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Selling A Business: Easier And With Less Stress

Martin Schultz - May 2009

Selling a business is something that most business owners only do once. Like anything else done for the first time, and with no training or preparation, they don’t do it very well. And it can be extremely stressful.

As with most things, the key to success and low stress in selling a business is appropriate preparation. Evaluate your business as if you were going to buy it. And take off the rose coloured glasses. You need to be as objective as possible.

If you were a buyer rather than a seller would you be confident that your business was worth what was being asked? And that you as the buyer, could transition easily into being its owner?

What areas of your business cause you to lack this confidence? That’s where appropriate preparation is necessary. You want to eliminate areas where confidence about enterprise value, or about a smooth transition can arise. You want to present a prospective buyer with as close to a business in a box as you can manage. Consider what is probably the best-known business in the world? MacDonald’s. The golden arches. A franchise. Franchises are about the easiest businesses in the world to sell.

Buyers can be confident that if they apply the various proven systems and procedures that have been developed over the years, that they will succeed. These systems work, so owners need only work the systems. Little has been left to chance.

Your mission is to make your business as close to a franchise as you can. That means that you must develop, prove, and document effective systems for each critical aspect of your business. Start with marketing and selling, because nothing happens until a sale is made. And continue right through your business process to include every key activity.

Present prospective buyers with a marketing and selling system that includes several proven effective ways to bring in customers. Refine it and back it up with experience based cost and related statistical information. Present prospective buyers with real data showing that investing $X in one of these systems will result in $Y in revenue, and $Z in gross profit. As long as Z is bigger than X he will be impressed. And if you have several of these, he will be more impressed.

Do the same for each critical aspect of your business. Show prospective buyers that they need leave nothing to chance. That the value you have placed on your business is justified because it is results based. Also, that these results can be replicated by anyone, and used as the basis for future projections. All they have to do is apply the proven, effective, documented systems already in place.

Want more? Visit www.selling-a-business.com

for actionable information that can be applied to make your business better, and easier to run. Regardless of whether or not you plan to sell.

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