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Most business owners are too busy running their business to prepare to sell it. “I’m not ready now–I’ll get to it later,” you may be saying. But if you’re not at least acting “as if” you’ll sell your business, you may never develop the systems that will let you break away–even for a short time.
So how DO you make your business attractive to someone else? In this episode, small business strategist, author, columnist, and speaker Barbara Findlay Schenck points out the top misconceptions many business owners have about selling–and how to change them.
What It Takes to Make Your Business Sale-Worthy…
- Growth potential can outshine hard dollars. Buyers look for businesses in growing markets with growing income. You don’t have to be a millionaire to sell–a profit of at least $100,000 annually can fetch a nice sum. You can also show growth through your online presence, SEO and search results, and excellent customer service.
- Have your systems and records in writing–not in your head. When you can literally hand over client information, budgets, tax reports, domain names, leasing agreements, and operations manuals–to name a few–buyers love you. And they show their love with a higher offer price.
- Start now. It’s never too early. Mentors and coaches are helpful, and accountants can prove invaluable. Barbara used her accountant for budgeting and tax systems so she wouldn’t have to worry about writing it all down herself.
- Take a vacation … for at least three weeks. (And don’t call in daily!) This will let you see how well your business runs without you. With one week, your team is liekly to wait until you return to bombard you with questions. With three weeks, they’ll have to take the initiative–and use your systems–to work it out themselves. If your business can pass that stress test,” you’re well on your way to a transferable business.
Barbara built her Oregon marketing agency to one of the Northwest’s Top 15 … and then sold it. You won’t want to miss her first-hand insights on this episode!
Barbara Findlay Schenck helps business owners start, grow, brand, market, and sell their companies. She is the author or co-author of a small shelf of business books including Small Business Marketing Kit For Dummies, Branding For Dummies, Business Plans Kit For Dummies, Selling Your Business For Dummies, and the BizBuySell Guide to Selling Your Small Business. She is also a business columnist, speaks at conferences, and presents live, taped, and online workshops and programs. For information on her background, books, and business advice, visit www.bizstrong.com.
Owning a business is like running a marathon and selling a business is like crossing the finish line. ~ Barbara Findlay Schenck
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