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Seller Tips . . .

When you started your  business, you probably weren't thinking ahead to the day you would sell it.  But after years of hard work spent building your enterprise into a success, that time has come.  You'd like to cash out and move on to the next phase of your life. 

Creating a good first impression:

Prospective buyers may look at dozens of businesses before making a decision, so you'll want to make your business stand out from the crowd by making a good first impression.  If the business looks professional and prosperous, it probably is.

Start by taking a fresh look at your business inside and out.  Pretend you are a prospective buyer taking a tour and make a note of anything and everything you don't like.  Do you look forward to coming to work in the business?

Clean up, freshen up, wash up, spiff up, paint, remove debris & clutter, update, etc.  Do a little each day starting with the least desirable.

A small investment in time and money to improve the overall appearance of the business can mean a substantial increase in the selling price.

 Organize your supporting documentation:

Businesses aren't sold very often any more on just a handshake, the prospective buyers are going to want to see documentation to support your asking price.

At the very least you are going to need a complete itemized list of all of the tangible assets of the business such as the furnishings, fixtures, equipment, etc. 

A prospective buyer will want to see copies of all leases and any other agreements and contracts, etc. that are currently in effect.

Figure on having to recast your financials, so that they reflect the actual cash flow in support of the goodwill value of the business.

You will want to show prospective buyers the business in the most positive and accurate light possible in order to realize the best price   

Use a broker:

A good business broker can help you determine a realistic price for your business.  He or she also can identify and qualify appropriate buyers, put together a sales prospectus, handle the marketing, negotiate terms of a sale, help with financing and maintain your business confidentiality so that only prospective qualified purchasers know your business is on the market. 

You'll probably also want to work with your tax pro, attorney and other experts to make sure that all aspects of a sale are handled properly.

Anthony & Associates

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