10 Tips for Getting Your Business Ready to Sell

Last post: May 25, 2022

What are the most important things that you can do to get your business ready to sell? This is often the first question business owners ask when considering the sale of their company and is explored in this blog from Paul Kaye of Transworld Business Advisors.

When you choose to sell your business, it is important to increase the business's value and do everything you can to make the transfer of ownership as seamless as possible for potential buyers. You can get started immediately by following these 10 tips for improving your business before selling.


1. Ensure your decision to sell remains confidential.

Do not put up a "for sale" sign outside your place of business or attempt to contact sellers. If you announce your desire to sell, you will have a difficult time retaining employees, customers and vendors. When you are prepared to put your business on the market, a business broker can introduce you to qualified buyers while keeping your intent to sell private.


2. Maximise your business's profitability. 

Although you, most likely, have been focusing on your business's profitability all along – after all, that is what drives any business owner – now is the time to show that your business can remain profitable after you are gone. Take measures such as cutting costs without jeopardising the quality of your product or service. Diversify your customer base by utilising original marketing techniques or introducing new products and services. If your business model permits, emphasise long-term revenue generators such as contracts with customers or vendors. This approach will continue to bring in profits after you leave the business.


3. Make sure your records are complete and up-to-date. 

Eventually, prospective buyers will want an accurate portrait of your business's value, and they will thoroughly inspect your records before purchasing. Begin early by making sure important business information, including all income records, tax returns, financial statements, cash register receipts and any other records that show income and expenses are documented appropriately. Engage in a mock due diligence process and if anything seems amiss, implement any necessary changes to your auditing and accounting practices.

4. Define your brand. 

Appealing to a potential buyer is more than a numbers game. Think about what sets your product or service apart from others. Before they meet you and check out your business space, potential buyers will encounter your

business through profiles and web searches. Having a clearly articulated brand, including a focus on any patents or unique features, along with a well-designed website that highlights customer testimonials will make your product or service stand out among the many competitors buyers will encounter in their search. Additionally, buyers will be convinced that your business can command a significant part of the market.

5. Retain key employees. 

A skilled, knowledgeable and committed team is an attractive asset to potential buyers. We advise you to avoid telling anyone your business is for sale, even employees. But plan to provide your most important and reliable employees with a bonus or other incentive to keep them on board after you sell the business. If you currently perform a specialty role in the business, consider hiring and training new staff to take on your key roles.


6. Document your business's guidelines. 

Along with a great team, detailed documentation about how to make and market your product or service goes a long way toward attracting potential buyers by allowing for a seamless transition of ownership. If you have not done so already, now is the time to formalise your business's operations through manuals and employee handbooks. With these materials available, buyers will be convinced that they can easily take over the day-to-day operations of your business.


7. Address any existing or potential liabilities. 

Make every effort to take care of present or future problems with the business, including product liability claims, employee lawsuits, tax audits or insurance disputes. Although the buyer will not necessarily inherit these problems, issues like these will reflect poorly on your business when it goes to market.


8. Make your business location sparkle. 

Since you will be showing your business space to interested buyers at some point, make sure it is ready to impress. Take care of any renovations, no matter how small, that will put your business location in top shape. Consider adding a new coat of paint or new furniture and be sure that the space and equipment are clean both out front and behind the scenes.


9. Create a customer profile and compile sales data. 

This practice can put your business above and beyond others. If you have sales records and an idea of your customer base, prospective buyers will be able to work with this data to identify growth opportunities.


10. Assemble a good team. 

Most importantly, you should avoid going through the sales process on your own. Put together a good team of experienced advisors, including a lawyer, an accountant and a business broker. These professionals can offer an expert and unbiased view when it comes to valuing and selling your business. A business broker can work with you to identify the right buyers and arrange meetings while ensuring confidentiality.


Don't go at it alone, Choice Business Loans can offer a helping hand, and introduce you to Paul and his Team. 

About Transworld Business Advisers

Transworld Business Advisers have sold thousands of businesses over 41 years. We are confident we can deliver you peace of mind, with no up-front fees. Our team has extensive experience helping people confidentially buy and sell privately held firms across a broad range of industries.

For business owners, we help you understand the value of your company, assess the prospective buyer market, and manage the process from start to finish. We'll work alongside your current team of advisors to secure the right deal for you.

For business investors, we provide a clear perspective on current market trends and help identify potential acquisition targets that meet your goals. We are able to assist in negotiating and closing purchases.