Keep Your Business In Shape Before & During The Selling Process

When you finally decide to sell your business, don't just let the business go.

The process of coming to the decision to sell a business can be an emotional one.  Many times it is a lengthy process that requires a meeting of the minds of several owners or family members.  But when the decision has been made, sellers need to remember that it is just the beginning of the sales process.  Although "burn-out" may occur, the seller CANNOT let the business fade.

A seller may feel emotionally worn out and ready to move on by the time they sign a listing agreement to sell their business, but they must keep focused on business as usual.  If the seller has hired a good business broker, he should be tasked with the job of selling and managing the sales process, while the business owner continues to run the business successfully.  The seller must take care not to mentally check out of the business until the deal is done and escrow is closed.

Here are three reasons to keep sales growing:

1. One never knows how long it will take to sell a business and even some profitable businesses never sell.  If a seller lets the business fade after it is listed, they will be losing out on potential profits that they could earn before the business finally sells.

2. Buyers and SBA lenders want to know the business is not "sagging."  A smart buyer will not want to see just last year's numbers, but a current accounting as well.  Lenders look for the latest details on the condition of the business.  SBA lenders will always check current financial statements (P&Ls, Balance Sheets, Aging A/R, etc.).  Any declines will tarnish the view of the buyer or lender, possibly jeopardizing the sale of your business.

3. Businesses that are showing new positive sales trends are much more appealing to a buyer.  Some buyers worry that the seller "knows" that the business is about to decline and assume this is why they are selling.  This is rarely the case, and if a seller can show positive current numbers, this can alleviate the common worry.  Bottom line, if the seller can show that the business is currently in good health, the deal becomes much more attractive to potential buyers.

In conclusion, if you have built a profitable business, find a good broker to handle all aspects of the sale.  This will leave you free to care for the business, make money in the interim and turn over a very healthy, growing business into the hands of its new owners.


Joe D. Robertson, CBB is the broker/owner of Southern California Business Brokers, one of Orange County's premier independent business brokerage. Joe has over eighteen years of experience owning, operating and selling successful businesses. Joe started, managed and eventually sold three separate businesses which has provided him with unique insights in his role as a business broker.
Contact Joe D. Robinson directly by phone: 949-307-3817

Categories: Selling A Business

Comments Regarding This Blog Post

A seller who is selling a business should make sure the location has good curb appeal. I recommend to my sellers, especially restaurant and food establishments, to make sure the location is clean and nicely lit. If the location is a fast food location, think how a McDonald's is, which is clean, brightly lit, with clear and readable ordering boards, and clean windows, with not a lot of clutter. A buyer might walk in to a potential location, and if their gut feeling is that it is neglected, then often times, they just turn around and leave. The selling process is difficult, sellers should not make it more difficult for themselves.

Business sellers should know that every business, every industry, has its equivalent of billboards and coupons. Billboards are great advertising investments. They are expensive but have massive, redundant exposure, and, over many months or a year, will develop extensive market awareness and name recognition. Coupons, on the other hand, cost very little--in fact, they don't cost much of anything until they are redeemed. Their impact on marketing and sales can be significant, but only for a limited time--several weeks at the most. Whatever the equivalent for a business being sold, invest in no "billboards"--their value will inure to the benefit of a new owner, not to the seller; but lots of "coupons"--low-cost short-term efforts to increase current sales and current profits.

  Helpful Resources To Assist In Selling And Buying California Businesses
Shalonda Chappel: Escrow & Bulk Sale Services - Southern California

Escrow services to brokers/agents, sellers, & buyers. Established 43 years. Extraordinary service. Experienced with handling difficult transactions. One stop for all your escrow needs: Bulk sales, lien searches, UCC searches, liquor license transfers, publishing & recording services. 951-808-3972.

Helen Yoo, New Century Escrow - Escrow Services In Southern California

New Century Escrow, Inc. is a fully licensed & bonded independent escrow company. Over 20 years combined experience in handling bulk escrow transactions. Multi-lingual staff that speaks your language, including Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese. Call Helen Yoo direct at 626-890-1151.

William F. Ziprick, Attorney: Legal Services For Buyers And Sellers

Through creative problem solving, attention to detail, accessibility, & understanding that unnecessary delay is often a deal killer, I work closely with my clients and other professionals to consistently achieve a high rate of closings. Office: 909-255-8353, Cell: 509-951-7230.

Diane Boudreau-Tschetter: Escrow & Bulk Sale Services - CA

California Business Escrow, Inc. is a full service independent escrow company serving all of California and has expertise in a wide range of escrows. Our team prides itself on providing an exceptional escrow experience. For more info phone Diane Boudreau-Tschetter at 888-383-3331 or 209-838-1100.

Steve Erlinger: Laundry Broker, Consultant - Southern California

I specialize in the laundry industry broker and consultant in Southern California. I assist buyers navigate the many facets of finding, evaluating, and operating a laundry business. I also help current laundry owners find additional stores, sell, evaluate an existing laundromat. Call 949-500-5893.

Steve Zimmerman: Restaurant Broker Specialist, California

Steve founded Restaurant Realty in 1996. He has personally sold/leased over 1000 restaurants, bars & clubs, & completed over 3000 valuations. The author of "Restaurant Dealmaker- An Insider's Trade Secrets For Buying a Restaurant, Bar or Club" available on Amazon. Reach Steve direct at 415-945-9701.

Rick Carlson, Business Broker - Southern California

You Will Never Feel Lost In The Shuffle. Many Brokers Simply Send Out An NDA And That's The End Of Communication. All Buyers Receive A Personal Meeting With An Ace Acquisition Specialist So They Can Recommend The Perfect Business For You. Phone Rick direct at 800-985-4939.

Randall Barondess CBB, Business Brokerage Services - Central Coast

Experts at: Preparing Businesses For Sale, No-Cost Valuations and Lease Modifications. MaxOne Business, a REMAX ONE Company prepares small, mid-sized and large businesses for sale by confidentially packaging the business and providing guidance throughout the sales process.

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