Is Your Business Saleable?

Many business owners probably have asked themselves this question. There are many unique and different types of business. Some fill very small niches while others have carved out a unique product or service while still others require a unique or very specialized talent, knowledge or experience. An owner of a “unique” or at least unusual business may feel that there is no one out there who would buy it.

Almost all businesses are saleable, but the big question is: Is the seller willing to sell? Because of Internet marketing and other new technologies, business brokerage professionals know how to reach potential buyers world-wide. Somewhere there is a buyer for almost every business. Locating the right buyer is the job of the business broker professional, who recognizes that the seller’s willingness to sell is the key. Why is a seller selling; what is important and what is not. If a business owner just wants to see what the market might pay for the business; or hopes to “make a killing” on a sale – it most likely won’t sell.

Gauging what is most important in the selling process is very important. Following are some critical factors that every seller or would-be seller should assess:

  • Full price
  • Down payment
  • Keeping existing employees
  • New owner’s plans for the business
  • Confidentiality
  • Selling costs
  • Buyer qualifications
  • Keeping the business locally
  • Providing jobs for children/relatives
  • Structure of the sale

There may be other factors that are important. Keep in mind that every one comes with a string attached. What are the most important ones? Will you bend on them? Will you lose a sale over it? Businesses with a broad appeal and a successful track record are in a much better position to stand firm on the important factors. The unique or niche businesses or those with a less stellar track record may have to be willing to bend on any or all.

Sellers should tell their business broker professional what is really important – and take note of the one or two factors that could be “deal-breakers.”  Remember: almost all business can be sold, but every sale requires a willing buyer – and a willing seller.