Selling a Business – Key Things To Know

If you run your own business at some point you will decide the time is ripe for a change. The most common reasons we hear are:
• I’ve decided to do something completely different because this business no longer provides me with a challenge
• I’ve decided to get out of this business because I don’t see future growth as being easily achievable
• I want to move to another area
• My financial position forces the sale
• Personal reasons mean that I no longer have the time to manage the business effectively
• I’ve spotted another opportunity that requires this capital
• I’ve reached the stage of life where this doesn’t hold the same interest as it used to
• I’ve increased the profitability of my business and I now want to make a profit upon its sale
• I want to buy a bigger/smaller business
• I’ve worked hard and now I want a quieter life

Whatever your reasons for deciding to sell your business the most important question is How much is my business worth? This will depend upon many different factors such as:
• The location of the business
• The condition of the premises
• The value of the freehold or lease
• The extent and condition of the trading equipment
• The profitability of the business
• The demand for the type of business
• The availability and cost of finance

What can I do to prepare my business to sell
• Ensure that all the accounts relating to the business are up-to-date
• Ensure that copies of the terms of your lease are available
• Ensure that your business is presented in its most favourable light
• If stock valuation is going to be necessary, it may simplify matters if you do your own stock-take first to give yourself and the buyer a value to “work around”

What should I do when people come to view my business?
• If you want to keep this matter confidential, be sure to make the prospective buyer aware of the fact
• Make sure to attend the appointment personally. The prospective buyer will want to make an assessment of both the business and its current owner
• Allocate sufficient time to allow the prospective buyer to view at their own pace
• Allow for the fact that you may have to discuss the business in layman’s terms
• Let us know how the appointment went as soon as possible so we can then follow up efficiently on your behalf.

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