If you're going to business brokers in pursuit of selling your business, you want to capture as much profit as possible. That often means improving the way that your business looks on paper, from the profits to the expenses. There are some things that can potentially undervalue your business that you'll want to address, in addition to valuable improvements you should make. Here are some of the major issues you should be looking out for.
1. Reduce Any Excessive Expenses
If you haven't optimized your expenses recently, your business may be operating on profit margins that are more narrow than they should be. While you, the business owner, may know that you're paying more in rent because of convenience or preference, the buyer isn't going to see it this way. Before you sell your business, you should reduce expenses as much as possible, with this in mind.
2. Thoroughly Document Your Business Processes
Business buyers want to be able to slot themselves into the business immediately and hit the ground running. When reviewing your business, they're going to ask about your written processes, management strategies and other business plan initiatives. If you don't have written processes for everything your business does, potential owners are going to see a nightmare rather than a dream.
3. Reduce Any Large Collections Accounts
Collection accounts cut into the actual profit of your business. Though collectibles may technically be assets, there's some element of uncertainty; it's possible that they will never be recovered. Taking an extra effort to collect on any overdue accounts is important. Any accounts that cannot be collected on can be turned over to third-party collection agencies, to bring some revenue in.
4. Make Future Plans and Focus on Your Growth
When selling a business, many business owners halt their growth and improvement initiatives. However, this can be dangerous. New buyers want to see a business that is growing and that has potential. If they see that the business has stalled and stagnated, they may have no reason to believe that the business isn't going to stay static once they purchase it. Being able to show stable, real growth over time is a great step towards assuaging these doubts.
Selling a small business, in particular, can be very difficult. Buyers want to have a guarantee of profits that simply may not be there, and may need to go through a long-term transition. Professional business brokers can help.