In this ailing economy and tumultuous disruption of what used to be normal, millions of business owners have come to the same unexpected realization: the time has come to sell their business.
After you’ve decided to sell, what comes next? How do you actually go about selling your business, and what steps should you take to secure the best possible outcome for you, your family and your staff?
For those of you who are facing this unanticipated challenge, here are a few tips to help make your business attractive to potential buyers.
1. Think like a Realtor
Most people have an instinct for what to do when selling a house. You put up a fresh coat of paint, you bake cookies so your house smells like home, you even buy new decorations to make your house feel modern and stylish.
Carry those instincts into the sale of your business – clean up your front and back of house, organize your records as neatly and concisely as possible, and double down on your marketing activities. Take steps that will actively project the value of your business.
This can feel counterintuitive for many business owners, because you assume that you should only invest in your business if you plan to keep it. But in reality, ignoring these responsibilities will only decrease the value of your own business. Remember, their perception is your reality.
2. Keep Innovating
When you are selling a business, you aren’t just selling its present value. You are also selling its future earning potential.
If you decide to stop innovating, you are signalling to buyers that your business has reached the limits of its potential. You have suggested that your business is unlikely to grow, which reduces its perceived value.
Rather than stagnating, invest in innovation. Plan out a new product line, prepare a new marketing strategy, test ways to reach new audiences. Make your company an asset that a potential buyer would be excited to purchase.
3. Choose Your Words Carefully
Acquisitions can be a source of immense anxiety for employees and owners alike. That’s why you should not make any internal or external announcements about selling your business until your deal is signed.
Many business owners are tempted to announce earlier on the basis of transparency, but this is often short sighted. If you announce before a deal is made, you will be unable to answer your staff’s questions about what comes next. This uncertainty will only add stress to their lives, sending them to look for employment elsewhere, and may even reduce the value of your business.
If possible, seek professional advice from a skilled communications firm. There are dozens of consultancies specialized in professional communications that can help you craft the right message.
It will be difficult, but timing your announcement carefully is the best decision for you and your staff.
If you have more questions about how to sell your business,reach out to us any time. KEG Consulting is here to advocate for businesses like yours, and we would love to help you face these unprecedented challenges. That’s why we even offer one free hour of consultation so that business owners like you can learn more about our services in a risk-free environment.