Important Questions to Ask Yourself Before Selling Your Business

Selling your own business is as crucial a business decision as starting, operating, or expanding one. Aside from investing your resources, time, and effort into it, it has become a major area of your life and parting with it may have some surprising emotional repercussions if you do not carefully plan for such an eventuality.

On a happier note, if you do make a conscious effort to map out a desirable plan, you are sure to end up less stressed and happier to move forward as you go through the next phase of your life, be it retirement or an entirely new business venture.

The process of selling your own business can be tedious and complex. There are questions you should ask yourself for which you should find answers without delay. It is critical that at this point you give yourself sufficient time to ponder these questions if you are to achieve your desired outcome. Here are 7 questions to get you thinking:

Ask yourself…

1. Why am I selling my business?

The reasons for selling are varied – new business undertaking, change of career, emigration, retirement, health concerns, family issues, business failure, economic down trend, and a lot more. It is essential that you examine the real reasons why you are putting your business on the market because this will become part of the basis for the factoring other processes necessary for the sale. For instance, if your reason for selling your business is business failure or a bad economy, you may not be able to command a good price and it would be best to consider postponing the sale.

2. How prepared am I?

The preparation phase entails various processes. After making a final decision to sell, your key management and the general work force should be informed in a discreet and professional manner to avoid speculation and panic amongst the ranks.

Accurate and updated financial records of the business should thereafter be made ready. A complete inventory of all the business’ assets, especially the tangible ones, should be undertaken and a thorough review of existing systems and procedures completed thoroughly.

Other documents that can be prepared at a later time are the:

* Information Memorandum – containing complete information on your business
* Confidentiality Agreement – to prevent information leakage, and
* Letter of Intent – embodying the buyer’s willingness to buy after agreeing with the terms of the sale

3. How much is my business worth?

While a business can be valued in different ways, you, as the owner of the business, are in the best position to give an honest and true valuation of your business. Be wary of ‘rule of thumb’ valuation method as there are many other factors to take into account. Sit down with your Business Accountant to ensure you have the necessary facts and figures so your calculations are accurate. These days there is no need to engage traditional business valuation sources. Let’s face it, 90% of the work is done by you anyway, so why pay for expensive commissions when you don’t have to.

4. When is the right time to sell my business?

Proper timing is an important consideration when selling your business, but there is no hard-and-fast rule on when timing is right. Depending on your motives for selling your business, any time may be the right time. For instance, if maximization of price is your aim, a period of economic recession or depression is definitely not the right time. On the other hand if you are seriously thinking of retirement due to age or health, now is probably the right time, and so on.

5. Who can I sell to?

Though not as widespread as the market for hamburgers and hot cakes, the market for small businesses is just sitting around the corner waiting to be tapped. Your own family members, friends, customers, suppliers, and employees can be your first prospective buyers. Even your colleagues and competitors in the industry may be interested given the right perspective. The public at large is of course your biggest market, but you will need extra efforts and time to reach to them.

6. How do I sell my business?

The process of selling has greatly evolved with the advent of the computer. Reaching out to people far and wide has been made easy with the click of a button or a mouse. Selling your business through the web is the first option. It allows you to be seen by millions of readers plus do some handy research and it can make the process fun and exciting. Traditional methods such as print advertising in newspapers, magazines, bill boards, or posters are good sources, used in conjunction with the internet.

The Financial Section of a Business Plan

Financial section of the business plan

The purpose of the majority of business plans is to raise finance. Many investors will skip to this section of the plan instead of reading the plan in sequence. A mixture of financial projections and narrative are provided to help the investor understand the financial health of the business venture. Investors need to know the amount of money required to establish the business. Depending on the type of business, some of this money may be recoverable should the business fail before trading. The financial section needs to provide a realistic overview of the profitability and cash flow of the business. The rate of return on investment and payback period are key concerns to any investor regardless of their impression of the management team or the market for the product. Projections are usually provided for a 3 year period, the first of those years will include a breakdown by month. A business with a longer time to revenue and profitability may wish to show projections for 5 years plus.

Projections

The statements will include profit and loss accounts, balance sheets and cash flow statements. Detailed product costing must be provided to show the costs related to selling the product or service. Costing should be provided for each significant product or service offering. Breakeven analysis is supplied to show the investor how many units of the product or service must be sold to cover businesses costs.

