Have you been thinking about retiring and selling your business? When you’ve worked hard your entire life and now are in your 50s or 60s, it’s common to start thinking about it all of the time. 

You imagine yourself taking vacations with your family whenever you want, spending time on the water fishing, or just playing the back nine on the golf course. 

But, as nice as those pictures sound, if you don’t take the right steps to sell your business for top dollar, you could end up without funds to do any of those things. Fortunately, there is a lot you can do to stack the odds in your favor. Let’s take a look at four of the most common mistakes owners make when selling a business so you know what to avoid.

Not Getting a Proper Valuation Done

Whether you’re thinking about passing your business on to a family member or placing it on the market for a sale, it’s important that you take the time to have a proper valuation done. 

Sure, you can look at rough estimates and come up with an idea of what your business is worth. But, until you talk to an expert who knows the market, comparisons may be hard to come by. Don’t leave money on the table by avoiding the cost of a proper valuation.

Accepting the First Offer That Comes Along

If you don’t have high expectations for the sale of your business, you may be willing to jump on whatever offer comes your way. But, the first offer that comes in is rarely the best one. 

Consider waiting to see what other people might be willing to offer before accepting anyone’s terms. While you don’t want to wait too long and let your listing get stale, it’s a good way to ensure you’re getting the most money you can for your company. 

Not Creating an Exit Strategy

Creating an exit strategy for your business is extremely important. You need to figure out details like when you’re going to tell your employees and customers that you’re planning on selling and decide how you’re going to market your business. 

Another important aspect of an exit strategy is actually a five-year plan for the business’ future. While it may seem counter-intuitive to make plans for a business you’re going to sell, it’s a big part of making that sale happen. Buyers will want to see that your company is profitable both now and in the future. 

Not Hiring a Professional

When you refuse to hire a professional business broker to help you sell your business, there is a good chance that you are leaving money on the table. 

Even if you know everything about your company and how much it’s worth, it will still be a big challenge to bring in the best offer when you are handling the entire thing yourself. It’s a much better idea to work with a business broker that you can trust to steer you through the process. An experienced business broker knows how to make the right decisions so that your sale closes fast and without error. 

If you’re preparing to sell your company in the next few years, I would be happy to take on the challenge. Contact me today and we will put together a plan that ensures you’re in the best position possible to close for top dollar.