How do you achieve a fast business sale?

A business sale can often take a long time, sometimes as much as a year to get from enlisting the business on the market to shaking hands to finalise the deal. But there are ways to speed up the process.

A fast sale can be completed in a matter of months, perhaps even weeks in some instances, if all the right matters are in order and a certain deadline is in place. Here are three tips to hurry along the sale, and to ensure the transition of the business is as smooth as possible.

Get the right pricing
The most important part of a fast sale is having the right business valuation. If your asking price does not align with the market and industry expectations, you can expect the interest in your business to falter.

There are numerous online valuation tools you can utilise to generate a reasonable asking price for your business. The algorithm is likely to analyse your financial statements, accounts, industry information, location and the selling price of other businesses in the market before setting the guiding price for your own company. Alternatively, a broker or other financial professionals can also provide you with such valuations.

Often it can be difficult to put a price on your own business which you have established and developed from scratch, so it is important that you take a step back and let a third-party conduct an independent and objective valuation. Remember, an exaggerated asking price will only slow down the sales process.

Prepare documents
No buyer will consent to a purchase without having an in-depth look at all your company’s documents. With this in mind, it’s best to have them ready and prepared in advance to avoid slowing down the process and putting off any potential buyers.

When conducting due diligence, a buyer will want to see:

  • Tax returns

  • Inventory lists

  • Contracts for suppliers and customers

  • Leases

  • Balance sheets detailing profits and losses for at least the last three years

It is good faith to note any weaknesses when assembling the documents so you are best equipped to answer any questions your future buyer may have.

In turn, it is also worth having a list of your own requirements when it comes to selecting your preferred buyer. If you want to make sure that your business goes to the right hands, compile a list of questions and documents you wish to see in advance before proceeding with the negotiations.

Market it correctly
Presentation is key, and is an integral part of a fast sale. Much like a store front or the sale of the house, the right marketing tools will allow your business to shine in the right light and consequently attract the right buyers. To achieve a quick sale, you can do the following things:

  • Take good photos. A visual depiction of your business is perhaps the first step in making a good first impression, so professional, detailed photographs will invite the right attention.

  • Reduce excessive costs. Cut back on the non-essential expenditures, the extra stock and definitely get rid of any debt you may have.

  • If you have a physical business, ensure that it is well maintained and spruced up for good first impressions! There’s nothing more off-putting than a business run in chaos.

The premise of a fast sale is that all the preparation is done well in advance, so as not to dilly-dally when it comes to engaging a buyer. What would your buyer want to see, and how can you ensure your side of the deal will be completed as quickly as possible; that’s how you achieve a fast sale.