If the prospect you’ve been waiting for suddenly appeared to buy your business, would you be ready for them?
Just because you’ve decided it’s the right time to sell, and you’ve emotionally committed to selling, it doesn’t mean your business is ready for sale.
Many business owners don’t understand that being prepared to sell their business - and their business being properly prepared for sale - are actually two totally different things. The marketplace does.
You need to make a great impression!
So before you decide on an approach to selling, here are the five things you need to do to ensure your business is really ready to sell. If you’re properly prepared, you’re ready for success.
STEP 1: Build an appealing business
• Strong sales demonstrating consistent growth over the past three years.
• Profitability is good - and increasing year on year.
• Your service or product has an enviable reputation, make a great impression.
• Excellent customer feedback, high levels of repeat business and a full order book.
• The business runs without your day-today involvement.
STEP 2: Proof that your numbers stack up
• Most businesses are valued using a simple formula so astute buyers will want to see your financial results. It is critical this information is available for a prospect to view once appropriately pre-qualified and having signed a Confidentiality Agreement.
• Information that ‘stacks up’ will also give the prospective buyer confidence they are considering a well-run operation.
Step 3: Dot your ‘I’s and cross your ‘T’s
• Any serious prospect will also be looking for evidence of sound customer and supplier relationships. If you have a well organised Customer Relationship Management (CRM) database with documented customer contact and buying history, it will certainly be more appealing.
• Formal contracts need to be in place for all your employees, as well as trading agreements with key suppliers.
• Basically, you need to get your house in order! Then you can sell.
STEP 4: Demonstrate your business can fulfil its sales forecasts
• Sales and marketing strategies will also be of interest since these have a direct impact on your ability to fulfil sales forecasts. Increasingly businesses, and in particular service businesses, are relying more and more on enquiries and sales through the web so if you can provide website and social media analytical data (numbers) which tracks enquiries and conversions, that will also be of enormous value and help you sell.
• Potential buyers are very attracted to businesses that are ‘future proofed’.
STEP 5: Help instill confidence in potential prospects
You’ll never get a second chance to make a first impression. Do the groundwork now to ensure you have everything in place to present your business at its very best. Potential new owners need to know they can successfully continue to operate your business.
It’s far better to be prepared for the day a prospect knocks on your door than to have an interested buyer and not be prepared.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dione Mauric - Advantage Business Sales and Valuations
Dione Mauric has a unique ability to create successful outcomes for her clients - through hard-work, and a little luck! Her results are the product of a combination of skills, mindset and abilities. She is passionate about assisting business owners achieve their biggest goals.