Selling your business is one of the most important financial decisions you’ll make as a business owner, something you’re already well aware of.
What some business owners may not realise is that selling your business is something you should consider early on, not just when you’re looking to exit. Value creation should be an intrinsic part of your business plan, arming you to sell your business at the price you need when the time comes.
Here are our top tips to a successful sale.
Selling Top Tip #1 – Start Early
It may seem confusing to plan for your exit as soon as you start your business but a detailed business exit strategy is one of the things that appeals to potential buyers, and can make a big difference when you’re finally ready to sell. Building your business around your exit plan means that you’re creating valuable infrastructure that will make a transition much easier.
If you’ve already done the heavy lifting, potential buyers will be more inclined to step in.
Selling Top Tip #2 – Build a Brand
In order to stand out from the competition, you need to distinguish yourself.
Value creation is all about two key points – how you are different from your competitors and how you promote it. A potential buyer will be more enticed by an established brand than a business with no clear vision. If necessary, hire some PR muscle to help you build a brand identity.
If a buyer has heard positive word-of-mouth about your business, it will give you an edge when you’re ready to sell.
Selling Top Tip #3 – Have a Pitch
Finding the right buyer can either take years, or happen before you expect it. Either way, you must be ready to make a pitch, should the opportunity arise – you never know when you’ll run into a prospective buyer and you need to be prepared.
An elevator pitch is a sales strategy where you create a pitch of no more than a couple of minutes long (about the length of an elevator ride). Have yours ready – a few minutes is sometimes all you need to create interest.
Selling Top Tip #4 – Step Away
Many business owners want to be heavily involved in the running of their business. If your business can’t run without you, it will present problems when you want to transition. Potential buyers want a turnkey operation they can easily step into, so make the effort to step away.
An occasional absence or a clearer delegation of responsibilities will teach your business to be self-sufficient – an appealing trait for any buyer.
Selling Top Tip #5 – It’s All About Numbers
A robust strategy of reporting your financials will be an important tool for selling a business. You need to show growth potential, have accurate numbers, and be ready to present them at a moment’s notice.
Selling a business is all about having the right tools and the right advice. Ready for more? Get our free download with 11 practical ways to build a sellable business.