The figures used in the projections must correspond with other sections of the business plan e.g. if the operational section states that three people will be employed in year two, the profit and loss account in year two must include the cost of those three employees. It is useful to summarise any significant assumptions made when preparing projections e.g. seasonal sales. It is possible to include additional detailed financial workings in the appendix of the business plan.

In many cases, the financials are one of the first sections of the business plan to be read by investors. This part of the plan informs the reader the amount, sources and timing of the funds required to establish and grow the business.

Source of funds

The sources of funding could include yourself, friends and family. Other external sources include venture capital money, specialist funds exist depending on the industry sector your business operates. Financial institutions offer a range of loan and lease products for businesses. Support is may also available from government agencies in the form of grants

Financial projections (discussed in article 3) should clearly illustrate the funding needs of the business for the first three years. The projected cash flow will show the cash injections required to fund the business. The investor needs to understand the amount of money required to initially start the business and any ongoing funding requirements. You must clearly distinguish between capital business development needs and working capital amounts e.g. you could refer to the cash flow projections demonstrating the amount needed to buy stock in month three of Year 1 or the amount required to cover salaries in month 12 of Year 1. An example of capital requirements could be the purchase of a second piece of machinery in Year 2.

The investor may place certain conditions upon their funding e.g. insist that money be spent on product research. Investors are interested in the financial commitment made by the business promoter for example they may decide to match the amount of funds invested by the promoter

There are broad types of finance available to a business: equity, debt and grants

Equity

This can be your own or from external sources. Equity investors receive shares in the business in return for their investment. In deciding how much of an equity stake to offer an investor one must consider the issues surrounding control of the business. In addition to voting rights the percentage share held can also have tax implications. Although flexibility in negotiations is important it is vital that you know the percentage of shares you are willing to relinquish. On reviewing your business plan the investor will also have a minimum amount of voting rights in mind.

Debt

It is again possible to have your own or external debt to finance the business. Your ability to raise external debt will largely depend on the investor’s perception of your company’s ability to repay that debt. The cost of the borrowings will be linked to the perceived level of risk, the length of time and the rates offered by other investment opportunities in the market at that point in time. Banks in particular have ratios to assess the repayment capacity of the business based on cash flow and profitability.

Grants

Depending on the country you operate there may be government agencies that offer grants. The best agency and individual scheme depends largely upon the size of the business, its stage of development and the sector in which it operates. As a general rule local agencies cater for businesses with 1 to 10 employees. They may offer feasibility, employment and capital grants. National agencies tend to cater for larger businesses and those that have the potential to export products or services. Specialist government agencies may assist businesses based in certain rural areas. These agencies may take an equity or debt stake under certain circumstances.

Summary

The financial section of the plan needs to illustrate the amount of money required to establish and run the business. Potential investors need to know the money already being committed by various parties. The plan needs to show how much further funding is needed, when it is required and illustrate the capacity of the business to repay the investor. A list of potential funding sources should be made and a brief reason for choosing these. The projections should correspond to the business scenario outlined in other sections of the plan and all major assumptions should be explained and further supporting calculations included in the appendix if necessary.

Building Relationships For Real Estate Business

If you want to start your own business of real estate, you might be a little nervous about it, but you should always remember that this world is full of challenges, and you have to face them at every step; so why not here? You might have a lot of ideas on your mind on how to start your very own business. However, the initial step is to get along with your clients and tell them to refer you to someone. This way they will simply be marketing you to other people; not only you, your business too.

You should keep in touch with your buyers and sellers all the time. If someone wants to sell their house, tell them ways on how to market their house and always ask the buyers for feedback. If they have visited the property ask for their views, what they liked, and what they disliked. If there are any drawbacks, then inform the seller about those so that they can start working on it and start selling it again.

When a client of yours has agreed on a property and wants to purchase it then send them a gift. This gift will make the client feel how much they mean to you and your business. Clients appreciate such gifts and they enjoy it too.

You can also conduct a survey on customer satisfaction. Once you are working with a client, always ask for feedback so that you know what you lacked and what you need to work on most. If you’re good at something, keep it that way, or if you can, improve it more. Always take our time to know things from your client.

After the deal has been signed, never forget that your clients need to be remembered all the time! Keep sending your clients, letters, notes, and email messages to let them know that you still remember them. The client will certainly feel very delighted.

