It was Steve Jobs of Apple who once said: "Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it."
Building a business is an all-consuming effort of love, terror and total exhilaration. Ask any entrepreneur, what is the best of part of their job and they will tell you it is the freedom to be creative, to make mistakes, but most of all to see the end result of their ideas and effort.
There may come a time however, when you consider selling your business. Perhaps there are other opportunities to be explored, or it's simply time to retire and enjoy the fruits of your efforts. With the outlook for sustainable economic growth ahead, entrepreneurs may also see this as the right time to get the best return on their success by putting their businesses on the market.
There are many factors to consider in the sale of a business, including tangible and intangible assets, intellectual property rights, due diligence requests and so on. Arguably the most vital question is how to determine its saleable value? However, there are others as well: Where would you start? What is an exit strategy? Do you need professional help to guide you through the sales process?
There are three essential factors to consider when taking your business to market which include:
1. Profitability: Does your business show a consistent record of turn-over and profit? What about cash flow? Are there workable plans in place for future earnings?
2. Record keeping: Have you paid attention to keeping detailed records of all transactions and accounting within the business. This is the main area which will be examined by any potential buyer and could make or break a sale.
3. An identifiable brand: Brand development should be a strategic marketing priority and is an enormous asset in any business sale.
It clearly makes sense for any entrepreneur to develop their business with an exit strategy in hand.
Where to from here?
You may or may not have heard the term company sales specialist before; these are seasoned professionals who play a central role in helping a business owner wanting to sell.
Just as you would hire an outside professional to do any job neither you nor your employees were qualified to do, so too should you consider engaging a company sales specialist to help you sell your business and make the most of any potential deal value.
Questions to ask when making that crucial decision to sell include:
• Who will manage your future or care about getting you the best return on my investment? Who will connect you with the best opportunities?
• Who will show you how to exit your business?
All of these and more are essential factors to consider when identifying the right specialist to partner you in this endeavour. Thus ensuring there will be no compromise on the value of the sale or the timing of your exit.
You have built a successful business, all you need to do now is explore the options at your disposal to conclude a successful sale.