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Selling a business - What You Need to Know

Feb 10 2011

Selling a Business

Selling a business is not as straightforward as putting a house on the market, and there are many things that must be taken into consideration. As with any major sale, getting a deal can take time so being prepared will help the process run as smoothly, and quickly, as possible.

Where to start
Before talking to business agents and getting the company on the market, stop to ask yourself why you are selling the business and what you hope to achieve from it. You will certainly have more free time, but ensure you are prepared to let go of the hard work and investment you have put in over the years. This can be a very tough thing to do, but as long as you are selling for the right reasons you will have no regrets.

Entering the market
Getting the right price for the business is vital, whether you are giving up running a firm altogether or looking to re-invest in another company. Values are constantly changing with the economy and market demand and will also depend on the success of the business and its prospects for the future.

Before you even think about asking prices and marketing your business, get professional advice from a business agent:  firms such as Christie + Co will ensure you get the best deal. These commercial estate agents know the market inside out, and will be able to advise on when to sell, the valuation and how to deal with all the legalities of the transfer.

Considerations
Be prepared for a long wait before the sale of a business is complete. In strong economic times, or if you have a good hold in the market, you may have the luxury of choosing between offers. When times are tough you may wait months and months for any interest, which can be incredibly difficult. Consider what you will do if this is the case, as you will have to keep the firm profitable in the meantime to ensure that it is still a viable prospect for potential new owners.

You may want to consider who the business is going to be sold to. After many years of hard work, it can be tough to hand a competitor a profitable new outlet, but this could be a lucrative option. Speak to your staff as well - it may be that they would relish the opportunity to further their career and take on the business. This type of sale is also likely to be quicker and smoother for all involved.

During the sale process
Remain dedicated to your business and staff throughout the sale process to maintain motivation and keep things running productively and profitably. Keep your options open, and be prepared for difficult and emotional times. Selling via a business agent will ensure all the legal requirements are met and take away much of the stress.

If you’re looking to sell a business, Christie + Co are experienced business agents who can guide you every step of the way and ensure that you get the best deal for your business.

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