If you are a small business owner thinking of selling your company you need to be realistic on how the sale will move forward. You need to put just as much preparation into the sale of your business as you did when you started it. A seller needs to be optimistic about their expectations, but realistic as well.
Sellers should answer the following questions as a way to determine their expectations of the sale of their business:
Why are you selling? Is it for personal reasons or are you looking to retire? Perhaps it is the economy and you want to showcase the fact your business is doing well. Whatever the reason, be sure you know why you are comfortable with your reason so you don’t change your mind when a buyer makes an offer and reality sets in. Knowing why you are selling your business should be a part of your exit plan.
What are your expectations of the sale? Having an idea of the price you are expecting or needing to get for your business and what kind of timeframe you want to sell in is also important. Hottes says sellers need to have a thorough valuation of their business completed so they are putting a realistic price on the business. Current market conditions are outside factors that also need to be taken into consideration. A valuation by an outside party, such as a Certified Business Broker, will provide you with a realistic picture of what you can expect in the way of price.
What does your ideal buyer look like? Think about the qualities you feel the buyer of your company should have and what kind of offer they would be presenting. Is the buyer looking to continue to build on your success? Will the buyer be a good fit for the staff you leave behind? There is also a new kind of buyer out there - some laid off individuals are looking to buy a business as an alternative to traditional employment and some boomers are looking for a business that fits their lifestyle while providing financial support during retirement.
Sellers also need to consider how much they will be willing to negotiate and if they are willing to consider seller financing. With the economy they way it is, if a seller wants to get their business sold, they may need to consider alternatives.
Who is going to help you? Just as you can’t run your business in a vacuum, you can’t sell your business in one either. It takes a lot of preparation to get a business sold, so enlisting help from a team of experts is key. Tap your lawyer and accountant to help prepare financial and tax records. Sellers should also use a Certified Business Broker to connect them with serious buyers and assist in negotiating offers. Having a team in place can help you reach your selling goals.
About The Author: Ron Hottes, with Business Team has a business brokerage team of 42 highly skilled and seasoned professionals with offices in Torrance, Woodland Hills and Newport Beach. Our business brokers have over 100 years of cumulative experience and the expertise to help you buy or sell a business in the Los Angeles County area. Reach him by phone at 310-539-8300.
|Helpful Resources To Assist In Selling And Buying California Businesses|
|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.
|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.
|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.
|Brad Steinberg, Business Broker: Laundromat Specialist
PWS is the leading laundromat broker in California. Since 1968 PWS has brokered over 2,500 laundromat sales. With over 90 employees dedicated to the coin laundry industry, PWS has 18 licensed agents, a 3 person in-house finance department, 10 service technicians and a 20 person parts department.
|Jack Oh, Business Broker: LA, Orange Counties
Business broker and real estate services in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas. 10 years experience with great negotiating skills. To sell a business or buy a business in the LA or Orange County Areas phone Jack and his team at 562-787-4989.
|Janet Carrera: Escrow & Bulk Sale Service - SF Bay Area
Redwood Escrow Services, Inc. is a full service, licensed independent escrow company. We are EAFC Fidelity bonded, fully insured & licensed with the Department of Corporations. Committed to offering our clients the most comprehensive variety of escrow services available. Phone Janet at 510-247-0741.
|Related Articles, Events, Blog Posts, Discussions, Videos, Interviews|
|Purchase A Business With Limited Or No Cash - Financing Tips For Buyers
Purchasing a business with no money down can be difficult, but not impossible. Financing a business purchase or down payment can often be accomplished with these strategies from Peter Siegel, MBA (Business Purchase Financing Expert, ProBuy & ProSell Program Advisor with BizBen) at 925-785-3118.
|Business Purchase Financing Expert Peter Siegel - Tips On Proving Cash Flow
What are the actual "provable" adjusted net earnings (cash flow) of a small to mid-sized business being purchased? Buyers need to look carefully at all financial info for the "real" adjusted net income/cash flow. Peter Siegel, MBA (BizBen ProBuy & ProSell Lead Facilitator) at 925-785-3118 explains.
|What Steps Do I Take When Closing A Business That Doesn't Sell And I Close?
Every business broker knows that a listing taken is not a listing sold, in fact the ratio of listed vs. sold could be discouraging if you really thought about it. Joe Ranieri (Orange County Business Broker) discusses what you should do if you finally have to close the doors and call it quits.
|Workshop: Successfully Valuing & Selling Your Orange County Small Business
This live FREE workshop led by Christina Lazuric, CBI (Orange County Business Broker) is designed for Orange County small business owners who are thinking of selling and would like to know how much their business is worth and how to get it sold successfully. Limited seats, please RSVP via phone.
|BizBen Podcast & Webinar: Business Purchase Financing And SBA Loan Options
Ever wonder what is involved in obtaining business purchase financing to buy a business or franchise? Peter Siegel, MBA who has over 25 years advising on all types of financing for business buyers in this BizBen Podcast & Webinar - SBA loans, Non-SBA Financing, Alternative Financing Sources.
|Broker Explains Allocation Of The Purchase Price When Selling A Business
There are a handful of key asset categories in allocating or breaking down the purchase price allocation of a California business sale. Allocation is required to complete the transaction. In this blog post Lee Petsas (Orange County Business Broker) at 714-363-0440 covers asset allocation classes.
|What Are The Pros And Cons Of Selling A Business For Sale By Owner?
What are the Pros & Cons of selling a business yourself? Joe Ranieri (Orange County Business Broker at 714-292-5448) discusses all the angles of business owners taking the initiative and selling their own business. He covers: commissions, flexibility factors, control, exposure, and confidentiality.
|Getting An SBA Loan To Buy A Small Business: Dispelling Some Major Myths
When seeking SBA loan financing many potential business buyers have wrong information about the process of securing the best financing to buy a business. Peter Siegel, MBA (at 925-785-3118) a business purchase financing expert delves into the myths and facts regarding SBA loan financing.