1. Have a valid reason for the sale. The more valid the reason for selling, the more serious the buyer will be. The buyer will want to know why you are selling.
  2. Don’t wait to sell for emotional, economic or health reasons the best time to sell is when the business is doing well. The stress and anxiety may force you to accept a not so good deal.
  3. Once you decide to sell get the information needed to market the business properly. Short list: Three years Profit and Loss statements, three years Tax Returns (Sales and Income). List of furniture, fixtures, and equipment. Copy of lease(s) and any addendums. Franchise agreements. Copies of loans including payment schedules, copies of any equipment leases. Inventory at cost. Names of any investors in the company and what percent, and list of outside advisors (CPA, Attorney).
  4. Maintain your business activity as if you are not selling, and keep the sale of the business confidential.
  5. Be part of the marketing team. Follow the broker’s advice about how to show your business and deal with the buyers. Answer questions simple and honestly.
  6. Put yourself in the buyers shoes and make your business presentable, the first impression does matter.
  7. Use the professionals who understand the sales process and have been through it before.
  8. When an offer is made be patient but keep the ball rolling. Study it closely ask question of your broker to clear something up. Do make a counter offer, even if only a small thing changes.
  9. Be open to different ways to sell your business, financing, terms, and time.
  10. Help create win-win situation for all parties involved.