The Only Two Things to Consider if You're Selling a Business in 2019

By Andy Kocemba

“The more things change, the more they stay the same.” 

2019 is starting like many years throughout history - with a level of uncertainty as to how it all will play out. Things will happen that we’ve never seen before, and it’s tempting to think we need to revolutionize our approach in order to handle what’s coming. But, in business as well as other areas of life, it’s important to see the truths of life. While things change and uncertainty lies ahead, we can trust that proven practices will stand the test of time.

If you are considering selling your business in 2019, but are uncertain, I’m not going to over complicate things for you. Regardless of market conditions, tax laws, or tariffs, there are only two things you need to do to ensure a positive experience when you sell your business. That’s right, only two.

  1. Prove your business is good: This might seem like a “duh” statement, but you’d be surprised how many people try to sell a sick business, and then are surprised when it either doesn’t sell, or they only get pennies for their life’s work. You need to build a business that someone would want. It should be profitable, with organized financial statements that clearly show those profits. It should own a good ranking in online searches, including strong positive reviews. It's reputation should be top-notch. The facility should be clean. Bottom line, if your business isn’t fulfilling and rewarding to run, why would someone pay you for it?
  2. Prove your business will transfer: Again, another “duh” statement. But think about it. How much will a buyer pay for a business that will falter the day you walk out the door?  Make sure the business will run as well for the person you sell it to as it does for you.  Document your processes, making sure the business protocol exists beyond what is in your own mind. Have a strong management team, allowing the new owner some help once you leave. Be sure your customers and vendor relationships can be handed over and are ready to do business with new ownership. If your business can’t be run by someone other than you, it’s going to be tough to sell.

I could go on with more examples of how to prove your business is good and will transfer, but, you get the idea.  Selling a business is not rocket science, but it will take work. Don’t waste time looking for the latest theories and tricks to maximize the sale of your business. You know what to do, so roll up your sleeves and get prepping!

Takeaways:

  1. There's no magic trick for selling your business. Rely on the time-tested practices that always work.
  2. If you want to sell your business, prove why an interested party should buy it.
  3. What buyers really want to see is that your business is good and that it will be good for them too.

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