How to Sell Your Business for Top Dollar

At some point, entrepreneurs reach the point where it is time to exit their business. Whether it is retirement, health challenges, relocation, or another reason, unless you are passing it along to the next generation, there will come a time when you need to put your business up for sale. Accounting Practice Sales

To receive optimal value from your business during a sale, it is important to begin planning far in advance. Of course, there are circumstances that arise in which a fast sale is necessary. But ideally, you want to begin planning at least one to two years ahead of time so you have time to get all your ducks in a row.

Here are some important areas to address when planning to sell your business:

Clean Up your Accounting and Bookkeeping: One thing that will quickly turn off prospective buyers is a disorganized accounting system. If they are unable to effectively discern your real income, expenses, and bottom line profits for the most recent years, they will begin to look elsewhere. This is one of the major reasons you want to begin planning as far in advance as possible; the more time you have to prepare, the easier it will be to clean your books and ensure there are no red flags that will turn away prospective buyers.

Upgrade your Equipment and Technology: With technological advances happening at breakneck speeds, it is easy to fall far behind your competition without even realizing it. To address this area, it is a good idea to perform a full audit of all your equipment, technology, and systems to identify bottlenecks in your processes and any systems that need to be enhanced. You may need to bring in outside experts to perform this task, but the investment you make in this area will likely pay for itself many times over by attracting more qualified buyers.

Diminish your Role in the Organization: If you want to exit your business in the near future, it only makes sense that the business should become less dependent on you to continue smooth operation. Though owners understand this intellectually, it can be difficult emotionally to give up control of what has been your life’s work. Resist the temptation to hang on to control longer than you should, and begin to hand over more responsibility to others in the organization. It is best to start on this early and do it gradually to avoid major operational disruptions.

Assemble a Top-Notch Team to Guide the Sale: Selling a business is a complex and protracted process. For this reason, it is not something an owner should handle alone while simultaneously trying to run the business. Early in the process, it is a good idea to enlist the help of a business broker. A business intermediary can play a role in helping you prepare for the sale and effectively marketing the business to qualified buyers in a confidential manner. Partnering with a business intermediary that understands the process will save you time, money and numerous headaches, and help ensure you attract a buyer willing to pay top dollar for your business.

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