Selling your business is challenging and emotional
When a business owner thinks about selling a business, it's hard to know where to start. It is not everyday that a business owner sells their business, and you may only be in this position once in your lifetime. Selling a business is very difficult and is usually very emotional for the business owner. You've put your blood, sweat and tears into your business and it's nearly impossible to be objective.
Preparing and selling a business is complex and the details are demanding - since you need to keep running your business, you need to hire a professional business broker or M&A Advisor to manage the process. Many successful business owners don't ask for help often, but this is not a process you should try to manage by yourself...working with a professional business broker who specializes in selling businesses will help you get the most value for your business.
Questions to ponder before selling your business
- Is now the right time to sell my business?
- How will this decision impact me, my family and my business?
- How much will someone realistically pay for my business?
- Is that enough to maintain my lifestyle or will there be a value gap?
- Who is the best prospect to buy my business - a family member, employee(s) or third party?
- How do I begin the process?
Questions every Owner has About Selling Your Business
- How long will it take to sell my business?
Since every business is different, we can't give you a definitive answer about when your company will sell. The truth is that only one out of three companies sells at all. We tell our clients to anticipate that the sale of any business takes about one year. Finding the right buyer is a long, detailed process. Unlike buying a car, there are many moving parts ranging from properly representing the value of the business to financing feasibility of the buyer.
We suggest that everyone consult with his/her accountant to determine the best way to structure the sale of your business for tax considerations. Your accountant can help estimate how much you will pay in taxes after the sale of your business.
We have over 4,000 active contacts in our database. These contacts include buyers with a wide range of buying interests, as well as professionals who share appropriate business opportunities with their own clients. Metro also customizes our marketing process for each listing to find the right type of buyers to acquire your business.
Our advisors and accounting specialist work with each seller to gather all the information necessary to determine the accurate, realistic value of your business. Metro's valuation is an objective assessment based upon multiple methods and industry statistics. The emotional aspects tied to the business are taken out of the equation, for a true picture of the company’s market value.
- When is it the right time to sell?
Successful transitions can be described as the intersection of good timing, gut instinct and preparation. Our advice is that the best time to think about selling your business is two-thirds of the way up the business cycle. This will show a solid history of performance, and still give the buyer the opportunity to recover their investment. If you wait for a dip in sales, the business will be harder to sell and will lose significant value.
- How do you keep my employees for competitors from knowing that I'm considering selling my business?
Protecting the identity and confidential information of a seller is very important. The knowledge that the owner is considering selling the business would likely cause employees to be distracted, speculate what a sale would mean to them, and be anxious about whether they would continue to have jobs. Customers, vendors and competitors could also unnecessarily complicate the process if they learn of your plans too early.
At Metro, we take confidentiality very seriously. Before revealing the identity of the business, all potential buyers are required to sign confidentiality agreements and are vetted for financial feasibility. We don't jeopardize confidentiality by revealing your information to a prospect that has no reasonable ability to purchase the business.