If you have built a business to the point of success but are now ready to sell it, you have two main options. You can sell the business yourself, or you can hire a broker to sell it for you. While there are business owners who sell their own businesses successfully, they are the exception to the rule. For the majority of business owners, broker services are the far better choice. Here's why.
Selling a business takes a lot of time.
Between researching the market value of your business, hunting for a buyer, and handling all of the necessary paperwork, the process of selling a business is extraordinarily time-consuming. If you handle this all yourself, doing so will take you away from your other work. The money you pay for a broker will be well worth the time they save you. Plus, it will take the broker a lot less time to handle these tasks than it would take you, since they are used to handling these things day in and day out. You would have to do a lot of learning along the way -- assuming you have not sold a business before -- and this would slow down the process even further.
Brokers have access to buyers.
The job of a broker is to make connections between buyers and sellers. As such, a good business broker knows and is in touch with plenty of people who are interested in buying businesses. They will often know, off the top of their head, who might be looking for the type of business you are selling. With a broker, you may have access to numerous buyers who you would otherwise never find out about. With multiple possible buyers lined up, you are likely to get a better price for your business.
Brokers can streamline the paperwork.
There is so much paperwork involved in selling a business. If you fill anything out incorrectly, it will hold up the process -- and you might be on the phone with the bank or your lawyer for hours! A broker, on the other hand, can check over your paperwork and make sure everything is in shape before it is submitted, so you don't have to re-submit anything. You'll probably have one big, paperwork signing day -- much like when you close on a house.
A Broker Can Value Your Business Properly
As the owner of the business, you may have a skewed idea of how much it is really worth. Some owners over-value their businesses because they have worked so hard and take that work into account when pricing the business. Others under-value their business due to modesty. A broker will have a better idea of what your business is really worth than you do. This will help ensure you make as much as possible on the sale.
A Broker Can Make Sure the Deal Suits You
Sometimes there are complicated considerations when selling a business. You may need to decide who gets to keep the rights to certain recipes, or whether you are selling a certain copyright with the business. A broker can help you decide which options will benefit you the most. They can also help ensure smaller details are dealt with fairly between you and the buyer.
If you've decided to sell your business, contact a broker. They will start by asking you questions about your day-to-day business operations, finances, and industry. Based on your information, they can then start recommending possible buyers and give you a better idea of how much you can expect from the sale. The process can move quickly, so make sure you're ready!