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Is Your Company Ready for Sale?

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Fallschirm-1Selling a business is an emotionally charged decision. It can be exciting, stressful and even scary. Before making this decision, you should ask yourself several questions, most importantly: Do you really want to do this?

The first thing you need to do is assess the state of your business. What are its assets and liabilities? What are the company's growth prospects? At what price could you sell it? Based on these questions, you can determine whether the current time is conceivable for selling your business.

When you are ready to sell your business, the question is: Do you want to find a buyer who will continue to run the business as it is? Or should it be a candidate who is suitable to steer it in a new direction?

If you want to sell your business, you also need to have a good idea of what it is worth. You can get an estimate by doing some research on similar businesses in the same industry. The more information you have about these businesses, the better off you will be when negotiating with potential buyers.

You should also consider other factors, such as the size of your market share and the development of competitors. Once you have a rough idea of what your business is worth, the search for potential buyers can begin.

To accomplish this, you should turn to professionals who specialise in the sale of companies. A good partner is not 'just' an intermediary who finds a buyer for you and negotiates on your behalf. He or she will also help you in advance to ensure that your business is maximally ready for sale. You will have to pay them a commission for their services. However, this is less than the plus they get from this approach.

You Know the Value of Your Own Business Best

You may want to start a new business, invest in real estate, or simply enjoy life. But mainly, your goals should be in line with the value of your business.

Take advantage of your options. You can sell your business outright, or leave some equity in the business. Your proceeds depend on several factors, such as:

  • the attractiveness of your industry, the position of your company and the expertise of your management team;
  • the value of your company's assets, your personal financial health;
  • the strength of your customer base, the contractually secured volume and the value of the intellectual property;
  • the value of the company brand, the reputation of your company, your business plan.

Identify the Target Group for the Sale of the Company

You should have a clear idea of who is predestined to buy your business and for what reasons. Then you should understand your target group to find out what prerequisites the buyer is looking for. From this, you can deduce what price you can charge, but also what is best for you and your business.

While you must know as much as possible about the potential buyers and their motivations. But it is equally important that you realistically assess how much they are willing or able to pay for your business. If you end up getting less than expected, you need to ask yourself: is it even worth continuing? Are there alternative options? What does this mean for your personal financial future?

Market research provides the best answers to these questions. Find out what other businesses like yours are selling for and what the average sale amount is for start-ups in your industry. This will give you a better idea of what to expect from buyers and whether they are willing to negotiate based on market data. This way you can determine if the sale is worth it or if there are other options that might be more profitable.

Understanding Potential Buyers of Your Business

If you are considering selling your business, remember: it is your business. You were the driving force behind its success, and if you don't believe in its value or don't believe in yourself, no one else will either.

In other words, focus on yourself. If a potential buyer can see how much passion and energy went into building your business from the ground up, it will influence their perception of value. If it is an entrepreneur with heart and blood, he will identify with your company more quickly.

Secondly, you should remember that it is not only about you, but also about the buyer. Selling a business is an important decision, and while it may be tempting to focus on your needs first, you should think about the buyer's interests. If he is investing a lot of time and energy in this transaction (which probably involves more than just buying the business), he wants to feel confident that he is doing the right thing.

You need to make sure that you are in agreement about the development after the sale. You should be able to show the buyer the way to start with their new business and make them understand how it works in practice.

The third point is: you need to take the active role as a salesman. You may not consider yourself to be a salesman, but if you want to sell your business, this is one of the most important roles you play throughout the process.

You have to sell your business to the buyer, but you also have to sell yourself. This means that you must be able to clearly present why this business is great and why people should buy it instead of all the other options. You have already done some of this when you prepared your financial documents and marketing materials, but now it is time to present yourself as well.

Think About the Future of Your Employees

The future of your business is in the hands of your employees. It is essential to keep them happy and motivated as they keep your business running. And that can be of even greater importance in a sale.

Even if you sell a company, you will still be involved in the day-to-day business until the deal is closed. Your employees need to know that there is no guarantee that everything will stay the same if they continue to work for the company after the sale. If an employee is not sure if they will still have a job after the sale of your business, they are likely to start looking elsewhere. They may be worried about their career development or other aspects of their life that are not solely related to income or benefits.

It can be difficult to tell your employees that you are selling the business, but it is important to do so as early as possible. Let them know that they have nothing to worry about and that everything will be fine after the sale closes. This will save some worry and stress.

But you should also be prepared for employees leaving the company when they know it is being sold. You must keep your employees informed. Let them know what is going on at all times—even if that means telling them they will be made redundant as part of the sale. This will help alleviate the stress of those who are worried about their jobs for no reason.

You can also consider a bonus or a salary increase for your employees, especially if their salary has not changed for some time. It might be a good idea to offer them some kind of incentive to stay with the company for another year or two.

Talk to an Advisor With Professional Experience

If you have decided to sell your business, it is best to find an advisor who has experience in guiding sales processes.

One important quality that any potential advisor should have is trustworthiness—you may be giving him access to sensitive information about your finances and personal life. It is crucial that he be trustworthy enough not to use this information to your disadvantage, even in negotiations or mediation meetings with other parties involved in a transaction (such as lawyers or accountants).

A good advisor can help you get a good and fair price for your business. Therefore, you should inform yourself well before you hire someone. If possible, talk to several potential advisors and ask them about their experience of selling similar businesses. You want someone who can provide you with honest information about the state of your business and advise you on how best to proceed with the sale.

Four-Dimensional View in the Sale of a Company

If you want to sell your business, you have to consider many factors.

  • Financial considerations: If you would like to protect yourself and your family during the sale process, you should consider the following financial aspects before signing on the dotted line:
    • The value of your company;
    • The price of comparable companies in your industry that have recently been sold;
    • Your financial needs to retire or invest in another project.
  • Emotional considerations: Selling a business takes time and effort—so don't rush into it without weighing up all aspects of this important life decision. Take time to reflect. It can be helpful to ask close friends and family members for their opinion on this transitional phase in your life.
  • Operational considerations: Selling a business requires careful planning. Primarily, you need to ensure that a proven management team can continue to run and develop the business in the future without you. You must ensure that your employees are well looked after and that they know they will keep their current jobs if the business is sold. When you sell a business, you should also consider how this decision will affect your community and the local economy.
  • Legal considerations: Exiting a business can have various legal consequences, such as contractual obligations, employment law, tax implications, intellectual property, liabilities and debts, and the formal dissolution process. That is why it is advisable to seek advice from legal and financial experts.


Selling a business is a big deal. It is a decision that will alter your life and the lives of many others. It is important to consider all of these aspects before deciding, but don't let them distract you from running your business.

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