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Trent Lee FCBB Agent

Have you been thinking this might be a good year to sell your business but don’t know where to start?  The below steps will help you decide to sell your business as is or should you make the necessary repairs or improvements to get more money for your business. 
First and foremost, keep your plans quiet.  It is very important to keep your plans confidential.  You don’t want good employees leaving if they think they will soon be out of a job.  It also makes vendors and clients nervous and they could change the amount of business they do with you.  Both will devalue your business.  It’s okay not to let others know of your plans. 
Make a list of items in your business that need improvement and rate them as high, medium and low.  High being items that definitely need to be fixed and low being items that really won’t affect the price and the new owner could easily change or repair.  Think about items that lower your revenue and mark those as High.  Make sure to resolve any legal issues your business might be involved in. Having legal issues will turn buyers off right away. 
Once you have identified the items that need to be improved take your list and make a timeline to get it all completed.  Start with the items you have marked as “high” because these items will make the biggest difference in the price you will get for your business.  Determine a realistic timeline for each item and see which items might be able to be completed at the same time or by the same contractor or professional.
Consider enlisting the help of a professional business broker that can do a free valuation of your business, so you have a good starting point.  They will have an unobjective view of your business and may find areas of improvement you don’t see. They can also let you know which areas of your business will make the most impact on a seller.  Once the changes are completed you have a good broker you can list your company with.
There may be outside factors in your decision to sell your business this year.  If you are having health or financial issues you may want to consider selling your business “as is” and that is fine too.  You must weigh the amount of time, money and stress preparing your business to sell might cause you.  Sometimes getting out of something that no longer holds your passion is worth the few dollars for your peace of mind.