You will be building strong interpersonal relationship with your client, and your reputation will also be maintained. If a client comes back to you because they liked your work, so you should provide discounts to them so that they feel that they are remembered, and they keep coming back in the future.

You should never ask your clients to give you referrals. It is not a good sign. The client might feel that you are not working for them, but you are making use of them. So to avoid such misunderstandings, never ask a favor from the clients. It will do nothing but leave a very bad impression.

If you want to market yourself then there are many options you can avail. You can hold an event for fundraising so that people get to know you and about your business as well. If you hold such events very often than people would know that you care a lot about the society and community.

From wherever you get a reference, never forget to say thank you, otherwise the person would feel that you only wanted a work business; no interpersonal relationship.

If you want to start your own business of real estate, you might be a little nervous about it, but you should always remember that this world is full of challenges, and you have to face them at every step; so why not here? You might have a lot of ideas on your mind on how to start your very own business. However, the initial step is to get along with your clients and tell them to refer you to someone. This way they will simply be marketing you to other people; not only you, your business too.

You should keep in touch with your buyers and sellers all the time. If someone wants to sell their house, tell them ways on how to market their house and always ask the buyers for feedback. If they have visited the property ask for their views, what they liked, and what they disliked. If there are any drawbacks, then inform the seller about those so that they can start working on it and start selling it again.

When a client of yours has agreed on a property and wants to purchase it then send them a gift. This gift will make the client feel how much they mean to you and your business. Clients appreciate such gifts and they enjoy it too.

You can also conduct a survey on customer satisfaction. Once you are working with a client, always ask for feedback so that you know what you lacked and what you need to work on most. If you’re good at something, keep it that way, or if you can, improve it more. Always take our time to know things from your client.

After the deal has been signed, never forget that your clients need to be remembered all the time! Keep sending your clients, letters, notes, and email messages to let them know that you still remember them. The client will certainly feel very delighted.

You will be building strong interpersonal relationship with your client, and your reputation will also be maintained. If a client comes back to you because they liked your work, so you should provide discounts to them so that they feel that they are remembered, and they keep coming back in the future.

You should never ask your clients to give you referrals. It is not a good sign. The client might feel that you are not working for them, but you are making use of them. So to avoid such misunderstandings, never ask a favor from the clients. It will do nothing but leave a very bad impression.

If you want to market yourself then there are many options you can avail. You can hold an event for fundraising so that people get to know you and about your business as well. If you hold such events very often than people would know that you care a lot about the society and community.

From wherever you get a reference, never forget to say thank you, otherwise the person would feel that you only wanted a work business; no interpersonal relationship.

Once you establish yourself and your business as a reputable one then there is no way that anyone can say wrong about you. Just avoid the minor mistakes some people tend to do, and your business will keep growing.

If you want to start your own business of real estate, you might be a little nervous about it, but you should always remember that this world is full of challenges, and you have to face them at every step; so why not here? You might have a lot of ideas on your mind on how to start your very own business. However, the initial step is to get along with your clients and tell them to refer you to someone. This way they will simply be marketing you to other people; not only you, your business too.

You should keep in touch with your buyers and sellers all the time. If someone wants to sell their house, tell them ways on how to market their house and always ask the buyers for feedback. If they have visited the property ask for their views, what they liked, and what they disliked. If there are any drawbacks, then inform the seller about those so that they can start working on it and start selling it again.

When a client of yours has agreed on a property and wants to purchase it then send them a gift. This gift will make the client feel how much they mean to you and your business. Clients appreciate such gifts and they enjoy it too.

You can also conduct a survey on customer satisfaction. Once you are working with a client, always ask for feedback so that you know what you lacked and what you need to work on most. If you’re good at something, keep it that way, or if you can, improve it more. Always take our time to know things from your client.

After the deal has been signed, never forget that your clients need to be remembered all the time! Keep sending your clients, letters, notes, and email messages to let them know that you still remember them. The client will certainly feel very delighted.

You will be building strong interpersonal relationship with your client, and your reputation will also be maintained. If a client comes back to you because they liked your work, so you should provide discounts to them so that they feel that they are remembered, and they keep coming back in the future.

You should never ask your clients to give you referrals. It is not a good sign. The client might feel that you are not working for them, but you are making use of them. So to avoid such misunderstandings, never ask a favor from the clients. It will do nothing but leave a very bad impression.

