The average Florida business owner has a lot on their mind. When most people think about owning a business, they’re focused on the present and immediate future. Everything is about making sure the day to day runs smoothly and that they’re on track to meet their revenue goals. Plenty of people are okay thinking of the now, but what about later? What will happen when the day comes for business owners to move on to the next big thing? Want to know how to sell a business in Florida? Even if you have no plans to sell today, it’s good to be prepared for what tomorrow could bring. Consider us your guide on how to sell a company and how to sell an LLC in Florida. Keep reading to learn some common reasons why people sell and what you should do if you want to successfully sell your business.
4 Common Reasons People Sell Their Business
Figuring out if you want to sell your business or not is a difficult decision. There are so many reasons why people may consider selling, but regardless of what they are, it’s never an easy choice to make. Are you still on the fence about whether or not it’s a good idea for you to sell your business? If you’re still unsure, see if any of these signs resonate with you.
1. You’re in a Great Spot to Sell
Far too many people assume that businesses get sold when they’re in financial trouble. While it’s true that there may be some people that are eager to close their doors because things aren’t going well, the opposite can be true in many cases. A lot of business owners make businesses with the intention to sell them once they’re profitable enough. If you’ve had a few great years, but feel like you’ve reached your plateau of revenue, now could be the right time to sell. The tricky part of determining the right time to sell comes down to value. Things are great now and have been great for years, but what if they got better? The last thing you’ll want to do is sell your business before things really started to take off! That’s why we’re big advocates of consulting services. Bringing in trusted experts that can carefully evaluate the true value of your business and analyze market trends can help give you peace of mind that selling is the right choice.
2. You’re Eager For New Opportunities
Maybe you feel like you’ve taken your business as far as it can go. Or perhaps you’re just not as passionate about it as you used to be, and other industries and ventures feel more exciting to you. It’s okay to admit that you’re feeling a little bored and want to try something new. Some business owners feel guilty about wanting to walk away unless they have what they see as a “good” reason, but sometimes having a change in interest is enough of a sign. Take time to think about the last time you truly felt excited to go to work or were energized by a new project. If you can’t remember when that was, it could be a good reason to sell.
3. The Industry Has Changed
A piece of legislation may have passed that severely and negatively affects the way you can conduct your business. The Amazons and Walmarts of the world could have decided to hone in on your market, and now you can’t compete. It isn’t uncommon for businesses that once seemed like a sure thing to become less attractive over time. There are always ups and downs in the business world, but a fundamental change in the industry could change the way you view your business. If you’re thinking of selling your business because of changes in the industry, take time to do your research. Read some industry-specific publications to see what experts are saying and also look at market trends. You could truly be in a rough patch, or find that now is the right time to sell.
4. You’re Feeling Burnt Out
Running a business isn’t easy, and that’s true regardless of if you’re running a small mom and pop operation or manage several locations across the country. Being an entrepreneur can take a lot out of you, and it may be better to sell now before you feel like you’re completely running on empty. If you feel like your business is too much to handle, you should make sure that selling is the only way to solve your problems. Sometimes making a few changes to processes can be enough to give you some relief. Talking to a business consultant about ways to improve your day to day at work could be what you need. They can help you think of ways to make your business more efficient and try to give you back some of your time.
How To Sell A Business: Our Definitive Guide For Florida Entrepreneurs
Now that you have an idea of why some people choose to sell, it’s time to focus on how to sell your business. It’s important to note that there’s no timeline for selling a business. You could find a potential buyer within weeks of making the decision, or you may have to wait months or longer to find the right person. Regardless of how long it takes, you’ll want to make sure that you’re set up to successfully sell. If you’re serious about selling your business, expect to follow these steps in the coming days and weeks.
Start Crunching Numbers
It’s time to call up your accountant and tax consultant. They’re going to help you answer a lot of important financial questions that can help you during the selling process. Find out your company’s revenue over the past few years, and do some projections to see what you expect to bring in after you sell. Doing future projections may seem strange when you’re trying to sell, but those numbers can come in handy when you’re looking for buyers. When you’re doing this, make sure you get a proper valuation for your business. Remember, revenue projections and other accounting information can tell you a lot about your financial situation, but it isn’t the same as understanding the true value of your business.
