BizBen.com
500 New & Refreshed Posts, Postings Daily
Over 8,000 Postings & 2,500 Resources
Assisting Buyers & Sellers Over 25 Years!

Categories

8 Questions You Most Likely Will Be Asked When Selling Your Business

When selling your small business, you'll be bombarded with questions - from the brilliant to the ridiculous. You need to be prepared for them all. The more you're prepared the better experience you'll have with potential business buyers. I review many of these possible questions. Here are some questions you can expect to be asked:

1. Why would you want to sell your business?

Although, as a business broker, I tell business owners that the "best time to sell is when you're doing well," buyers always want to know the "real reason. My response usually is simple: it's the right time for the seller because of retirement, a move to another locale, or another business opportunity they want to pursue. And then I ask the buyer a simple question: "Would you want to buy a business that isn't doing well?"

2. What does it cost you to acquire a new customer?

The buyer wants to know if you have an economical, practical, scalable, and sustainable system and process for getting new customers.

3. What is the extent of your market penetration?

The buyer, being interested in future growth, needs to understand how big the current market is and what percentage of it you already own. And, how can that market be expanded, vertically and horizontally?

4. Who are the buyers of what you're selling?

Strategic buyers - those already in your industry - are looking for potential synergies between what you sell and what they sell. Knowing the details of your customers' demographics, you will be better equipped to help a buyer assess a strategic fit.

5. How do you produce, acquire, or process what you're selling?

By asking this question, potential buyers can assess the uniqueness and distinctiveness of your method of creating whatever product or service you make or deliver. Prospective buyers need to learn if you have proprietary systems or procedures that make you stand apart and would be difficult for a competitor to replicate. The more unique you are, the more valuable you may be. For obvious reasons, they will want to know if any of this unique or proprietary value depends on any one (or more) specific persons.

6. What (if anything) makes your product or service unique or special?

Knowing if there are aspects of your business that will protect the buyer from current and potential future competitors is vital to their assessment of your value. What, if anything, have you done to distinguish yourself from and protect yourself from the competition?

7. What are your operations and management processes?

Depending on the type of buyer, they are going to want to know how easily they can take over day-to-day and strategic management, or integrate it into their existing operations. They will want to know how you manage your bookkeeping and finances, marketing and sales, purchasing procedures and vendor relations, procedures for managing materials and inventory, and methods for producing and delivering the product or service.

8. What employees are essential to your team? ... to future success?

Any potential acquirer needs to understand the dynamics of your team—how deep is "the bench?" They need to know who are the key players, what motivates them, and how they will be incentivized to stay with your business once you are no longer the owner.

This list is not exhaustive, but it is a good insight into the kinds of questions you, and your broker, need to be prepared to answer to properly represent your business to prospective purchasers.

Categories: How To Sell A Business, Selling A Business

Contributor:

Tim Cunha
Areas Served: San Francisco Bay Area, North Bay Area
Phone:  650-600-3751 Cell, 650-600-3751 Text
SF Bay Area experienced attorney, & business broker, intermediary. I & my EvergreenGold team offer owners sound advice & expertise to build business value & achieve profitable sales. For a FREE business evaluation & SWOT analysis for your business phone me direct at 650-600-3751, 650-866-5393 Text.

Comments & Feedback From Pro Intermediaries & Pro Advisors On BizBen:

Posted By: Joe Ranieri, Business Broker: LA, Orange Counties, California    

I have buyers who often ask, "How long have they been there?" The buyers want to know, both how long has the business been established and how long the current owner has been there. If the business has only been around for a short period of time or if they still have a "grand opening" banner in front of the location, that is a topic of concern for a buyer.


Posted By: Joe Ranieri, Business Broker: LA, Orange Counties, California    

As someone who specializes in restaurants, bars, etc...many of the buyers who I work with are interested in specifically as to why the seller is selling the business. The buyers are also interested in how long the business has been established, because this determines the goodwill of the business in the eyes of the buyer. Many buyers who buy restaurants are also focused on what type of training is involved and how long it will last, because they want to keep the business as it is. If the buyer is interested in changing the style of food, they may also be interested in seeing from the seller if they can do that, and if any other businesses in the shopping center have exclusivity clauses in their lease.






