Selling a small business you have spent years, perhaps even decades, of your life building up is certainly a very emotion-laden decision and one which affects your lifestyle and future plans. However, it also entails many complicated financial and legalities, so much so that it is typical to employ a consultant to guide the seller through the process and enhance the timing/price of the sale.
There are multiple reasons that entrepreneurs finally opt to sell their businesses, though usually, they never planned to do so initially. It might be to build up a retirement “nest egg,” to cover your kids’ college, because of an unexpected illness, out of the desire to slow down the pace, or to finance your next business venture.
Many businesses get sold to longtime employees who know how the business is run and talk about a wish to see it flourish. It is also not uncommon for a detailed comparative or friend to take over the helm. If they are not options, you shall have to sell to a stranger or a competition. You might consider franchising your business and then selling it also, or selling it to a franchise group straight. If so, you will need advice from an experienced franchise consultant.
Regardless, you will need all prospective buyers to sign a confidentiality contract and become prequalified for financing before disclosing to them the facts concerning your business and its history. Also, a broker can keep the for-sale position relatively “quiet” while still acquiring the highest possible value. Even with a broker, however, it can simply take 6 months to 2 years to sell a business, so you will require a good way of measuring patience. If you are considering selling and/or franchising your business, it helps to get advice from a professional franchise or business consultant. Get yourself a ongoing company with good history and many years of experience at doing that.
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And in the event you still don’t have any ideas what you would be doing once you sell your business, you can think about becoming a continuing business broker yourself. Nowadays lots of companies are selling the rights of utilizing their brand. Becoming and being truly a franchise advisor may be the next big thing for you.