There comes a point in many entrepreneurs’ careers when selling a business makes more sense then continuing to run it. Retirement, new business opportunities and fundraising for other enterprises are all common reasons why people sell their businesses. However, when it comes time to sell a business many business owners don’t know what to do, especially when the economy is in a less than fruitful state. The key to selling a business during rough economic times is to know how to package your business to make it appealing to those looking for new business opportunities.
What Are People Looking For
The first thing that you need to do when trying to sell your business during rough economic times is to understand what people are looking for in a business opportunity. During economic downturns and recovery periods people want a business that has a track record of making consistent money, even during rough economic conditions. They also want a business that has an established clientele and that will require little extra investment once purchased.
Collect Evidence of Business’ Performance
Obviously people looking to buy a business want to know that their money is being spent on something that is going to generate income. This is a concern that you need to address when packaging your business for sale. You need to generate financial statements, client lists and income statements that show your business has consistently earned money over the last five to ten years. If your business is a young company then you can provide buyers with some sense of the company’s money making capabilities by graphing the growth rate of the company over its short life, by providing an order history and by creating a report that projects the future earnings of the company based on industry trends and current company performance. Market surveys can also be used to support the demand for the company’s services or products.
Making Your Business a Turn-Key Operation
Another step that you can take to make your business more appealing to buyers is to set it up so that it is a turn key operation. This means that when the person buys the company all they have to do is maintain the business practices established by you to make money. For example, if you are selling an informational website you will need to make sure that it has been properly developed using SEO techniques, that it has a high Google Pagerank and that it has a history of making consistent money. You will also need to provide information to the buyer which tells them how to keep the site in a top position in the search engines and how to maintain viewership through blogs, article directories and social networking tactics.