Are you ready to make a change? Does selling your firm seem like an overwhelming task?
Use these six steps to assist you in navigating through the process.
1. Explore your options. You must decide what is best for you: sell, merge or close your doors. Each option has pros and cons with the value of the business ranging from zero when you close your doors to some amount that a buyer offers you for your business. The degree of client care you offer also varies greatly from no care when you close your doors to providing them with an option for great service moving forward after you are gone. When you choose to sell your business, you control who the buyer is by selecting someone with whom you feel your clients will enjoy working and who will service your clients well.
2. Know what you want. In other words, define your goals. If you don’t know what you want, how will you know when you find it? Would you like a clean break after a sale or would you prefer to have some involvement for a while? Are you willing to owner finance part of the purchase price? Would you be open to a deal based on the collections of the business? Only you can answer these questions.
3. Be prepared to sell. You may have decided you want to sell your business, but are you really ready to put the business on the market? Grooming your business for a sale will maximize the value in a sale.
Here are a few tips to increase the value of your firm:
- Clean, update and organize the office space;
- Have non-solicitation or non-compete agreements in place with employees;
- Evaluate your fee structure and make necessary adjustments;
- Consider eliminating difficult or unprofitable clients;
- Be prepared to provide buyers with necessary financial information; and
- Evaluate and reduce overhead when possible.
4. Use effective marketing. The more places you choose to market, the more exposure your firm will receive, yielding more buyers for the business.
5. Negotiate to win. The best deals are the ones where all parties believe it to be a good deal. Work to create a win-win situation with your buyer. Creating goodwill between you and your buyer will pay great dividends after the sale is finalized.
6. Transition. As a seller, your role includes notifying clients and employees of the sale, assuring all parties that you will be involved in making this a smooth transition and assisting your buyer in any way you can to help them be successful.
Success can be yours! Take the time to work through the process until you feel you are making the right decision and soon you will be on your way to the next phase of your life! Enjoy!