A buyer will want up-to-date financial information. If you use accountants, you can work with them on making current information available. The basic initial information required is 3 years of profit and loss statements and income tax returns.
Another critical success factor in selling is to continue to run your business successfully. All buyers will want to verify recent months performance and if the numbers are decreasing it can make it very difficult to complete a sale.
Confidentiality – You must not tell anyone that your business is for sale. Key employees might resign, reducing the value to a prospective buyer. Employee theft may occur. Suppliers might jump ship. Competitors will use this information against you. Customers may leave and sales will drop. Confidentiality is also important to build the image value of your business to our prospect.
Business Hours – Please keep your normal operating hours. There is a tendency for some sellers to “letdown” when they put their businesses up for sale. However, the prospects must see your business at its best and most productive.
Housekeeping – Repair signs, replace lights, clean the premises, and dress up your presentation. Your business must look its best and any negative features eliminated before a showing.
Inventory – Maintain your inventory at a normal level, keep it fresh and properly displayed. Remove any items that are not included in the sale price, if possible.
Buyer/Seller Meetings – No one knows your business better than you do, so please help in physically showing your operation. Answer the buyer’s questions and be prepared to discuss the day-to-day operation. Do not discuss the purchase price or terms; defer these questions to your broker. It is best not to meet with a prospect without your Broker present. Our job is to get you the best deal; this cannot be done if we are out of the information loop.
Offers to Purchase – Business Brokerage Services has an obligation to bring you any and all offers, no matter what the price and terms. Astute buyers will usually make low initial offers to insure that they are going to get the best-possible price and terms. Do not feel insulted by low offers; this is just a starting point. The prospect that makes a low offer may be the prospect that eventually buys your business.
Immediately – Notify your Broker of any changes in your business; a buyer will quickly disappear if new information is disclosed after initial interest.