Whether your decision to sell your business was part of your long-term plan or circumstances such as a divorce or illness have left you no choice, you want to be sure to get the best price and avoid the risk of a breakdown in negotiations with a potential buyer. You may have put many years and dollars into your venture, and letting go of it will be difficult enough without losing everything you invested.
Unless you have sold a business before, you may have many questions about the best way to proceed to maximize your profit. Even if you do have experience in selling a company, you may find it beneficial to seek advice for avoiding some of the common mistakes that can bring your exit strategy to a crashing halt.
Tidy up loose ends
Your first step when you are contemplating the sale of your business is to see the company through the eyes of a potential buyer. For example, if the majority of your company’s business depends on a single contract, buyers may conclude that the venture is too fragile since the loss of that one contract could mean the demise of the company. Perhaps there are other areas of your business that are vulnerable because of their narrow view.
Before offering your company for sale, you will also want to make sure the books and financial logs are in order. You should not have to explain the reasons behind certain expenses or gaps, and your accounting should present a potential buyer with a clear picture of your profits and losses. This is also a good time to cleanly separate any personal finances entangled in your business accounting.
Keep it quiet
No matter how disappointed or excited you are about selling your business, this is not news to share with your staff. A solid, well-trained and loyal staff will impress potential buyers, and revealing your intention to exit the business may alarm your employees. The last thing you need is for your staff to walk out because they fear for their jobs. Of course, you can inform the CFO or your manager in strict confidence, but the rest of your staff should not know until you have closed the deal.
One other person who can assist you in preparing for the sale of your business is your attorney. A skilled business attorney will have a firm grasp of New Jersey laws and will work to help you attain your goal of a successful and profitable sale of your company.