If you want to market yourself then there are many options you can avail. You can hold an event for fundraising so that people get to know you and about your business as well. If you hold such events very often than people would know that you care a lot about the society and community.

From wherever you get a reference, never forget to say thank you, otherwise the person would feel that you only wanted a work business; no interpersonal relationship.

Once you establish yourself and your business as a reputable one then there is no way that anyone can say wrong about you. Just avoid the minor mistakes some people tend to do, and your business will keep growing.

If you want to start your own business of real estate, you might be a little nervous about it, but you should always remember that this world is full of challenges, and you have to face them at every step; so why not here? You might have a lot of ideas on your mind on how to start your very own business. However, the initial step is to get along with your clients and tell them to refer you to someone. This way they will simply be marketing you to other people; not only you, your business too.

You should keep in touch with your buyers and sellers all the time. If someone wants to sell their house, tell them ways on how to market their house and always ask the buyers for feedback. If they have visited the property ask for their views, what they liked, and what they disliked. If there are any drawbacks, then inform the seller about those so that they can start working on it and start selling it again.

When a client of yours has agreed on a property and wants to purchase it then send them a gift. This gift will make the client feel how much they mean to you and your business. Clients appreciate such gifts and they enjoy it too.

You can also conduct a survey on customer satisfaction. Once you are working with a client, always ask for feedback so that you know what you lacked and what you need to work on most. If you’re good at something, keep it that way, or if you can, improve it more. Always take our time to know things from your client.

After the deal has been signed, never forget that your clients need to be remembered all the time! Keep sending your clients, letters, notes, and email messages to let them know that you still remember them. The client will certainly feel very delighted.

You will be building strong interpersonal relationship with your client, and your reputation will also be maintained. If a client comes back to you because they liked your work, so you should provide discounts to them so that they feel that they are remembered, and they keep coming back in the future.

You should never ask your clients to give you referrals. It is not a good sign. The client might feel that you are not working for them, but you are making use of them. So to avoid such misunderstandings, never ask a favor from the clients. It will do nothing but leave a very bad impression.

If you want to market yourself then there are many options you can avail. You can hold an event for fundraising so that people get to know you and about your business as well. If you hold such events very often than people would know that you care a lot about the society and community.

From wherever you get a reference, never forget to say thank you, otherwise the person would feel that you only wanted a work business; no interpersonal relationship.

Once you establish yourself and your business as a reputable one then there is no way that anyone can say wrong about you. Just avoid the minor mistakes some people tend to do, and your business will keep growing.

If you want to start your own business of real estate, you might be a little nervous about it, but you should always remember that this world is full of challenges, and you have to face them at every step; so why not here? You might have a lot of ideas on your mind on how to start your very own business. However, the initial step is to get along with your clients and tell them to refer you to someone. This way they will simply be marketing you to other people; not only you, your business too.

You should keep in touch with your buyers and sellers all the time. If someone wants to sell their house, tell them ways on how to market their house and always ask the buyers for feedback. If they have visited the property ask for their views, what they liked, and what they disliked. If there are any drawbacks, then inform the seller about those so that they can start working on it and start selling it again.

When a client of yours has agreed on a property and wants to purchase it then send them a gift. This gift will make the client feel how much they mean to you and your business. Clients appreciate such gifts and they enjoy it too.

You can also conduct a survey on customer satisfaction. Once you are working with a client, always ask for feedback so that you know what you lacked and what you need to work on most. If you’re good at something, keep it that way, or if you can, improve it more. Always take our time to know things from your client.

After the deal has been signed, never forget that your clients need to be remembered all the time! Keep sending your clients, letters, notes, and email messages to let them know that you still remember them. The client will certainly feel very delighted.

You will be building strong interpersonal relationship with your client, and your reputation will also be maintained. If a client comes back to you because they liked your work, so you should provide discounts to them so that they feel that they are remembered, and they keep coming back in the future.

You should never ask your clients to give you referrals. It is not a good sign. The client might feel that you are not working for them, but you are making use of them. So to avoid such misunderstandings, never ask a favor from the clients. It will do nothing but leave a very bad impression.

If you want to market yourself then there are many options you can avail. You can hold an event for fundraising so that people get to know you and about your business as well. If you hold such events very often than people would know that you care a lot about the society and community.

