How to Sell a Business

Selling a Business Guide Image

Once you’ve put your business for sale you will very soon be dealing with enquiries and viewings from people that are interested in buying your business. If you’re using a business transfer agent then they will handle all enquiries on your behalf and only pass on enquiries when they are from legitimate interested buyers.

Although you will still likely be running your business, you should aim to respond to enquiries on your business within 24 hours.

Intelligent’s top tips for hosting a professional viewing of your business:

  • Normally when a buyer wants to view the business they will be encouraged to select several different time slots for viewing your business.
  • The buyer will want to see your business and for you to show them around.
  • Be open to time they can make, but encourage them to come in when you can sit down with them and discuss the business excellent potential.  Having a viewing when you are serving customers isn’t ideal.
  • Make sure you have copies of your accounts and Profit & Loss.
  • Ensure your business transfer agent follows up the viewing and find out the buyers feedback.
  • Have your reason for selling clear in your mind so when asked you can deliver your response with confidence – you want to breed confidence in your potential buyer.

How to present your business in its best light to potential buyers

An honest evaluation of how your business will look to potential buyers important to help you identify any weaknesses that you can correct before you receive viewing requests. Consider the following:

  • When a potential buyer comes to view the business, does it give the impression that they can walk in tomorrow and take it over?  If it doesn’t, it should do.
  • A potential buyer wants to be impressed by your business, so impress them.  Make sure that the business is clean, storage room is tidy, tables neat, books in order, etc. 
  • You need to make sure your business is presented in way to excite the buyer, not turn them off.  Buyers will be looking at other businesses so make sure you present yours in the best possible light.
  • Consider small investments in your business at this stage as a way to maximise your sales value. This can range from a lick of paint to shop or office to investing in a new machine that will operate for years to come and replace a depilated piece of machinery.