Have you given thought to the notion of selling your small business anytime soon?
If the answer is yes, how confident are you that things will go the way you want them to?
Selling a small business can be rather easy or quite a challenge depending on what is involved.
With that in mind, is selling on your mind?
Take the Right Steps for a Smoother Sale
In looking to sell your small business, here are a few keys to help you along the way:
1. Being prepared to go on the market – Above all else, be sure you are prepared to go on the market. The last thing you want would be not having all your paperwork in order and other issues that can delay a sale. This is why the due diligence process is so important. You are likely going to get hit with a myriad of questions as they relate to your small business. As such, be ready to answer them. It is almost like going into a political debate. Be ready for any and all things that are thrown at you. In doing so, you can enhance the chances of having a smoother sale.
2. What about your workers? – In the event you have people under you, what is likely to happen to them when you are ready to sell and in fact close the deal? Be sure to take their lives into account. Remember, you’d want someone to do the same for you if you worked for them. Not doing so can leave them hanging and even out of a job if things do not pan out. While some details are only for you, give them as much info as you can. That is about a potential sale, when it could happen, who may buy you and so on. This helps each employee decide their working future.
3. Alerting customers – Depending on how long in business, you may or may not have a large number of customers. That said it is still smart to alert them that management is changing hands. While some customers may decide to move on, chances are others will stick with the company. If you have offered quality products or services, it would make sense some will not look to go elsewhere. Their hope is new management will be as good if not better than you were. A simple email or other form of communication to customers would be a good PR move as it relates to your sale.
4. Working with new ownership – Once you have a sale signed and delivered, how much time do you take to help the new owner? It really comes down to what you are comfortable with and what the new owner or owners may ask of you. Making for the smoothest transition possible should be your goal when you decide to go on the market. You may even find yourself staying a part of the business in a consulting role. This is why being cooperative and making it simple with the new ownership is so important.
If you have sold a small business, what advice would you have for someone looking to be in that same position?