Small Business Minute: Deciding when to sell

By Brian Leaf

The economy is getting better and it may be time to cash out of the business you spent years building.

But don’t be impulsive if it’s time to sell it.

News reports quote business brokers saying buyers have stepped into the market, with service and distribution businesses in demand.

They also say selling a company takes time and care. Don’t be in a rush to get out.

If you are considering Here are some tips from Business Town dot com.

Consider a broker. Many brokers specialize and may have ready buyers in your niche. They don’t work for free, so you’ll have to decide if it is worth the added expense.

Hire a lawyer for your protection.

Tell employees you may sell before they hear it elsewhere.

Get your financials in order. A buyer will want to see profit and loss statements from the last five years.

Be realistic about price. Many sellers pull companies off the market, insulted by offers. But if a buyer can’t make a return on investment, they won’t be interested. Find out what similar businesses have sold for in your market. Look for corporate buyers. Corporations may pay more than individuals if they like the market you’re in.

Some buyers may want you to manage the company. Make sure you get along with the buyer or it will be may be more trouble than it’s worth.

You didn’t build your company overnight. And you’ll be disappointed if you expect to sell it overnight. Be patient and smart when you sell and you’ll be rewarded for years of hard work.