When it comes to selling a business most business owners think that it is simply a case of marketing the business for sale and finding a potential buyer. However, there are a number of steps you can take in order to prepare your business and, as a result, achieve the best deal.
Where to start when selling a business?
Here are just a few suggestions for when you start to prepare your business for sale:
1. Think about the employees working in your business – do they all have written contracts of employment? Do you need to tie any key members of staff need into longer notice periods? To ensure an orderly transition over to a buyer?
2. Make sure you review stock regularly. Make sure that any old or slow moving product is sold or dealt with prior to sale.
3. Are there any contracts with suppliers or customers which can be affected by a change of control? Do any verbal agreements need documenting into written contracts?
4. Does your business rely on the registration of any trading names or intellectual property rights? If so, review any registrations and make sure you keep any domain names or similar items in the company name rather than personally.
5. Ask your solicitor to review any property deeds or leases. This can help ensure that there are no issues which need resolving. For example, dealing with a landlord can often take time which causes an unnecessarily delay the sale process.
6. Ensure that you keep your business premises clean, neat and well organised and attend to any repairs needed. Make sure any equipment in the business is well maintained and serviced up to date.
In short, consider your business through the eyes of a prospective purchaser. Make sure that you show your business in the best possible light. If you were to sell your house you would make sure it had ‘kerbside appeal’ – selling your business is no different. By taking a few sensible precautions you will be able to maximise the return on your investment.