Set The Right Timing



Selling Your Business: Timing Is Everything

Knowing the right time to sell is key to getting the best return for your business. Here are five things to consider about your exit strategy.

One of the most critical decisions an entrepreneur makes is determining the best time to bring in outside investors or sell the business entirely. Similar to investing in stocks or playing a game of poker, you need to have a strategy in place to know when to cash in your chips and maximize payout. Getting the timing right is key to getting the highest return for the business you've worked so hard to build.

Here are five points to keep in mind as you evaluate your options.

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Timing Is Everything When Selling A Business

In the late 1990s when stock prices soared for dot-com companies, investment banker Fred Rock was advising the owner of a small Pittsburgh-based technology firm who wanted to sell the business and retire, but decided to hold out for a higher price.

As the technology bubble burst in 2001 and the economy slipped into recession, it became clear that the owner had waited too long and his company was worth about one-third of what it had been before the crash.

Once again, the owner waited. He finally sold the business in 2005, although for far less than he would have received in 1999. But if he had waited until 2008, he would have run into worse problems due to the recession.

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Selling A Business Is All About Timing

When you decide to put your business on the market, you will want to get the best price possible for it because the prospects for its growth are high.

This will probably happen when: your company is growing significantly and the trend is likely to continue, the industry you represent is also growing, and the condition of the overall economy is favourable.

Many investors are attracted to high-growth industries because an expanding market provides more opportunities for creating a new business.

However, all high-growth industries eventually slow down to a rate of growth that is much lower, cannot support new competitors entering the market, and may even be unable to sustain the existing players.

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Timing The Sale Of Your Business Right

Ideally you'll sell when your business achieves its full potential

Reasons for selling a business can include retirement or the owner falling ill.

But in many ways disposing of a business when your health is failing is the worst time to do it; the added stress and pressure of realising an adequate value will be hard to handle. The best time to begin a sales process is when the seller is healthy and can concentrate on getting the best possible deal for the business.

It is a popular theory that the best time to sell your business is when you don’t have to. When the seller’s turnover and profits are high is a great time to sell – quitting while you’re ahead, if you like.

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Selling Your Business And Timing - Factors To Consider

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Business owners often ask us about the timing regarding the sale of their companies. Ultimately, the best time to sell is when the market tells you it is best.

In other words, if you wait until you are ready, chances are good that you will enter the market at a time that may be less than optimal. However, if you take your company to market when external circumstances are right, you will typically get an optimal value for your business.

What are some of the external factors you need to examine in relation to the sale of your company? Some of them include economic cycles, taxes, and favorable market conditions including buyer activity.

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