Almost all businesses are for sale to some degree. Lets say yours is not For Sale. Assume Your business is worth $100,000. You love what you are doing, someone contacts you with an offer to buy your business for $500,000. Is your business now For Sale? The preceding is not a likely scenario for most business owners. To successfully sell your business planning and preparation is needed. But if you are now or at some point considering the sale of it you may want to consider the following 3 points:
1. Identify your honest interest level when selling your business. Early in the decision process of selling your business consider what approach you may take towards selling it. As a Business Broker in Florida I interact with the various interest levels by small business owners.
- – My business is not for sale but if someone walks in and offers me way more than what I think it is worth- I would sell it
- – My business is not for sale but if you run across someone that would want to buy it please let me know. – I want to pursue selling my business but I won’t sell it for less than…( A somewhat inflated price). I am willing to accept that it may take 1-2 years to sell my business, and if priced too high I can accept the fact that my business may not even be sold.
- – I want to pursue selling my business and after significant due diligence I feel the price I am seeking is consistent to what other like businesses have recently sold for.
- – I want to sell my business and I want out now. I will set my price aggressively and set a lower price than price currently sought for businesses similar to mine. I will expect this aggressive pricing to both help me sell my business and decrease the amount of time it will take to sell my business.
If you do have a true interest in selling your business as suggested in above last 2 points you do need to exercise due diligence to gain understanding of what the value of your business may be.
2. You can expect that the perceived value of your business to you and the value of the business to a potential buyer will probably be 2 different values.
- – Ultimately the price of your business is what a willing and able buyer is prepared to pay to buy your business.
- – Seek “reasonableness” to your price that you will seek to sell your business for. If similar businesses to yours are sold at 1 1/2 times adjusted cash flow, why is yours worth 3 times adjusted cash flow? – Ask yourself what you honestly would pay to buy your business
- – Do a free Search on my website or other similar websites to find out what similar businesses to yours is asking to sell their business for. Remember – all businesses are different, but use such a search as part of your due diligence. A business for sale asking price and the price a business sold for can be greatly different, but asking prices can provide some basis-while current Businesses Sold information is more pertinent
- – Speak to your trusted advisers. A business broker may be able to help with non-public info on sold businesses in your area. Your accountant or attorney also may or may not be aware of such sales as well. A Professional Business Valuation specialist may benefit you.
3. Whether it is part of your exit strategy to sell your business or not, you should have an exit strategy.
- – Most small business owners do not have an exit strategy.
- – If you own a business you should have an exit strategy. Do some planning, perform some due diligence. Know what you have or may have.
- – Even if you are not planning to sell your business there is value in knowing approximate value of this potentially large asset. You know what your house is worth, you car, your other assets. Understanding the value of your business can be a significant piece of information when planning ahead.
Selling ones business can be a rewarding experience when done properly. Understanding a proper value for your business can set the stage to a successful sale of your business or a business that is unable to find a willing and able buyer.