You've worked hard to build up your business and make it profitable, built up relationships with customers and suppliers and your most loyal employees are practically family. Making the decision to sell is rarely easy but there are steps you can take to make the process less painful.
1) Decide on your reasons for selling.
Why have you decided to sell? That's one of the first questions a potential buyer will ask. Common reasons for sale are as follows:
2) Assess your business
Assess the ‘strengths’ or ‘fragility’ of your sector and your business. Advisers and buyers will fire questions and take a view. Be realistic. Consider your competition, notable changes in the market and your management team. For strengths, is there something dramatic happening in your market and are you at the forefront? And for fragility, do you depend on one or two key suppliers or customers or key members of staff? Or are you dependent on something, such as technology, that could soon be out of date? Try to be aware of anything that may boost, or indeed, threaten your price, such as outstanding litigation.
Some owners consider selling the business when it is not profitable, but this can make it harder to attract buyers. Consider the business's ability to sell, its readiness and your timing. There are many attributes that can make your business appear more attractive, including:
Gather your financial statements and tax returns dating back three to four years and review them with an accountant. Ask them to put a price on your business.
3) Prepare for sale
Make sure your company is in the best shape possible for a prospective buyer, so that you achieve the highest price possible. Try and put yourself in the buyer’s shoes and address anything that might concern them or leave them unimpressed. Any areas of the business or equipment that are broken or run down should be fixed or replaced.
Develop a list of equipment that's being sold with the business. Also, create a list of contacts related to sales transactions and supplies, and unearth any relevant paperwork such as your current lease. Create an information packet containing copies of these documents as well as a summary describing how the business is conducted and/or an up-to-date operating manual.
4) Business Valuation
You'll want to determine the worth of your business to make sure you don't price it too high or too low. Locate a valuer with experience in commercial sales. Be clear with them about what you are selling and which assets are included within the sale (generally those which are essential to the business generating its current profits).
The valuer will draw up a detailed explanation of the business's worth, noting recent sales of similar businesses to provide comparative evidence to support their figures. This document will bring credibility to the asking price and can serve as a gauge for your listing price.
5) Choose an estate agent
Selling a business is time-consuming and for many, an emotional venture and finding the right buyer can be a challenge. The services of a professional estate agent can help free up time for you to keep the business up and running, keep the sale quiet and get the highest price.
Commission fees payable to an agent upon the sale of your property are an important consideration we agree, but be careful - cheapest may definitely not be the best! Ask the following questions to determine the true value of the service being offered by an agent for the fees they propose.
At Pinpoint we pride ourselves on our brand as a well known Estate Agents Belfast offering an ethical, experienced and professional estate agency service with complete transparency on our service and fees. We maintain an extensive buyer database for commercial property for sale in Belfast and across Northern Ireland, advertise widely across the leading property websites, as well as on our own, and have a whole host of other marketing tools that we can employ to achieve a sale and ensure its progression to completion.
If you are considering selling your property/business and would like to arrange a valuation or ask for some advice, please do not hesitate to contact our Commercial and Professional Services team on 02890 682 777 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org