Business Banking

Selling Your Business: Steps to take to pass on your business

After countless hours of hard work, you are ready to sell your business and start a new chapter. The following steps will help you successfully navigate the process and let go of your enterprise so you can take on new challenges or embrace retirement.

Create a long-term plan

Selling your business should not be an overnight transaction. To reap the greatest benefits from your sale, you need to create a long-term plan, one that can take up to two to four years.

To plan for the success of the person who will take over your business, keep records, a detailed business history, and sales portfolio updated and always ready to go. This succession-planning mindset will show a potential buyer that selling is not a rash decision. It will highlight the value of your business and may drive up your asking price.

Calculate its value

Although you are well versed in the value of your business, it is important to enlist a third-party business appraiser to help crunch the numbers. The appraiser can draw up a detailed explanation of the business’s worth, which will bring credibility to the asking price and can serve as a gauge for your listing price.

Partner with a professional

If you have a buyer in mind, such as a current employee or family member, you may save money and time handling the sale without a broker. If not, you should start interviewing brokers now. Do not rush through the process or sign with someone just to get the ball rolling. And, once you find a broker you trust and want to work with, you should continue to promote your business to generate more leads.

Time it right

As the saying goes, timing is everything. This is especially true when it comes to selling your business, and you will find the answer with a good look at your books.

If your company is demonstrating consistent month-over-month revenue growth, it may be a good time to consider selling.

Search for a buyer

Securing the right buyer or buyers takes time. It can be a frustratingly slow process to sell your business, which may prompt you to jump at a less than desirable offer. You could also receive an offer in record time, but the first offer may not be the best. Finding two to three prospective buyers will give you more options to consider if the first deal falls through.

Ask Washington Trust

Building your business took time, hard work and the efforts of many. Selling your business will take the same focus and dedication. If you’re thinking of selling your business, contact our Commercial Banking Team today.

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