Small business owners selling their businesses make mistakes all the time. They end up making thousands less from their business for this reason. Fortunately, the kind of mistakes often made are ones that are easily avoided. If you always dreamed of building a business and then selling it to retire, you need to know how to stay clear of these mistakes.

Not planning enough

It’s important to not miss a window of opportunity when it presents itself. This is why it’s a bad idea to wait too long or to not plan well. Selling a business takes between two and four years. A good deal of long-term planning is essential. Keep up-to-date records, a copy of your business history in detail, and a portfolio of your sales on hand. You should be ready when the perfect buyer walks in the door.

Putting together a serious succession plan is important, as well. While you won’t have a relative succeed you if you’re selling to someone outside the family, potential buyers need to see that you aren’t selling just because you have had enough, or because you’re desperate to leave. They like to see that you view your business as a going concern. If there’s a successor named in your business sale plan, it will impress buyers.

Not finding a good representative for your business

A consultant or broker can be crucial to selling a business successfully. It’s important to not simply go with the first broker that you find. Such a broker may not represent your business adequately. You may need to wait needlessly without finding buyers. You need to look for a broker with the right kind of business sale experience.

Relying too heavily on the broker

Brokers do bring you leads but don’t do all the work for you. You do need to promote yourself if you wish to sell quickly. Sometimes, simply asking your employees to look for a prospective buyer can help. All you need to do is to offer a sale bonus. You have to be wary of the fact that people often view businesses on sale with suspicion. They wonder if it might be a failing business. You need to have a plan in mind to help prove that it is not so in your case.

Not pricing your business right

Setting an unrealistically high price can turn buyers away. The price that you ask needs to be right for the kind of profitability that your business has. Setting too low a price can be risky, as well. Business owners may do this simply because they’ve grown tired of the business, or wish to leave their business behind due to personal reasons. Getting a broker on the task is a good way of avoiding both mistakes.

Selling to the wrong buyer

You don’t want to sell for too low a price. You also don’t want a buyer who asks for an extended payment contract. Such a contract would be bad, because there would be no way to tell if the new business owner would be successful running the business. There are any number of reasons for a business to fail after a new owner takes over.

Finding a good buyer for your business can take time and care. While you don’t want to be too particular, you don’t want to go with the first prospective buyer, as well. You will find the going much easier when you accept help from expert brokers and consultants.

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