Preparing Your Business for Sale
Getting Your House in Order
So, you have decided it is time to sell your business. Great! If you are like most business owners, you have some housekeeping to do before your business is ready to sell. There is a list of things you will need to gather, organize, fix, or even create in order to show your business in the best light. To that end, we have Seller Insights Coaching, a proprietary Benchmark Business Group coaching product provided exclusively to clients selling their business through our business brokerage services. If you’re ready to sell your business you will find it to be an invaluable tool to get you off on the right track and to keep you on track all the way to the closing table.
Our Seller Insights Coaching is a unique blend of our business brokerage services and our professional business coaching and consulting that leads to above average closing rates on businesses that we list. We know businesses that sell faster and for more money are the ones that are the most prepared to be presented to the business buyer marketplace, and have owners that are calm and collected throughout the process. As part of our service, our Seller Insights Coaching makes a seemingly daunting “to-do” list easier to approach and digest, and faster to implement. The following are some of the most important items that are addressed in our Seller Insights Coaching:
- Gather Your Critical Business Information
- Prepare Your Business for Curb Appeal
- Prepare For Negotiating the Deal
- Prepare For The Due Diligence Process
- Operate It Like You Are Going to Keep It
Designing your business to sell, as describe in the book Built to Sell by John Warrillow, helps ensure that your business will bring you maximum value when it’s time to sell. If you’re not looking to sell your business in the immediate future, but are ready to make it sellable we recommend our Value Realized Coaching which utilizes the Value Builder System as described in Built to Sell.
No serious buyer will make an offer on your business without knowing the ins and outs of the business. This includes getting to know sensitive and confidential information regarding your business. In our Seller Insights Coaching you will work with our business brokers to gather the needed information, but our expertise doesn’t stop there. Our years of experience in successfully selling businesses will assist you in not only knowing what business information to gather, but how and when to present it to the buyers, cutting back on the frustrations business owners experience when selling their business. Some of the information our business brokerage will guide you to gather and prepare includes:
- Finances, Asset Lists, Debt and Payables, Inventory, Physical Facilities and Equipment
- Business Systems, Technology, Web and Social Media
- Employees and their roles, List of Customers
- Description of Competition, Growth Opportunities
- Franchise and Vendor Agreements
Never discount the value of first impressions, including how your business looks and feels to the prospective buyers. Does it look clean? Organized? Well managed? Will the buyer be pleasantly surprised by what they see? Read more about this in Presentation to Buyers and Increasing Business Value. In this process, you’ll work with one of our certified business coaches to consider the curb appeal of your business and work toward creating action steps to improve the marketability of your business to potential buyers.
The majority of business deals never arrive at the closing table because the buyers and/or sellers get emotional, take negotiations too personally, and become needlessly contentious in the negotiations. Another key reason negotiations break down is because sellers encounter unexpected financial surprises. Seller Insights Coaching is designed to reduce these dynamics and help you understand the deal from a buyers perspective, prepare you for staying objective through deal negotiations, and reduce the risk of allowing emotions to drive your decision making. Your Business Brokerage Team will walk you through putting your Deal Team in place, and set you up to proactively explore the financial and tax implications of selling your business.
In virtually every business sale, there will be a period of inspection by a prospective buyer as one of the contingencies of going forward with the deal called the due diligence period. This might be anywhere from a 15 to 30-day window of time for the buyer to ask a seemingly endless number of questions and request a myriad of documents for inspection by the buyer, her or his professional advisors. If you have previously taken the time to gather your critical business information, the due diligence stage should go smoothly. Don’t forget, if you choose to list your business for sale with us, you’ll have a business broker dedicated to shielding you from redundant or irrelevant requests and fielding the endless questions, making this process even simpler for you as you run the day to day operations of your business.
Last but not least, during the entire sale process, always operate the business as if you were going to keep it forever. There is nothing that will drive a price down faster than a set of year-to-date financials that show a decline in revenues and profits. Conversely, there is no greater justification for an asking price than a business that continues to grow and shows the vibrancy and energy of a business looking to the future. It is critical to the sale of your business that you focus on keeping your business healthy. By engaging with Benchmark Business Group, you will have a team of professionals to work with you to prepare yourself and your business for sale and handle the sales process, freeing you up to focus on maximizing the value you can receive from your business.
Contact Us To Discover More About Seller Insights Coaching
With our Seller Insights Coaching, you’ll have the assistance of both a business coach and a business broker as you juggle the demands of preparing your business for sale and running operations. Selling your business can be a very frustrating process, if you don’t have the right team assembled. At Benchmark Business Group, we have the right team for you paired with a turn-key system that is proven to produce above average results. There’s no reason to go at this alone, when you can contact us today.
Selling Your Business
Follow our Facebook and LinkedIN accounts for tips on designing a business of value. Our business coaches and business brokers provide weekly insights on building your business, a monthly article on selling your business, and more.
Our business brokers also use social media to attract individuals that are looking to buy a business in Iowa or the surrounding areas. Our Buy Iowa Business Twitter and Buy Iowa Business LinkedIn group are two of many ways we find interested buyers for your business.
Thinking about selling your business, but not ready to list your business in the immediate future?
It’s never too early to design your business to sell for maximum value in the future. Consider our Value Realized Coaching, which matches the Value Builder system popularized in Built to Sell with our extensive coaching expertise and turn-key business best practices.