Ideally, if you are planning to sell a business, you have already met with a top business broker and have developed a strategic plan for the sale. This should start with a comprehensive valuation of the business that will allow you to know the price of the business based on the value, assets and the current market.
Even if you have not yet contacted a Minnesota business brokerage firm, there are some steps that you can take on your own. These steps can be completed months before you plan to put the business on the market. For some business owners, these steps may already be in place, making it much less stressful to prepare for the sale.
Check Your Reputation When Looking to Sell a Business
Selling an existing business is also about selling the reputation. The reputation of a business can be positive, negative or neutral. Each possible option can impact how a potential buyer sees the business and how his or her offer to buy is framed.
If you have not actively developed a reputation through your website or reviews, talk to your web designer and consider adding options for customers to rate your products or services. You can also ask for testimonials from customers and add them to the website.
If you are trying to sell a business with a poor reputation, getting some positive ratings can help to mitigate the damage. Often, in this case, talking to a business broker will provide specific information as to how to address the negative reputation with potential buyers.
Complete Routine Maintenance and Cleaning
Make sure the property and the business are clean and all equipment, materials and inventory is repaired and in good working order. Dirty, broken and outdated equipment is going to devalue the business for any buyer and it will not help with the business valuation.
Get Contracts in Writing
Particularly with small Minnesota family businesses, vendor arrangements and special pricing from suppliers may be more of a handshake arrangement. Formalizing these in written form is a tangible that the potential buyer can see to hold prices or to guarantee supply during and after the sale.
Catch Up on Data Entry
Perhaps your Minnesota business is still using paper copies for bookkeeping or accounting, or maybe you have only transitioned in the last few years to software management systems.
It is worth the time or the cost to have past years entered into the system. Hiring someone to complete data entry is a simple way to make your business easier to understand. With the data readily available on profits and losses, potential buyers feel more confident in understanding the benefits of the purchase, increasing the opportunity for a sale.
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