Thinking of selling your first business? Here’s what you need to know

Selling your business can be a daunting prospect, especially if you haven’t been through the process before.

However, if you go into it having done your research, you will find it much easier to navigate the process of selling your business.

Are you ready?

Timing is everything when it comes to selling your business. Selling your business at the wrong time can severely diminish the returns that you can expect. Before you pull the trigger and begin the process of selling your business in earnest, you need to make sure that you are ready and that your business is in a prime position for you to do so.

You shouldn’t rush into selling your business, especially if you think that holding out for a little while longer is likely to result in even greater profits from a sale. Of course, you need to be wary of overdoing it and holding out for too long. You don’t want to find yourself in a situation where circumstances beyond your control mean that you are going to be taking home significantly less money than you otherwise could have.

Are your accounts in order?

Before anyone buys your business, they are going to want to check it out and make sure that they are getting a good deal. This will involve going over your accounts in great detail and looking for any inaccuracies or oversights. If they find anything out of order, at best it will reflect poorly on your business, and at worse, it can make it seem like you are deliberately distorting the picture.

There are no downsides to going over your accounts one last time before you initiate the selling process. Doing so might not just save your business reputation; there may be contractual penalties levied on you if you sell your business and it then transpires that there were inaccuracies in your accounting.

If you are expecting a significant windfall from the sale of your business, then you might want to consider hiring an outside accountant to come in and audit your books for you. Accounting errors can ultimately kill a deal dead. Don’t let the deal of a lifetime pass you by because of a silly oversight.

Would you benefit from a professional adviser?

There are now a number of businesses out there who can assist you with the sale of your business. In addition to freelance Independent Financial advisers, there are businesses like that function as both brokers and advisers.

If you have never made a business sale before, then any advice that you can get from someone with experience will be beneficial. If you are confident in your ability to handle the whole thing from start to finish, then you might be able to save yourself some money, but for most first-time sellers, a professional advisor is a good idea.

Selling a business for the first time often seems like a complicated process, but it might be simpler than you think. There are plenty of businesses and freelancers who can advise you and as long as you do your homework, you should be fine.