Is Summer a Good Time to Sell My Business

Selling a business is one of the most important transactions most people will ever make. In order to sell promptly and for top dollar, it is important to be well prepared ahead of time. Some owners wonder if there is a right time or season to start the process. And as we are in the midst of summer, the question often comes up “is the summer a good time to put my business up for sale?”

The short answer to this question is “yes”, it is fine to sell your business in the summer, but the same holds true for any other season. Here are a few reasons why:

It is very difficult to time a business sale: Selling a business is a complex and potentially protracted process. Depending on the industry, it can take as short as a couple months, or as long as a year (or more) for the transaction to be completed. Prospective buyers will want to perform extensive due diligence, and you can expect to go through several prospects before you find someone who is ready to make an offer. For these reasons, it is nearly impossible to predict what time of year your business will ultimately sell. If you put it on the market now, for example, the sale may not close until early next year.

Intelligent buyers are not concerned about the season you are in: If you have a seasonal business, such as an accounting firm that does the bulk of its business from January through April 15, you might be tempted to put your practice on the market just ahead of the busy season. Timing the sale so the buyer can capitalize on a seasonal revenue peak might be attractive for a few prospects, but by and large, serious buyers are not going to be wooed by this type of strategy. The buyer is making a long-term investment with the knowledge that, in this industry, there are seasonal ups and downs. This is already priced into the transaction.

There are other factors that are far more important than the time of year: The season in which you list your business for sale might be a minor factor, but it is not significant enough to be overly concerned about. If you are looking to sell your business, you need to make sure, first and foremost, that it is the type of company that will be attractive to a buyer. This means making sure your financials and other paperwork are in order, you have solid employee best practices, your technology is competitive with other 21st Century businesses in the same industry, you have a strong marketing plan, and so on. These are the issues buyers will be concerned about; the time of year is very low on their list.

Business sales occur year-round, and there is no “wrong” time to put yours on the market. If you are considering selling your business, the most important thing is to ensure you are fully prepared. Toward that end, working with a business intermediary provides several advantages over trying to sell on your own. A reputable business broker has been through the process countless times before, and they can provide critical guidance that can help ensure things go more smoothly. Brokers also have access to a much wider range of prospective buyers, giving you a better chance for a prompt and successful business sale.

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