From wherever you get a reference, never forget to say thank you, otherwise the person would feel that you only wanted a work business; no interpersonal relationship.

Once you establish yourself and your business as a reputable one then there is no way that anyone can say wrong about you. Just avoid the minor mistakes some people tend to do, and your business will keep growing.

If you want to start your own business of real estate, you might be a little nervous about it, but you should always remember that this world is full of challenges, and you have to face them at every step; so why not here? You might have a lot of ideas on your mind on how to start your very own business. However, the initial step is to get along with your clients and tell them to refer you to someone. This way they will simply be marketing you to other people; not only you, your business too.

You should keep in touch with your buyers and sellers all the time. If someone wants to sell their house, tell them ways on how to market their house and always ask the buyers for feedback. If they have visited the property ask for their views, what they liked, and what they disliked. If there are any drawbacks, then inform the seller about those so that they can start working on it and start selling it again.

When a client of yours has agreed on a property and wants to purchase it then send them a gift. This gift will make the client feel how much they mean to you and your business. Clients appreciate such gifts and they enjoy it too.

You can also conduct a survey on customer satisfaction. Once you are working with a client, always ask for feedback so that you know what you lacked and what you need to work on most. If you’re good at something, keep it that way, or if you can, improve it more. Always take our time to know things from your client.

After the deal has been signed, never forget that your clients need to be remembered all the time! Keep sending your clients, letters, notes, and email messages to let them know that you still remember them. The client will certainly feel very delighted.

You will be building strong interpersonal relationship with your client, and your reputation will also be maintained. If a client comes back to you because they liked your work, so you should provide discounts to them so that they feel that they are remembered, and they keep coming back in the future.

You should never ask your clients to give you referrals. It is not a good sign. The client might feel that you are not working for them, but you are making use of them. So to avoid such misunderstandings, never ask a favor from the clients. It will do nothing but leave a very bad impression.

If you want to market yourself then there are many options you can avail. You can hold an event for fundraising so that people get to know you and about your business as well. If you hold such events very often than people would know that you care a lot about the society and community.

From wherever you get a reference, never forget to say thank you, otherwise the person would feel that you only wanted a work business; no interpersonal relationship.

Once you establish yourself and your business as a reputable one then there is no way that anyone can say wrong about you. Just avoid the minor mistakes some people tend to do, and your business will keep growing.

If you want to start your own business of real estate, you might be a little nervous about it, but you should always remember that this world is full of challenges, and you have to face them at every step; so why not here? You might have a lot of ideas on your mind on how to start your very own business. However, the initial step is to get along with your clients and tell them to refer you to someone. This way they will simply be marketing you to other people; not only you, your business too.

You should keep in touch with your buyers and sellers all the time. If someone wants to sell their house, tell them ways on how to market their house and always ask the buyers for feedback. If they have visited the property ask for their views, what they liked, and what they disliked. If there are any drawbacks, then inform the seller about those so that they can start working on it and start selling it again.

When a client of yours has agreed on a property and wants to purchase it then send them a gift. This gift will make the client feel how much they mean to you and your business. Clients appreciate such gifts and they enjoy it too.

You can also conduct a survey on customer satisfaction. Once you are working with a client, always ask for feedback so that you know what you lacked and what you need to work on most. If you’re good at something, keep it that way, or if you can, improve it more. Always take our time to know things from your client.

After the deal has been signed, never forget that your clients need to be remembered all the time! Keep sending your clients, letters, notes, and email messages to let them know that you still remember them. The client will certainly feel very delighted.

You will be building strong interpersonal relationship with your client, and your reputation will also be maintained. If a client comes back to you because they liked your work, so you should provide discounts to them so that they feel that they are remembered, and they keep coming back in the future.

You should never ask your clients to give you referrals. It is not a good sign. The client might feel that you are not working for them, but you are making use of them. So to avoid such misunderstandings, never ask a favor from the clients. It will do nothing but leave a very bad impression.

If you want to market yourself then there are many options you can avail. You can hold an event for fundraising so that people get to know you and about your business as well. If you hold such events very often than people would know that you care a lot about the society and community.

From wherever you get a reference, never forget to say thank you, otherwise the person would feel that you only wanted a work business; no interpersonal relationship.