We share some helpful tips to consider when selling your small business.
Preparing To Sell Your Business
To help sell your business quickly, it is best to spend some time to get the business ‘sale ready’. This means doing what you can to make it attractive to a potential buyer. For example, be sure all your financials and files are in order and up to date. This includes general accounting and tax. You should be sure to have your company documents such as leases, employment agreements and loan documents filed neatly, along with company registrations, operating documents, and insurance policies.
Review and update your company’s business plan. Buyers love the idea that they are investing in something that has a roadmap to help them maximise their return on their investment. Remember, potential buyers will be looking at other businesses to purchase and weighing up pros and cons. A business with future growth plan can be significant enough to tip the scales in your favour.
Revisit your website and social media accounts. It is always a good time to have a fresh online image, so make sure that your website has relevant and up-to-date content. Don’t be afraid to boast – add any awards, media or charity or community involvement to your website. A brand is more than just a logo and colours, use it to show that it has demonstrable values.
Speaking of brand, make sure your branding is modern. Investing in a rebrand may inject some life into your business, which may positively impact the valuation.
Technology & Systems
You should have all technology systems up to date including software, computer systems, user manuals and payment systems. Remember that prospective buyers may not have experience in the business that you are selling. Therefore, all systems should be as foolproof as possible. You can even put laminated instructions next to regularly used equipment. Model your business systems the way that franchises do – making everything as easy as possible for the new owners.
Where you can, automate. We spoke about marketing above. This is one area that can be automated, through email marketing. What other areas of your business can you automate? The value of a business can be relative to how streamlined it is to operate.
Engaging Professionals To Help You Sell Your Business
It is always best to engage a lawyer who is experienced in business sales as soon as possible. Lawyers can help prepare letters of intent, non-disclosure deeds and business sale contracts. Lawyers can also help you with any issues regarding your business structure.
During the sale process, your lawyers will help you to negotiate the terms of sale should the prospective buyer come back with suggested amendments to the sale contract. They will also be required to provide you with advice in that regard.
As mentioned earlier, you need to have your tax and other financials up to date when selling a business. Be sure to consult with your accountant well before you intend to sell so your books can be prepared. You will also need to have a realistic valuation on your business, so you know a what to sell it for. For a valuation, you do not need to use your regular accountant. Make sure you engage an accountant that has experience in business valuations – and don’t be afraid to ask.
MBA Lawyers are experts in Commercial Law who extensive experience in areas including business structures and operational advice, licensing, acquisitions, sale of public and private companies.
MBA Lawyers Corporate, Business and Commercial Law practice is headed by partner Matt Windle. Matt is one of only a handful of Queensland Law Society Business Law Accredited Specialists, a qualification he has held since 2014. He is also a highly regarded specialist in Commercial and Business Law, Franchising, Intellectual Property and Sport Law, as well as practising in the areas of Real Estate, Estate Planning and Estate Administration.