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|
|Mark Chatow, Esq.: Legal Services For Buying, Selling Businesses
Mark has a broad range of small business purchase & sale experience from analyzing potential acquisition targets to successfully guiding buyers and sellers through the purchase & sale of small businesses. Mark can assist with contracts, negotiations, legal matters, etc. Reach Mark at 949-478-8393.
|Helen Yoo: Escrow & Bulk Sale Services - 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.
|Diane Boudreau-Tschetter: Escrow And Bulk Sale Services
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.
|Willard Michlin, CPA, Certified Fraud Examiner, Due Diligence Services
Willard Michlin, CPA #106752, offers buyers step by step training & assistance in doing Due Diligence Services when they are thinking of making an offer, or are in process of investigating a business purchase. He helps to determine the actual net profit even when there is cash. Call 805-428-2063.
|Janet Carrera - Escrow & Bulk Sale Services - 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.
|Steve Zimmerman: Restaurant Broker Specialist
Steve founded Restaurant Realty in 1996. He has personally sold/leased over 900 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.
|Ryan Clark, Business Broker, Southern California
The Veld Group provides a refreshing approach to Business Brokerage, Mergers & Acquisitions and Business Consulting and Valuations. From Your Street to Wall Street, we cater to Main Street Businesses as well as more complex Strategic Firms and Start-Ups. Phone Ryan at 310-652-8353.
|William Park, Business Broker - Southern California
Highest Volume Broker in California, Simply Check our HUNDREDS of Listings! Over 25 Associates, Speaking Dozen Languages, Helping Buyers and Sellers of Small Business since 1982, Centrally Located between Los Angeles and Orange Counties, while Riverside & San Bernardino Counties are Very Accessible.
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