If you have made the difficult decision to sell your Ohio business, the last thing you want is to damage your chances of finding a buyer and getting a good price. Selling a business is not like selling a house or a car. There are many nuances, legal matters and delicate issues involved. You will also have people to consider, including your employees and customers.
You may be eager to move forward with a new venture or ready to retire and relax, but rushing the process of selling your business could lead to critical mistakes. On the other hand, knowing how to pace yourself and take matters in the proper order may allow you to make your business irresistible to potential buyers.
Looking for your weaknesses
Your reasons for selling your business may be very personal. Whether you started the business from scratch or inherited it from generations past, you want to be certain to make it appealing to anyone in the market to buy.
This may begin by taking an honest look at your customer base. For example, is your work distributed among a variety of clients, or does the majority of your business come from one or two clients? A business that depends too much on one customer may make buyers nervous. Losing that one customer may greatly reduce the worth of the company.
How are the company finances?
Another area to examine as you prepare to sell your business is the bookkeeping. A potential buyer will want to examine your records, your profit and loss, and your expense accounts, perhaps for years past. You want your books to be accurate and complete, neat and organized. Financials that are difficult to decipher may raise suspicion among buyers that they are not seeing the true picture.
Additionally, you will want to be certain to completely separate your personal and family finances from the business, if the lines between them have blurred over the years.
Keep the cat in the bag
Whether you are excited to make the change or devastated to let it go, it is never wise to share your news until just the right time. If your employees or clients catch the slightest whiff that you are selling your business, you may suddenly find your best employees looking elsewhere for work, leaving any potential buyers to start from the beginning hiring and training a staff.
The same is true for passing along client information to your potential buyers who may begin contacting your customers. This could damage the value of your company and make it nearly impossible to sell.
One person with whom you should share your news is your attorney. Seeking legal advice as early as possible in the selling process may prove advantageous if it helps you avoid common mistakes.