Guide to Selling a Small Business

Have you thought about the process of selling a small business? Chances are, if you're a business owner the answer to that question is yes. At some point, every business owner questions whether or not they want to continue running their business or if they're ready to move on and pursue other interests.

Other interests may include retirement, vacation, other business interests or simply exiting the world of "being the boss." If you're a business owner and these thoughts have crossed your mind, you're not alone. Statistics indicate that one in five businesses will change hands in the next coming year.

This section of the web site is geared towards the business owner who is actively seeking to sell their business. The section of the web site titled "Exit Strategy" is geared towards the business owner who wants to do some advanced planning for selling their business. The section titled "Deal Structuring" addresses the some financial aspects and the post-sale components of selling a business. Finally the section titled, "The Process of Selling Your Business" walks you through the process- from the meeting with a business broker to the close of escrow.

I always suggest my clients to ask themselves some serious questions before they commit to selling their business. My goal as a business broker is to bring value and useful information to my clients. If I can identify their goals, I can work hard to help them achieve them.

The first question is, "Why are you selling?" I want my clients to be absolutely truthful with themselves and with me. When you are selling your business the "why are you selling question" will be posed to you by virtually every buyer. It is important to have a concise and thoughtful answer for the buyers when they pose this question to you. Buyers are often looking to the owner to gather insight into the "cutlure" of the business and to determine if they want to enter a business relationship with the seller.

The next question I suggest business owners think about is, "How badly do you want to sell?" For some business owners they are ready, and I mean ready, to start something new. Therefore they are more willing to be flexible on the price and terms. Many business owners list their business just to see what kind of offers may come in.

The next item I ask business owners think about is, "What will you do once the business is sold?" This may sound like a crazy question, but for many business owners, when the day finally arrives and the transaction is complete, it comes as a bit of a shock. This is especially true for business owners who have owned and operated a business for many, many years, and they're suddenly faced with the prospect of being retired.

When Selling a Small Business there is one final question to ponder: "Who would the ideal buyer for your business be?" Being able to accurately and effectively describe an ideal candidate for your business would be will aid your broker in the marketing of your business.

When Selling a Small Business, in some cases, it is important to be realistic about your goals, open to the needs of the buyer and flexible when it comes to creative terms.

Below you'll find links to additional pages that address some of the most common questions or concerns that my business owner clients have. First, I will share with you some statistics regarding business sales. I will also discuss the importance of marketing your business effectively. Other pages address when to sell your business, why buyers buy businesses, and why deals fall apart. Lastly, I will discuss how to keep the sale of your business confidential and when to tell your employees you are selling.

NEW! Take a look at the most Frequently Asked Seller Questions relating to Selling a Small Business

Selling a Small Business - Statistics What to expect when selling your small business. Learn some of the realities of business sales. Selling a business is quite different than selling your...

When and Why to Sell In business and in life - timing is everything. Here I discuss the most common reasons business owners sell. Learn how to select the best time to begin the process of selling your business.

Why Buyers Buy & What Buyers Look For I feel it is important that seller's know what potential buyers are looking for. Understanding what motivates the buyer will go a long way to get the deal done.

Deal Killers In this business many deals will fall apart. Learn why businesses do not sell and how to avoid these pitfalls.

The Importance of Effective Marketing When a business is put on the market, whether or not that business sells has much to do with how that business is marketed. In my opinion, many businesses do not sell because they are not effectively marketed...

10 Tips for Negotiating the Sale of your Business
Read some tips that will help you through the negotiating phase of the sale of the business.

Confidentiality When selling a small business, many business owners keeping the sale of their business confidential is very imporatant. Learn how to effectivly implement a successful marketing strategy while keeping the sale confidential. Also discussed here, is how and when to tell your employees of the sale.

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If you're a business owner, chances are you're a busy person. If you are actively considering selling your business I would like to speak with you. If you contact me, I would be happy to set up a confidential, complimentary consultation to address your needs and concerns.

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