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Selling anything can be a tricky process, but selling something with as many complex parts as a whole business takes things to a whole new level. There’s a lot of thought that needs to go into the process, and it’s easy to overlook some pretty important things.
While a lot of articles will cover getting your accounts in order and marketing your business, there are a whole host of other things you may not have thought about. Let’s explore some of the lesser-known elements of selling a business.
Timing is crucial
While you may have decided that you want to sell your business, that doesn’t mean you have to do it that very second. Timing can make a big difference when it comes to selling a business, and you want to make sure that you pick the best possible moment to do so.
For example, if you’ve predicted rapid growth in the coming months, or if you believe the market is in a slump, it may be best to wait a few months. Obviously, it’s not always possible to wait, but it’s always good to be conscious of the powerful effects of timing.
Understand your value
It can be very difficult to accurately assess the value of your own business when selling it. A lot of people will overestimate the value as a result of the time they’ve put into it, while others might underestimate it as they don’t believe they could have created something so valuable.
It’s a good idea to hire a professional broker like the team at Dexterity Partners to make sure that you get an unbiased, professional perspective from outside the business. They’ll be able to help find you the right buyer, based on the true value of your business.
Plan for due diligence
Once you’ve found a strong buyer, it’s easy to get complacent. However, it’s the buyer’s duty to carry out extensive checks on your business, through a process called due diligence. They’ll want to make sure that your business is exactly the way you said it was, so that they don’t end up with a legal and financial can of worms.
You need to anticipate these checks, and ensure that you have all your paperwork in order. Be as transparent as possible during these checks; if you cover something up that they discover once you’ve sold the business, it could result in serious legal action being taken against you. Even if you have nothing to hide, transparency can help to build a relationship of trust with the potential buyer, increasing the probability of a successful sale.
Consider the emotional aspect
Finally, it’s worth thinking about the emotional element of selling a business. It may sound silly, but your business is likely something that you’ve put a significant part of your life into developing, and it’s going to leave a hole when it’s gone. Prepare for what you’re going to do next, whether that means taking a well-earned break or jumping into your next venture.
This is by no means a complete list – there’s plenty more besides that you need to consider when selling your business. Make sure that you do your research thoroughly, and you should be able to complete the sale in as smooth a manner as possible.