Question: What is one thing I should not forget to do when trying to sell my business?
Get Your Finances in Order
"A potential buyer will dig deep into your finances, so providing accurate financial projections is an essential step in the exit process. You’ll need to prepare pro forma statements at both a summary and detailed level. You’ll also need to have supporting schedules for all of your asset and liability accounts as well as supporting documentation for your revenue and expense accounts. "
Share Your Enthusiasm
"Potential buyers are leery of your reason for selling your business, and they spend a lot of time digging to determine why you're selling. Although that is to be expected, you can help ease their concerns by sharing your enthusiasm for the business and its future prospects. Your enthusiasm for the business will resonate with your buyer and may be the difference between selling and not selling. "
Sell Your Systems
"Showcase the systems you created to run your business. In addition to selling the business properly, having systems that can generate revenue and manage the administrative side of your business will increase its value."
Determine the Best Way to Finance the Sale
"How the purchase is financed is just as important as the purchase price. You might be better off taking a lower purchase price with all the money paid at closing than providing seller financing for a higher purchase price. We have often seen frustrated sellers who are stuck trying decide whether they should litigate over nonpayments. A bird in the hand is definitely worth two in the bush."
Showcase Your Talent
"Companies don't want to simply buy intellectual property these days; they want to invest in the people who built the IP as well. Selling your talent equally will give the purchasing company confidence that what it buys will not fall apart after the deal is closed."
Keep Emotions Out
"It's hard to do, if not impossible. Entrepreneurs put heart, sweat and tears into their businesses. It's hard, but worth it, to separate emotions from the decision process. Focus on being fair, and have a collaborative approach. You'll want to have a relationship with the acquirers moving forward, so focus on being open, transparent and creating value for both sides. Congrats if you sell!"
Hire a Lawyer
"At the end of the day, you don't know what you don't know. You need to have a really good lawyer to point out the pitfalls, or you could be screwing yourself over in the long term with clauses or conditions that actually favor the buyer."