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Why is Selling a Small Business so Difficult?

Selling a business is never easy, but there are a few ways you can make the process smoother.

Selling a small business can be difficult but it doesn’t have to be.

Knowing exactly what to expect when selling your business can help to iron out all the issues that make the process difficult so that, at the end of the day, the sale goes through without a hitch.

Keeping yourself informed and well researched is the best way to make sure that you avoid the headaches of selling a small business.

Knowing When to Sell your Business

Selling when you’re at the top of your game can help you bring in the best prices for your business but other reasons to sell could be that technology and trends are changing and it's becoming difficult for you to keep up. The market conditions should also play a role in your decision!

Deciding when to sell can be influenced by the team that you have. The people that you have working for you are going to be a lot of what adds value to your business. You should also think about the professionals that you could get in to help you with the sale. Do you know people you trust to help you with this mammoth task?

Preparing your Small Business for Sale

When you are preparing your business for sale, you need to keep in mind that any potential buyers are going to be looking for a business that has systems in place that they are going to be buying. So, make sure that you’re not operating things out of your head.

Buyers need to be convinced that they will be able to successfully run the business long after the deal has gone through. Remember that, if the owner is the business, the business is unsellable.

Business Valuation: How much is your Business Worth?

Trying to figure out the value of a small business is an art more than it is a science because most small businesses rely on goodwill to keep their customer base returning. Understandably, buyers are looking for a business that makes money and, before they are willing to put their money on the line, they will want to be able to see proof that your business is one that fits the profile.

Trying to determine the value of your business can be made a little easier by looking through BusinessesForSale listings and checking the asking price against the cash flow of the business. This should give you an idea of what the market is saying about how you should value your business.

Due Diligence When Selling Your Business

Due diligence is going to be an important step in the sale of your business. It is something that it is worth being prepared for so that you don’t end up being caught off guard. This is also a vital part of the process of selling your business that will give you an opportunity to prevent the buyer from undervaluing your business.

This is the part of selling a business that can get a little tricky, so it is usually advisable to get financial and legal advisors to help you. Due diligence can be a lengthy process that is often overwhelming and having people assisting you can often turn out to save you in the long run.

It will help to know what it is that the buyer will want to see so that you can present this to the buyer in the best possible (but still honest) light. Make sure that you have detailed records on hand of the cash flow and the accounts receivable as well as a detailed valuation of any real estate, inventory and equipment.

How to Negotiate the Sale of your Business

Negotiating can be intimidating but there are a few simple steps to follow that can make it surprisingly straightforward. As long as you have prepared, there is no reason that it shouldn’t go easily.

When negotiating:

  • Understand the buyer and what it is you think they will want out of the deal.
  • Have a firm knowledge of the market.
  • Be prepared to compromise.
  • Be prepared to walk away if need be.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for compromise from the other party.

Why Use Business Brokers When Selling Your Business?

Most of the things that can make the sale of a business difficult can be addressed if there is mutual trust between both you and the buyer. Hiring a professional business broker can help to create this relationship between you.

Using a broker can help to make sure the sale of your small business isn’t difficult at all. Finding the right broker is the key. Lots of research and knowing what you need from the broker is the way to do that.

Advertise your business on BusinessesForSale to become visible to millions of buyers and see that it can actually be much easier than you think to sell a small business!

Anthea Taylor

About the author

Anthea Taylor is Assistant Editor at Dynamis and writes for all titles in the Dynamis stable including, and as well as other industry publications.

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