Place A Posting To Sell Or Buy A Business, Search All Postings


Sell A Business Fast: Place A For Sale Posting Now To Sell A Small Business - 7 Programs To Select From >
Find A Business To Buy Fast: Place A Wanted To Buy Posting Today - Best Way To Find & Buy A Business >
Search Business For Sale & Wanted To Buy Postings On BizBen - 500 New & Refreshed Postings Daily! >

Other Related Blog Posts, Articles, And Discussions You May Be Interested In

Latest Business Broker Survey 6 Successful Traits Of Top California Business Brokers: New BizBen Survey

The latest BizBen.com survey of California Business Brokers and Agents outlined what it takes to be a top ten percent performer in the business brokerage industry. From good communication to utilizing your resources, these traits are something to take note of and put into practice to be successful.
Pocket Listings Pocket Listings: Vast Hidden Market Or Myth With Business Buyers & Sellers?

What percentage of businesses for sale that are advertised and/or sold are pocket listings? What is the best way to find out about pocket listings? Are they advertised? Are they a big part of the businesses sold marketplace? In this Discussion ProIntermediaries and ProAdvisors discuss this topic.
Co Brokerage When Selling A Business Before You Select A Business Broker: Do They Co-Broker With Other Brokers?

To receive the fullest exposure for selling their business, small business owner/sellers should make sure their listing broker or agent is co-operating with other business brokers and agents on their deal. Christina Lazuric a Orange County business broker discusses this topic with BizBen Users.
How To Buy A Dry Cleaners Finding A Dry Cleaner Small Business For Sale That Will Be A High Performer

Before you buy a dry cleaners small business, read these critical tips about this industry. Discover why a dry cleaner needs to be "green" to be profitable. Peter Siegel, MBA (BizBen ProBuy, ProSell Program Advisor) explores this topic and other helpful strategies on buying a dry cleaning store.
8 Tasks To Help Sell Your Contractor Business 8 Tasks To Help Sell Your Construction Or Contractor Business: New Blog Post

Construction & contractor businesses can be difficult to sell. Licensing requirements, technical experience & owner reliance often create obstacles to getting a deal done. Here are 8 things potential sellers can do before putting your business on the market. Brian Loring explains in this blog post.
Disclosures Needed For Business Buyers What Do I Need To Disclose To All Prospective Buyers Of My Small Business?

When selling a small business you always run the risk of a lawsuit. They aren't as common as one may think in this litigious world in which we live in, but whenever there is money exchanging hands & attorneys involved the stage is set for a lawsuit. Various ProIntermediaries share their viewpoints.
Buying Or Starting Up Pop Up Restaurants Pop-Up Restaurants: Pro Tips For Starting Or Buying One: Broker Shares Info

For starters, a pop-up restaurant is a short-lived dining experience in a temporary location, most found in abandoned factories or warehouses, rooftops, barns, or an already existing restaurant location, so basically anywhere done legally and safely. Joe Ranieri, Business Broker shares his tips.
Business Buyer Feedback On Postings 8 Items Buyers Of Small Businesses Find Critical When Reviewing Businesses

In this month's Business Buyer survey for BizBen.com, we asked participants in our ProBuy Program and 250 other random business buyers what they look for and avoid when looking at a business for sale postings online. Of the 20 potential posting characteristics we asked about, 8 stood out with most.
Key Factors Play A Role When Selling When To Sell Your Small Business - Many Key Important Factors Play A Part

Determining the right time to sell a private business is as much an art as a science, because there are so many factors at play and each business is unique. The timing of a business sale is critical. Christina Lazuric, CBI, Orange County Business Broker discusses this topic on this BizBen Blog post.
Dual Agency Brokers Does Dual Agency Really Work For All? ProIntermediaries Discuss This Topic

Who really represents the buyer? The selling broker or agent through dual agency? Many brokers and agents weigh in on this Discussion on BizBen. Bottomline is all business buyers need to know who really represents them and has their best interest at heart when seeking and negotiating on deals.