Compared to selling a business, selling a house is fairly straightforward, even in this challenging market. With a house, you take a few days or weeks to spruce it up and get the word out to the world the house is for sale. When you get an acceptable offer you sign the contract, wait while the buyer’s lender and your title company do their work, hand over the keys, and move on with your life.
Selling a business is very different.
A successful business sale is a complex endeavor that, ideally, requires a substantial period of pre-planning. As a business seller, you should begin planning a sale well in advance to remove non-essential expenses from the financial statements, grow sales, develop staff, and document your business plan.
In selling a business, details of business operations will likely be kept confidential. Even the fact that the business is for sale may be confidential to avoid potentially alienating customers and employees. Marketing efforts are targeted to likely buyers – not to the whole world.
The marketing time for a business can easily be six, nine, twelve months or more. Even after a buyer is found, the negotiation of a purchase agreement can be difficult and time-consuming to complete.
Business sales usually involve a period of due diligence during which a buyer reviews and verifies the information provided by the seller. As a seller you will be very involved in the process of collecting information and explaining the operations details to the prospective buyer.
Even after the closing of the sale, the seller usually is committed to a period of time, a few months to possibly years, to help the new owner transition into successful ownership. Also, as a seller, you will usually agree not to compete with your former business.
The Pulliam Company can assist you in preparing your business for market, setting a realistic price, and getting from “For Sale” to “SOLD”.