How to Maximize the Sale of your Business to Finance your Retirement

This year, the last of the Baby Boomers will turn 50. This marks a major milestone as America’s most populous generation is now entirely within 15 years or less of their 65th birthday. With the Boomers entering or quickly approaching their golden years, many are trying to figure out the best exit strategy to sell their businesses so they can enjoy their retirement. However, selling a business for top dollar in this environment may not be easy.

Every business owner understands the law of supply and demand; when there is a glut of supply, prices drop until demand catches up. This is becoming the case in many industries where Boomer business owners are competing with their peers to fetch a good price when it comes time to sell. To overcome these challenges, it is important to be properly prepared.

Here are four critical steps Baby Boomers should take to be successful in selling their business:

Plan Early: Since life is unpredictable and you never know when you may need to sell your business, the ideal strategy is to plan your exit during the start-up phase. But assuming your business is already well-established, it is best to start planning for the sale about three to five years in advance. This should give you enough time to get all your ducks in a row.

Build a Strong Team: One of the critical factors a potential buyer will look at is the quality of the employees and management team. Hire top talent at the key positions in your company to ensure that buyers will be confident in knowing that the strength of the existing workforce will provide for a smooth and seamless transition.

Update your Facilities and Equipment: With technology advancing at break-neck speeds, every business owner wants to be on the ‘cutting edge.’ Show buyers that your business is up on all the latest and best practices by cleaning up your facilities and bringing in the most advanced equipment and technologies needed to provide your product or service.

Identify Growth Opportunities: When you sell your business, you not only want to sell what your business is today, but what it could be tomorrow. Even if you do not take advantage of all the ways you could grow and diversify, it is important to understand what they are and be able to lay out a simple plan for your buyer to do so. A workable plan for future growth is one of the best ways to add value to the business you are selling.

Consult with an Industry Specific Business Broker: When it comes time to sell, there will be a number of ‘moving parts’ that need to be coordinated to ensure that the sale is a success. To make sure all your bases are covered, it is best to work with a business intermediary that specializes in matching buyers and sellers in your particular industry. An experienced business broker will help you navigate through these unchartered waters so you can sail smoothly into your retirement.

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