If you're a first-time seller there are a number of pitfalls you'll need to avoid to ensure you get the highest price possible without leaving your buyer feeling hard done by. We've listed five of the most common mistakes you could make when selling your business, and explained how you can avoid making them.
1: Time it right
Of course, it's impossible to perfectly time the sale of your business, but if you fail to plan ahead - or wait too long - you could find that you miss out on the perfect opportunity.
To avoid this, make sure you plan well in advance so you're ready to pounce when the perfect moment presents itself. Ensure your records are kept up-to-date, keep details of your business history and assets, and build up a sales portfolio that can be used at a moment's notice. When you think the right deal has come along, don't bide your time for too long; take advantage before the individual loses interest.
2: Seek help from the right experts
Selling a business is not just a one-person task; if you're going to achieve the right price and the smoothest deal you'll need to get the right people on board.
It's possible that the experts you need will vary depending on the type of business you own and the industry you're working in. However, the most common experts associated with sales include a broker, an accountant and a lawyer. Choose someone you trust, or ask around if you need someone new.
3: Put your business out there
It may be that your business is a big name within your niche, or that you have great contacts across your industry. But if you fail to take advantage of these with regards to promoting the sale of your business, you could miss out on lucrative opportunities.
It's likely that there are many people outside of your industry who are considering a change, or there may be experienced business people on the lookout for an exciting new venture regardless of the type of business. Either way, effective promotion both online and via word-of-mouth could dramatically increase the number of interested parties who come forward to find out more.
4: Choosing the right price
Finding the right price for your business is easier said than done, but with the right advice, you should be able to put an accurate tag on your company before you begin marketing your sale.
Putting too large a price tag on your company could result in a lot of time and money being wasted by both parties as you attempt to carve out a deal with a buyer who knows better. However, if you place too low a price tag on your firm due to poor advice or a desire to sell quickly, you could significantly lose out. Try to find a middle ground and remember to be open to negotiation.
5: Finding the right buyer
If you're in a hurry or you don't have particularly high hopes for your company, you could be tempted to take the first offer that comes along. However, if you fail to take into account the person you are selling to it could result in your business failing within a matter of months.
Whether you have an extended hand-over contract in place or you simply want to see your business go into the right hands and continue to flourish, the only way of boosting the buyer's chance of success is to do your research beforehand. What experience do they have? Are they willing to learn? What type of contract have you signed? The best way to create a great opportunity for you both is to do your research in advance and place your trust in the right hands.