Aiming to sell when your business is peaking in
profitability will result in the highest valuation.
This can be tough to discern, but pay attention
to your business trends and client demand.
Selling a business comes down to three
Narrative. Be prepared to tell the story of
your business in words and pictures.
Numbers. The most common company
valuation method is a profit multiplier model.
Consider this pricing to sell—how long will
it take for the buyer to make their money
back? For a detailed discussion of valuation
methods, visit exitadviser.com and search
“business valuation methods.”
Negotiation. Remember “The Gambler”
by Kenny Rogers? You’ve got to know when to
hold ’em and know when to fold ’em. ■
How lack of transition
planning affects the time it
takes to sell: forbes.com,
search “why business owners
Mistakes to avoid in a
business sale, from timing and
pricing to picking the wrong
buyer: thebalance.com, search
“mistakes to avoid when selling
What information to include
in a CIM to a prospective buyer:
There are three ways to find a buyer for your business. You pitch to a
stranger, either directly or through a broker. A stranger or broker finds you.
Or you know someone. The third option is the easiest, but it means you need
to know the kind of people who can buy your business.
The ideal buyer will be someone in your niche or professional space who
meets these criteria:
They have money.
They do work you respect.
They understand what you do.
They are in a growth phase of business.
Someone who meets all of these criteria is the most likely to have a buyer
mindset. That being said, don’t ever assume that because someone isn’t
“big and important” that they are of no value! Build genuine relationships
with everyone, because, of course, you never know where opportunity may
strike. One thing is certain: If you aren’t circulating in spaces where potential buyers may hang out, you will never meet them. Show up.
If working with a broker is more aligned with your goals, visit thebalance.
com and search “business broker.”
ELISA HAYS, CSP, former CEO of an international
edutainment company and amateur mountaineer, now
works with organizations to create whole-hearted
leadership using “half-assed” principles. Semi Tragic,
a memoir about her unique journey as an entrepreneur
and survivor of extraordinary impact, is due out this