Five ways to sell your business quickly
One of the toughest decisions as a business leader is knowing how to approach the task of handing over the reins to a new owner. There are countless reasons why selling your enterprise may be a logical - and indeed beneficial – next step in the life cycle of both the company and your own professional development. However, that does not alter the fact that a transition of ownership is almost always viewed as a precarious time of potential change and instability.
There a many important considerations to be made before executing a successful sale of a business that every entrepreneur must consider. These considerations become all the more crucial to get right when you are seeking a quick sale, for whatever reason. But manage your affairs well and you can maximise the chances of attracting a fair offer in even the shortest of time frames.
Know your buyers
The quickest way to sell any company is to directly approach interested parties or potential buyers. Usually, this will mean selling to direct competitors. Whilst this may prove awkward for you in a strategic sense: informing rivals that you intend to remove yourself from the market, it does have its benefits too. Competitors will be familiar with the markets and the value of your enterprise within that market. They will likely have a similar internal structure, allowing a rapid absorption of your interest into their own. Lastly, an increased market share can be a greater asset than a first foothold in a new marketplace. To put it simply: a competitor is more likely to table a higher offer than a newcomer to your industry.
Use a broker
Brokers are professionals with expertise in matching businesses with new buyers. They will charge a fee in the form of commission against the sale valuation, and will in return provide you with access to their personal network of business contacts. Also, the broker can act as an anonymous “cut-out” between your brand and potential investors: she can approach interested parties with specific information of the sale, without needing to reveal precisely which business is being sold. This can be crucial in competitive markets.
Broaden your targets
Of all the tips and information that you will read about selling your business, this is perhaps the most fundamental advice to take on board. The key to a quick and successful sale is to cast your net wide when looking for potential new owners. This is increasingly relevant in the modern world of the internet and e-commerce, where even the smallest enterprise can have a global outlook and reach. The web is your most powerful too as a business owner looking to sell, with established services such as BusinessesForSale.com offering a platform to achieve the maximum exposure in an instant. And with a presence on a high profile business listings site, you have more chance of attracting multiple, competing bidders for a sale that is fast as well as profitable.
Get your house in order
Nothing will put the brakes on a fast sale like mismanagement. As the driving force behind your organisation, it is up to you to ensure that day-to-day operations are running smoothly, and that the information you present to prospective buyers is current and accurate. Get your house in order and your sale will move rapidly once the ideal investor is found. Go into the sale with a poorly-organised business plan, or a company in dire need of restructuring, and you will be hit with delays as the interested parties are forced to reassess their interest in your business.
Make them a deal…
…They cannot refuse. When you are really pressed for time, and speed is of the essence for finalising the sale of your enterprise, you may find that your last course of action is to table a deal which is just too attractive to walk away from. But be warned: this means deliberately undervaluing the business that you have poured your time and resources into making a success. Cashing out for a lower than anticipated sum can feel like a failure to plan and organise properly, but when circumstances move beyond your control, it may be the last option you are left with.
This article was contributed by BusinessesForSale.com, the market-leading directory of business opportunities from online media group Dynamis.