Talk To Your Lawyers
If you want to learn how to sell a small business the right way, look no further than your lawyer. Accountants and consultants are going to play a big role when you sell your business, but the lawyer you choose is going to be absolutely crucial in making sure you’re set up to sell. Talk to a legal representative about what you want to do. Figure out what your legal obligations are to shareholders, employees, or partners. The right lawyer could even play a big role in helping you set up your next business venture. We recommend getting them started as soon as you make the decision to sell if you want to know how to sell a business quickly. It’s important to make sure that you’re setting yourself up the right way.
Bring in a Broker
It’s possible that this may not be the first business that you’ve sold. You could have a few interested buyers in mind, or you may already know which buyer you’d like to go with. Regardless of what your experience in selling businesses is or what sellers you have linked up, always bring in a broker to help. A broker can do a lot to help you through every step of the business selling process. In some ways, you can view your broker as your professional selling liaison that can help you manage the entire process. If you’re missing professional help from lawyers, CPAs, or even people that deal with insurance and property, the right broker can refer you to experts in their professional network. They can help you find potential buyers for your business or could evaluate some leads you already have. Brokers are also great resources for busy business sellers. Remember, selling a business doesn’t just take a lot of time to happen; it also takes a lot of time to do. If you’re already busy with your next business venture or other projects, a broker can handle things while you focus on other important matters.
Envision Your Ideal Buyer
When you think about the kind of person or company you want to buy your business, what comes to mind? Understanding who your ideal buyer is can make it easier for you to effectively pitch to them (more on that soon). If you aren’t sure of who your ideal buyers are, a broker can lead you in the right direction. Some people may consider selling to their competitors. Your business could be an attractive prospect for local business owners that want to corner more of their market. The buyer will also already have an idea of the market and industry you’re in, which could make for an easier sell. Have you considered selling to an employee? Nobody could know your business any better, and knowing that you’re selling to someone you can trust can give you peace of mind. Foreign buyers, investment groups, partner-buyouts, and even family members can all be on the table in terms of potential buyers. Take time to think about which one would be best for you.
Set the Right Price
You have all of the financial data you need from your accountant and your business valuation. Now it’s time to sit down with your business broker and determine the best asking price for your business. Setting a price tag that’s too high is sure to slow down the selling process. You could miss out on attracting ideal buyers if you ask for too much in the beginning. However, it’s also important to note that setting the price too low isn’t good either. You want to get what your business is truly worth, and selling too low could be something you regret. Remember, negotiations are sure to happen with any business deal. You could get a little lower or higher than what you’re asking for. That’s why it’s important to set a reasonable price early on so you can make sure you get a good deal.
Come Up With Your Pitch
Now that you have an idea of what your business is worth and have a team of professionals to help you, it’s time to start thinking about how you’re going to attract buyers. Having a broker that has plenty of potential buyers can be helpful, but even the longest list of interested buyers won’t do much if you can’t sell your company. That’s why it’s important to come up with a pitch strategy that can knock people out of the park. What makes your business appealing to a buyer? For some people, it may be getting a foothold in the industry or expanding their reach in your current area. Others may be interested in running an already successful company or could even be able to see potential in companies that need a little work before they become truly successful.
Plan Your Exit Strategy
You may sell your business in a matter of weeks, or you could sell it a few years down the line. Regardless of your time frame, make sure you prepare a solid exit strategy for when the time comes. Talk to your lawyer and accountant about what paperwork is required from both partners. You’d be surprised at how long it can take to gather a few signatures. That’s why we recommend getting this started as soon as you find the right buyer. It’s also important to think about what you plan on telling employees. The new owner may choose to keep them on, they may want to bring in their own staff, or possibly do a combination of both. It’s important to get an idea of what next steps the new owner plans on taking so people are prepared accordingly.
Ready to Sell?
Knowing how to sell a business is an important skill, and that’s true even if you get professional help. Having an explicit understanding of what it takes to successfully sell a business can help set you up for success. Have you made the decision to sell and want to bring in professional help? Are you unsure of if you want to sell but want to keep your options open? Whatever you need, we’re here to help. Be sure to contact us so we can start talking about the best way to sell your business.