Selling a business is often seen as the final exit for entrepreneurs. It’s one of the last steps towards retirement for many business owners. But how can you know if now is the right time to sell your business? What kind of company would be interested in buying your company? And how much could you expect to receive?
If selling your business is on your mind, it’s worth the time to get ready and find the right buyer. Doing so will give you peace of mind, reduce stress, and ensure you get the best price possible. To that end, this guide from Lloyds Brokers covers everything you need to know about selling your business.
What is the process of selling a business?
To begin the selling process, you’ll need to decide whether you want to sell the business as a whole or part of it. Your decision will depend on your sales goals, the state of your industry, and your company’s strengths and weaknesses. The table below shows what each path might look like. There are many ways to sell a business.
Depending on your business and your goals, you may approach buyers in various ways. If you’re looking to sell the business as a whole, you may choose to hire a broker to approach potential buyers on your behalf. Alternatively, you may put the business up for auction, with multiple buyers bidding on the opportunity to purchase it. If you’re looking to sell part of your business, you may opt to approach a private equity firm specializing in buying partial stakes in companies.
Alternatively, you may meet with a few interested buyers and discuss a potential stake sale. Once you’ve found the right buyer for your company, the rest is in the hands of the seller’s agent.
Know Your Company’s Value
Before looking for buyers, you’ll need to know what your company is worth. This will help you gauge how much time and effort you should spend selling your business. Of course, knowing your business’s value doesn’t mean you’ll be able to sell it for that price.
But it can help guide you during the selling process by giving you an idea of what your business is worth. Generally, you can gauge your company’s value based on a few factors: its current size, future potential, and industry.
Who Might Buy Your Company?
Knowing how to sell a business means knowing who you’ll sell to. You’ll want to find buyers who specialize in your industry, have the capital to buy your company, and see a benefit in its product or service. You can start by looking at your existing customers to find these buyers. Companies that are already buying your product or service may have the capacity to buy your company.
If you have a healthy pipeline of leads, you can also look at them. Companies that are interested in your product or service may have the capacity to buy your company. You can also look at your competitors if you don’t have any leads or customers. Companies that are already competing with your business may have the capacity to buy your company.
Time to Sell: Is now the right time?
There’s no hard and fast rule for when it’s the right time to sell your business. Instead, you’ll want to look at a few factors to gauge if now is the right time to sell. You should consider how long you’ve owned the company, how profitable it is, and how long you plan to keep it. You might want to sell your business as soon as possible if the business was an acquisition.
You may want to sell your business when it’s at its most profitable if you’ve owned it for a long time. And you may want to hold on to your company for as long as possible if it’s unprofitable.
Selling Process: How to find the right buyer
Once you know your company is worth something and decide when to sell, it’s time to find the right buyer. Depending on your chosen path to sell your business, you may have a few different options. If you’ve hired a broker, they’ll likely have a network of potential buyers. To contact professional business brokers who can help you get potential buyers, you can read more here.
If you’ve decided to use an auction to sell your company, you can look to brokers, venture capital firms, or private equity firms to bid on your company. If you decide to sell part of your company, you can approach private equity firms for assistance. Once you’ve found the right buyer for your business, you can begin negotiating the terms of the deal.
Selling your business is a big decision. It’s an essential step towards a new phase of life. It’s also a big business deal. Before you begin the process, you’ll need to decide whether to sell the company as a whole or part of it. You’ll also need to decide when to sell and find the right buyer. And you’ll need to gauge your company’s value before you can start looking for buyers.