Sell Your Business Yourself - NOT a Good Idea

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The independent business owner who decides to sell is at the threshold of a major process involving the emotions as well as the marketplace. In many cases, the business for sale represents the seller's life work. Being the independent type to begin with, as well as someone who knows about deals and sales, the tempting notion sometimes arises: Why don't I handle the sale of business myself? Those sellers with similar temptations should first take a look at the steps necessary for the successful business sale- and at the advantages of taking those steps in tandem with the best possible professional guide.

PREPARING THE BUSINESS FOR SALE

What looks good or just fine to the seller could make quite the opposite impression on prospective buyers. The weathered sign out front that the seller thinks is "rustic" might strike a buyer as in need of a fresh coat of paint. On the other hand, improvements planned by the seller may be either unnecessary or wrongly-conceived. In either case, sellers would be wise to rely on the advice of a business broker, a professional with experience in dealing regularly with buyers and with the objectivity required to set the business scene. Of course, a business will sell according to the numbers. A business intermediary can be invaluable in helping the seller provide financial records that are clear and up-to-date.

PRICING AND EVALUATION

All sellers naturally want to get the best possible price for their business. However, they also need to be realistic about the true value of the company for sale and to understand that the price is, in fact, dictated by the marketplace. To determine the best price, a professional business broker will use industry-tested valuation techniques, including ratios based on sales of similar businesses, as well as the historical data of the type of business for sale.