How to Sell Your Business – The Complete Guide

When it comes to selling a business, owners must consider a number of important factors. From the initial motivations for selling to the most effective method of closing the sale, learning the ins-and-outs when considering how to sell a business can be challenging. However, there is no need to be daunted by the task ahead, as a few helpful hints can go a long way. Learn how to sell your business by reading the information below or simply scroll to the bottom of the page and follow the links to more detailed guides on specific aspects of the sales process.

Sellers guide to selling a business Daltons businessHow to Sell a Business – First Steps

Preparing well in advance should always be your first goal. Ideally, you should take the first steps at least two years before you plan to complete the sale of any business. However, there are many motivations to consider when drawing up a plan of how to sell your business, and factors such as illness, bankruptcy, and corporate competition sometimes make it difficult to approach your sale with such forward planning.
What this may mean in real-world terms is the difference between a quick sale and a best-price sale. Contingency plans put into action when an emergency arises generally dictate a quick sale at the expense of profit, whereas a well formed exit plan will help maximise profit but may take longer to complete. When you ask how do I sell my business, then it really depends on your personal reasons for selling in the first place – so make sure you get this straight from the off.

Motivations also play another important role, namely, how you plan to spend your time (and profit) after the business is sold. Are you retiring? Funding a new start-up? Taking up employment? Additionally, business owners may feel some “sellers remorse”, particularly when dealing with longstanding employees and clients. Ensuring you have a clear plan of where to go next is one way to make sure your time and profits are well spent.

How to Sell Your Business – Next Steps

Once you’ve made the final decision and you are clear in your motivation, the next steps will help you get organised and maximise your profit through accurate valuation, effective advertising and great communication. At this point, if you have already been planning how to sell your business for a while, then the Daltons Business marketplace is a quick and simple way to help you maximise profit through effective marketing.
Other options, such as hiring a broker, are also available to those who are willing to sacrifice some autonomy and profit. However, whichever route you choose, you will find that our valuation tool gives you the opportunity to get an unbiased idea of what your business is truly worth. This will give you the information you need to move onto the marketing phase.

Other options, such as hiring a broker, are also available to those who are willing to sacrifice some autonomy and profit. However, whichever route you choose, you will find that our valuation tool gives you the opportunity to get an unbiased idea of what your business is truly worth. This will give you the information you need to move onto the marketing phase.

Next, a well-constructed advert is crucial in order to attract as many potential buyers as possible. Put some thought into the description of your business and what buyers will be interested to read; include business USPs, main assets, and of course, do not forget the financial details so that buyers know exactly what they are getting for their money. Depending on what type of business you are selling, photos of properties and/or equipment might also be a good idea.

How to Sell a Small Business – Final Steps

As soon as a prospective buyer comes into the fold, you will find that good communication is key. Be as open as possible with your buyer regarding the details of your business but also be aware that potential buyers may come and go, so it is generally a good idea to have multiple interested parties lined up in case a sale falls through. However, if you believe you have found your buyer, then it’s time to bring the sale of your business home.

Price negotiation is very important, and how you justify the price to the buyer can make a big difference in discussions. Remember, cash flow alone is rarely enough to convince a savvy buyer, and so other selling points such as shop footfall or client numbers should be highlighted. How you sell your small business is very much about recognising what it is worth to a potential buyer, however, don’t be afraid to push the price to reflect your years of hard work.
Once a price has been agreed upon, then it’s time to do your due diligence and close the sale. This means double and triple checking that all relevant paperwork is in order, and that you have taken all reasonable steps to ensure everything is legal and above board when the business changes hands. Finally, it’s time to close the sale and review the final paperwork with the buyer before you hand over ownership.

How to sell a business – Last Word

You may have spent many years building your business, however, when it comes to selling, you might need a little guidance. Thankfully, our comprehensive guide detailing how to sell your business will ensure you are prepared for whatever comes your way. Study each chapter in detail and look again over this handy checklist to make sure you are heading in the right direction.

How do I sell my business?

1. Make the decision to sell – Ask yourself why you want to sell and if this is the right time for you. The motivations for selling your business dictate many of the following steps.

2. Prepare to sell your business  – Is your paperwork in order? Are you able to produce your documents on demand? Ensure you are fully prepared and ready to show prospective buyers what they need to see.

3. Set a price – Determining your price depends very much on your motivations for selling. Do you want to sell quickly or for maximum profit? Both of these considerations will have an impact on your initial pricing.

4. Advertise your business – Getting your business on the market is one thing, attracting legitimate buyers is another. Ensure you have the best chance of being seen with Daltons Business.

5. Negotiate your price – The art of negotiating is a key skill when trying to get the best price for your business. Equally, due diligence will protect both you and your buyer in the future.

6. Close the sale – Scheduling the sale closing date should be your final step. Ensure you’ve ironed out the finer details with the buyer before this.


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