Deciding to sell a business you have founded, nurtured, and grown can be agonizing -- or liberating. Owners choose to sell their businesses for many reasons, from retirement to a hope that new management can turn a greater profit. If you're considering a business sale, consider the below issues.
Consider the factors that make your business saleable -- or not. Your profits history, current sales trends, location, and the condition of your premises and equipment all affect your business's desirability. There are ways to make your business appear more profitable, such as lowering your own salary or removing perks that you've been getting , such as travel and expensive seminars. Then ask yourself: Is my business saleable for a reasonable price?
Think about these additional questions to make sure you're ready to move onto the next step:
Next, choose the best time to sell your business. This will be affected by business cycles, which wax and wane with the economy. Obviously, you'd like to sell your business when market demand is high. During a national recession, or a more localized downturn in your geographical area or business sector, you may want to gauge whether it's worthwhile or possible to wait until things improve. Other factors that can help you decide when to sell include changes in the neighborhood, the health of your business, interest rates, and industry trends.
Understanding the steps involved in selling your business can help you make a better decision about when and how to go about it. To learn more, see The Complete Guide to Selling a Business, by Fred S. Steingold (Nolo). It will walk you through the entire process.