I have compiled some excellent resources covering most of the aspects
involved in preparing a business for sale. They should be extremely
helpful as you contemplate how to value the business, prepare a sales
and marketing strategy and find potential buyers. Selling a business
is quite complex and a sample generic sales presentation template is
not readily available online. However, I think the information I have
referenced will provide you with a thorough overview of the
information you need to help you move forward in this process.
SELLING A BUSINESS
These first links are comprised of some general overviews concerning
the sale of a business which might be helpful.
"10 Important Steps for Preparing a Business for Sale."
1. It is never too early to start thinking about selling the business....
2. Make sure you have a good management team in place....
3. Clean up your financial reporting act...
4. Credibility is paramount...
5. Have a valuation prepared by someone qualified and familiar with your
6. Simplify your business structure and process to the extent possible...
7. Consider efficient tax structures or elections early on...
8. Use experienced professional advisers...
9. Determine whether you really need an investment banker or business broker to
sell your business....
10. Be ready to sell....
"Preparing to Sell Your Business - 10 steps to take now -even if
you're years away from selling your business," By Loraine MacDonald
1. Get a business valuation.
2. Get your books in order.
3. Understand the true profitability of your business.
4. Consult your financial advisor.
5. Make a good first impression.
6. Organize your legal paperwork
7. Consider management succession.
8. Know your reason for selling.
9. Get your advisory team in place
10. Keep your eye on the ball.
"The time to sell - The economy's hot, and buyers are flush with cash.
Here's how to get a top price for your business," By Justin Martin,
FSB Magazine. September 22 2006
"What's your business worth - really? - Take the guesswork out of
setting a sale price by calculating your business's 'Ebitda'," By
Justin Martin, FSB Magazine. August 30 2006
"Fresh ways to find buyers - Business brokers and Internet sites
present new opportunities for bringing buyers and sellers together,"
By Justin Martin, FSB Magazine. August 28 2006
"What you must do if it's time to sell your business," by Marcia Heroux Pounds.
"Before putting up that "for sale" sign, a business first needs to get
its house in order......
"5 tips for selling your business," By Joseph Anthony
"No Exit? When the time comes to sell your business, will you be
ready? Here's what you need to know to navigate all the options -
management," by Gerald W. Brown. Pool & Spa News, April 5, 2002
A more in-depth presentation of points to consider when preparing your
business for sales can be found on the ExitBiz website. Be sure to
scroll through all the pages on each link!
See "The Process Of Selling A Business."
Preparing to Sell (be sure to click on all 7 pages)
Pricing, Positioning the Business Sale (click on all 5 pages)
Marketing the Business Sale
Negotiating the Business Sale
Working with a Business Broker
Also read about various sales methods:
"Selling your business: Choosing the best method."
VALUATION OF THE BUSINESS
Determining the value of your business before you sell is of utmost
importance from the buyer's and the seller's standpoint. This can be a
complex undertaking and you might opt to utilize the services of a
professional business broker.
A brief overview of business valuation can be found on the following links:
Business valuation methods fall into the following categories,
depending on what their major focus is:
- business assets, including book value and liquidation value methods
- historical earnings, including debt-paying ability, capitalization of earnings
or cash flow, gross income multipliers, and dividend-paying ability methods
- a combination of assets and earnings, namely, the excess earnings method
- the market for similar businesses, including comparable sales, industry rule
of thumb, and p/e ratio methods
- future earnings, namely, discounted future cash flow or earnings methods
"How Much Is This Business Worth? If you're interested in purchasing
an existing business, here are a few ways to gauge its value," By
"How Intangible Assets Affect Business Value - When pricing your
business for sale, intangible assets--such as people, knowledge and
marketplace position--can be even more important than tangible
property," By Edward Karstetter
Business Valuation Calculator
PREPARING FOR SALE
Numerous preparatory sales steps are outlined on the following site.
(Please makes sure to click on each headlined link to read each
section in full.)
"Preparing to Sell Your Business - Someday Soon."
Also see "Preparing to Sell Your Business."
Scroll down to Subjects covered in the guide and then choose "Print Now."
