Build a Business, Sell a Business – Part III: Maximize Assets & Showcase to Sell

February 26, 2013 at 9:06 am Leave a comment

iStock_000009046663XSmallWhat are you selling, when you sell a business? A future income stream, a list of customers, inventory, receivables, equipment, processes and procedures, intellectual property? Take inventory.  What in your business could possibly have value to potential buyers? Once you have your list, look at it critically. Are your customer lists up to date, with accurate information? How old is your inventory? How old are your receivables? Do you have your processes and procedures accurately and clearly documented? Do you have clear and transferable title to intellectual property? Small things can make a huge difference in the price you can command for your business.

Start early and maximize your assets.  Clean up customer lists, taking the time to complete contact information and order history.  Get and compare yourself to industry benchmark ratios for inventory turns, receivables and other indicators.  Do what you need to meet and exceed benchmarks. Document processes and procedures so that anyone can understand and implement them. Research the transferability of your assets.

It’s your business to know about your business. If necessary, re-familiarize yourself with all aspects of the business and its financial underpinnings.  If you don’t know the basic answers about your business, your have eroded your credibility with potential purchasers.

Finally, work to make every aspect of your business picture-book perfect.  Homes on the market typically look uninhabited. Everything is clean, artfully arranged and looking like a glossy picture in a high-end magazine.  Apply the same concept to your business. A pristine, organized environment sends a very different message that a chaotic, filthy workplace. Aim for the former, not the latter. Likewise work to have all aspects of your business, from your financial reports to procedure manuals,  equally pristine.

You have one business to sell, and one opportunity to maximize your return. Take the time and take the steps to realize the true value of your invested time and labor.

Entry filed under: business growth, Business Strategy, business tips, Business transition, Selling a business, small business, strategic planning, strategy. Tags: , , , , , , .

Build a Business, Sell a Business – Part II: Maximize Your Profits Build a Business, Sell a Business: Part IV – Staying Ahead of the Curve

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