Need to Sell a Business? Read This.

Apr 17, 2012

Every time a business owner decides to cash out or retire, the same questions inevitably arise.  Reading the FAQ section on a business directory is often the best way to get the intelligence you need to sell a business; but keep in mind that every transfer of ownership is unique.  Therefore, the most important questions you ask will be those that you ask yourself.  Before you embark on the sale of your business, ask yourself the following questions.

Are you ready to sell your business?

Even when it makes good financial sense to sell your company, you may not be emotionally ready for the sale.  Ask yourself what you will do with your time after the business is sold.  Are you sure you will not have “seller’s remorse” when handing the keys to the new owner?

You may be ready to move on if you are experiencing legitimate burnout, you are not inclined to invest in the company’s growth, or you lack the skills to take the business to the next level.

Can your business be sold?

It’s possible that your business would be very attractive to buyers. Perhaps you have had a solid record of profitability or you have gained a competitive advantage with long-term contracts or exclusivity in your industry.  What is it about your business that makes it marketable?  Consider long-term growth opportunities, the desirability of your location and the valuable skills of your work force as marketable assets too.  When you sell a business, it’s important to be prepared with your “sales pitch.”

How much is your business worth?

The truth is; most business owners have no idea how much their business is worth.  When you sell a business, you may find some business valuation calculations in an FAQ, but it’s important to use the right formula for your industry.  No other aspect of selling a business is as ambiguous as business valuation, nor is there anything as important as pricing it right. This doesn’t mean your price needs to be low; it just needs to reflect the reality of the financial, competitive and strategic health of the company.

When it’s time to sell a business, an FAQ can help a lot, but don’t forget to look at the business listings to see how comparable businesses are marketing themselves.  The online directory at is one way to gather intelligence before listing your business for sale.