Some of the key factors that can affect the value of your business are
listed below http://www.businesslink.gov.uk/bdotg/action/detail?r.l3=1074410825&r.l2=1074400490&r.l1=1073861225&r.s=sc&type=RESOURCES&itemId=1074411173
Current, recent and projected profits and cashflow.
How well you control costs.
State of the economy in general and your market in particular.
How similar businesses are being valued.
How many potential purchasers are interested in the business.
Goodwill and intellectual property such as patents.
Strength of customer relationships - and how profitable they are.
Your business' growth potential.
Assets and liabilities
Value of assets such as property, equipment and stock-in-hand.
How full your order book is.
Level of debt and other existing liabilities.
The management's record of success.
How dependent the business is on your own skills - and the likely
extent of your future involvement.
Experience and commitment of key staff.
"While some of these factors are outside your control, you can take
steps to make your business as valuable as possible. You need to start
planning well in advance. Consider inserting an exit strategy into
your original business plan. For more information, see our guide on
preparing to sell your business."
"Remember that any valuation you and your advisers come up with is
likely to be subjective. Business owners often place too high a value
on their business. In the end, the value of your business is only as
much as a purchaser is prepared to offer."
A general overview for selling your business can be found below:
"The decision to sell your business is one of the most important
decisions you will ever make."
The following powerpoint presentation has numerous cases studies and
elements that may be of value to you. (Simply ignore what does not
apply, but scroll through the entire presentation to cull out what you
"Exit Planning for Privately Held Businesses - Tradition or Monetary Value?
Some additional matters to consider can be found in:
"Planning your exit from your business."
A few steps might be useful in the following article from Business Week:
Also see "How to find the right buyer for your business."
Follow these steps to find the right buyer for your business:
"Develop a high-quality and comprehensive document that describes your
business and its background. You will share this document with
prospective buyers who are developing their first impressions of your
business. Clearly disclose any negative issues that are involved in
the business. Disclosure will reduce litigation risks, add to your
credibility with potential buyers, and save you time by eliminating
those who are unwilling to accept the realities of your business. Most
importantly, portray a vision of the future for your company. Buyers
need to understand your company's past, but keep in mind that they are
investing in its future."
"Create a "profile" of the ideal buyer. You possess skills that are
critical to the success of your business, and you want to find a buyer
with similar characteristics. Also remember that a buyer with
additional skills, aspirations and resources may be able grow your
business substantially and consequently may be willing to pay more for
it. Although you probably don't want to put a price on your business,
you will need to know how much a bank is willing to lend for the
acquisition and how much cash a qualified buyer will need. Don't waste
your time with buyers who are not financially qualified or who are
expecting you to finance the transaction."
"Market the business proactively -- but confidentially. Your goal in
the marketing process is to engage multiple qualified buyers.
Therefore, you should directly contact individuals, business owners
and investors who fit the profile you have developed. As you begin to
market the business, don't reveal the name or location of your
business to prospective buyers unless they have signed a
confidentiality agreement that protects your information and the fact
that your business is for sale. The loss of confidentiality could put
you at risk of losing key employees or customers; and that can
negatively impact your operating results and reduce the value of your
business and, ultimately, your estate."
"Screen buyers aggressively...
"Engage a team of trusted, experienced professionals to aid you in the
process. Your accountant and your attorney will play key roles, and
their expertise will be invaluable in consummating a successful
"Preparing Your Business for Sale," by Russell L. Brown, MBA
"Strategies for Successfully Buying or Selling a Business."
"This authoritative book contains eight information packed chapters
and includes nine appendices with all the example contracts and forms
needed to consummate the sale. It also has an index and a full
glossary of all the terms needed to have the edge you need as you deal
with buyers, sellers, business brokers, attorneys, accountants, and
bankers. The reader will learn the pros and cons of dealing with
business brokers, how to evaluate the financial worth of a business,
how to find sellers or buyers, how to position themselves to get the
best possible advantage in negotiations, how to accomplish the
all-important due diligence process, how to arrange seller financing,
and how to successfully close the deal."
If you want to consider using the services of a business broker, have
a look at the following search string:
I wish you the best of luck in this venture!
how to sell your business
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"business for sale" powerpoint or brochure
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