When you start your business, you should also prepare to sell your business. This may sound extreme, yet few business owners reach this level of preparedness. Most sales are event-driven. Factors such as health issues, burnout, problems with a partnership or even divorce can drive a business owner into selling.

It is essential to realize one key fact when you decide to sell your business. Unexpected events and factors will always come up. Here are four key questions that you’ll need to address before selling your business.

1. What Is The Value Of Your Time?

Meeting with prospective buyers can take serious time. Working with a business broker can take some of the pressure off of you. A broker can interact with buyers on your behalf. Many business owners are very involved in the day-to-day operation of the business. They don’t have time to meet with every interested party or take the time to find the qualified prospects.

2. What Do You Want Your Level of Involvement To Be?

Knowing every detail about a prospective buyer’s visit is time consuming. A business broker knows what information is essential and what information is extraneous. This way, you only hear about what is relevant and can skip the rest.

Buyers expect that the business will continue to run successfully during the sales process and through closing. For this reason, you need to stay as focused on the day-to-day operations of your business as possible. You don’t want to have a dip in revenue if a deal falls through.

3. Are There Other Decision Makers?

Determine whether there are any other decision makers. Silent partners and part owners will have to be addressed when it comes time to sell.

4. Just How Important Is Confidentiality To You?

When it come to selling your business, confidentiality is important. The more active your selling process, the greater the chances are that you’ll have a leak. You need to be extremely careful.

If this does occur, how much will this issue negatively impact your business? You should have a “leak plan” in place. The plan should include what steps you should take to lessen the damage caused by the leak. Be ready to deal with key customers, employees and distributors. Business brokers are experts at helping clients maintain confidentiality. This can save you a great deal of time and effort on many fronts.

By answering these four questions, you will save yourself time, stress and effort. Selling a business is a complex process. With the right planning you can minimize your effort and maximize your results.

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AUTHOR: EBIT Associates, Ltd.
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