Sign with "preparation is the Key" - Selling Your Business This Year: 5 Key Preparation Steps- The Tampa Business Broker

A new year brings with it a slew of changes and new beginnings. With this you might be making some major business decisions and reevaluating your career goals — whether getting ready to retire, considering another job, or merely selling your business for personal reasons.

Surprisingly, January can often provide one of the best opportunities to sell, as ambitious entrepreneurs with big New Year’s goals kick off their company search. As with any successful commercial sale, meticulous planning and certain preparations are key — from getting your books in order to getting your space (literally) in order — before you can even start looking for a potential buyer. Think about the following tips to make sure your business is in tip-top shape when the time comes to truly sell:

Take stock of your goals. Before you get too ahead of yourself, first ask a few simple questions: Are you looking to hand off the business to a devoted employee or close family member? Would you rather sell the business in full at closing and leave with a wad of cash? Does maintaining the company brand matter much to you? Would you be content to keep working for a couple of years as a company consultant? Before getting too wrapped up in the sale, first consider your own needs and desires.

Get your financials in order. Some buyers will be looking for at least two or three years’ worth of detailed books, and the more organized your financials are, the better off you’ll be in the long run. Compile all of your tax returns, financial statements, employment agreements, supplier contracts, projections, etc. Why? Because poorly kept books are likely to ruin the business sale before it even happens. Begin gathering this information as soon as possible to leave ample time to make adjustments.

Determine the worth of your business. Enter a third-party business valuation, which can be crucial in estimating your company’s value. Just like you may take your car to the mechanic for a tune-up, business brokers are experts when it comes to the buying and selling of businesses. A qualified business broker will review all aspects of your business (as well as the competition) in order to make a detailed and accurate assessment — and then they can assist in making that successful sale happen straight through closing.

Tidy up the space. You will want your company to make a great first impression, appearing clean and presentable when meeting with potential buyers. This includes (but is not limited to) making any minor or major repairs, purchasing new furniture, and/or applying a coat of paint to any physical stores. Also, be sure to evaluate your inventory needs and clean out any excess baggage. This also serves as a great opportunity to make website updates and get other digital assets organized.

Get your team together. Keep up with sales preparations and avoid any unwanted surprises by getting your team of trusted advisors together before listing the business. This could include your bookkeeper or accountant, your CPA, any legal team members, a business broker, and any other key players who should be involved in the big sell. Collaborating with a tight-knit team of specialists can better prepare you for listing and selling your company.

Trust the experts — contact The Tampa Business Broker now to learn more and get a free business valuation.