If you’re thinking about selling your business, keep in mind these three simple things.  Selling a business can be emotional, and it may involve a skill set different from the one you used to start and develop your business.  But no one is in a better position to find the right buyer than you are.  The skills and contacts you have, coupled with a little homework, can be the difference between selling your business for a profit or paying someone to haul away your inventory. 

              #1  No One Knows More About Your Business Than You

 

                             You can sell your own business, without a broker.   In fact, you must sell your own

                                business because you are the only one who can.  Even if you do hire a broker, you                                       will end up doing most of the heavy lifting when it comes to closing the sale.   In my                                       consulting practice, I see this reality over and over again.

                                  Many people talk with me about selling their businesses and are shocked when I                                discourage them from hiring a broker.  Brokers can find buyers, but often they muddy the              water between the buyer and the seller, and I’ve seen brokers kill a deal on many occasions.  With the internet, your own industry contacts, and your raw determination, you can find your own buyer.  If you need help through the process, you are better off paying for the specific skills you need, an accountant for example, or a consultant who has sold his or her own businesses and has experience helping others.  You can also hire a lawyer to draw up a contract or an escrow or title company if those services are appropriate.  You’ll pay a fraction of the price and have better results if you are in the driver’s seat throughout this process. 


Brokers are not appropriate

 

  •  when you have a specific buyer in mind and have a relationship with that person already

  •  if you plan to sell to a friend or family member

  •  if one or more employees is going to take over your business

....................#2  You Are Living Someone Else’s Dream

 

Even if you don’t like your own business anymore, know that someone is looking for ............................. what you have.

I have sold businesses that had no cash flow, that had no customers, that had major.................................... problems.  If you have a revenue stream, you have something to sell. If you have a....................................... business infrastructure, you have something to sell. If you have positive cash flow, you................................. have something to sell.  If you have only one of these things, you still have something to sell.                        You may have something to sell even if it is only in the idea stage.


Ideally, your business is rolling in cash and doesn’t even require you to show up, right?  The reality is that not many businesses are like that.  Some lose money.  Some require crazy long hours.  When you determine the value of your business, remember that the systems you set up are of value.  A consultant can help you determine and articulate the value you hold.  Don’t close it, sell it.

If you have one or more of the assets in this list, you have something to sell:

  • An income stream

  • Positive cash flow

  • A customer base

  • A lease or real property

  • Valuable contracts

  • Inventory and fixtures

  • Relationships with vendors, industry contacts and potential customers

  • Business process, methods, and procedures

#3  Time kills deals


.............................Act carefully but quickly once you have made up your ...............................mind.  Pull the “for sale” trigger only when you are truly ready, .................................and when that time comes, make it your top priority.  Put .................................yourself in a position to close the sale by doing your preparation ...................................up front.