buyer for the right business, focusing on those prospects who are financially qualified as well as genuinely (or potentially) interested in the business for sale. As part of qualifying buyers, to take the “fear” out of the likely need for seller financing, the business broker will assess the ability of a particular buyer to run a business successfully. This invaluable work by the broker not only locates the best buyers, it also frees the seller to concentrate on his role in the selling process.
In addition to the obvious need for the business to appear clean and cared-for, there are important steps the seller must take in advance of putting the business on the market. In most cases, a business will sell based on the numbers. Your business broker will help you create a clear financial picture — in timely fashion — and to prepare statements suitable for presentation to a prospective buyer.
Business owners are accustomed to coping with paperwork, but few have had exposure to the specialized contracts and forms required both before and during the selling process. The business broker, an expert at transaction details, will help guard against delays, problems, and premature (or inappropriate) disclosure of information.
Another vital activity for the seller is to keep on top of the day-to-day running of the business. When a business intermediary is on hand to focus on the marketing of the business, the seller can focus on keeping daily operations on-target.
Until a purchase-and-sale agreement has been signed, most sellers do not want to disturb (or jeopardize) the normal interaction with customers and employees; nor do they want to alert the competition. A business broker helps by using nonspecific descriptions of the business and requiring signed confidentiality agreements.