No matter the amount of time you’ve been a small business owner, you may get to a point where you decide to sell is the way to go.
That said is now the time to move on from your small business?
If so, will you put all the proper planning in place so the sale can hopefully come off without a hitch?
Remember, the last thing you want is a sale mired in problems or one that does not even come to fruition.
Do what it Takes to Make the Sale
In deciding that now is the time to go about selling a startup company, here are a few pointers to help you out:
- Make it an orderly process – The last thing you can afford to have happen is your sale planning is amiss. That is not having all the paperwork in order. It can also mean that you’ve made errors in compiling your financial details and other paperwork. When one or both happen, it can derail a potential sale in a hurry. So, sit down and make sure all the paperwork is correct before looking to put the business up for sale. Doing so makes you look more professional and increases the odds of a sale coming your way.
- Have plans in place for what is next – Once the sale hopefully takes place, what is next on the agenda for you? Unless you have ambitions to retire, you will need a plan in place. Such a plan could mean starting up another small business venture. It could mean you go back to the corporate world and work for someone else. No matter what you are planning, don’t be caught where you have nothing to fall back on. That is once your small business is no longer yours.
- Are employees in the mix? – In the event employees are in the mix, make sure they are given the opportunity to decide their own fate. Be upfront with them about your plans to sell and what may come next. If starting another venture, would you consider offering jobs to those you have now with you? Doing so could make the transition easier for all involved. If not, allowing them as much time as possible to chart their employment futures is important.
- Taking care of your finances – Even when you are successful in selling, money could still be an issue. With that in mind, be sure you are going to be okay with finances. You may have sizable debt to pay off. As such, much of what you get in selling your business may have to go to that debt. Also make sure all appropriate tax paperwork is taken care of when selling a small business. The last thing you need would be tax headaches at different levels of government.
Just as you would need to do all the key things if you want to acquire a small business, selling one means being smart too.
So, have your planning in place and be sure you in fact are willing to say goodbye to your small business venture.