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Preparing Your Business to Sell

10 Simple Steps to create higher value and a more effective sales process of your business.

These are the most common steps to prepare your Business for sale:

Step 1 – Your initial decision to sell your business, reflecting your true and honest motivation.

Step 2 – Avoid discussing your plan to sell the business with even your most trusted employees.

Step 3 – Organize your financial records, as every buyer will want to review your profit and loss statements. Make certain these records are as up to date as possible. Be prepared with a copy of your property lease and any other financial documents, such as your inventory, your accounts payable, and your accounts receivable.

Step 4 – De-personalize your business. This may mean removing your name from menu items such as “Mary’s Meat Loaf” or “Harry’s Hot Dogs”.

When sellers are so involved with the business, a buyer’s concern is that business may go when the seller does. This step may even include removing many personal items from business elements.

Step 5 – Remove items (clutter and junk) that are no longer needed or used in the business. (Buyers are impressed with clean and clutter-free businesses). We have seen that organized business tend to sell faster and for higher amounts than businesses that are disorganized and in disarray.

Step 6 – Contact a professional Business Broker who can provide a valuation for your business. The Business Broker will offer a Market Price Analysis based upon a realistic price to help you determine if this is the right time to sell your business.

Step 7 – Make certain that the Business Broker has sufficient information and documentation when marketing your business to buyers so that he or she may adequately provide details.

Step 8 – Plan to be available to meet with buyers brought to you by your Business Broker and be prepared for difficult questions from qualified buyers.

Step 9 – Plan to work as a team with your Business Broker to position your business to its best possible advantage.

Step 10 – The most important step. Be honest about your business. Once a buyer discovers that something is not as you described, the buyer will worry about the possibility of other statements not being true and will move on to the next business.

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