If you are thinking of selling your business, there are some steps you’ll want to follow and some ideas to brainstorm. In the end, it is your company that we are talking about, so suddenly giving up on it should be carefully considered. If you have never sold a company before or never even got close to selling, you don’t know how much of a headache this process can be; that is why it is better to have someone help you and guide you throughout this procedure. If someone told me years ago that my business would take such a long time to sell, I would have reached out to the right people. Okay, enough talk – let’s get down to business. Here are the most important things to be careful about and pay attention to before selling your small business.
1. Set Goals for the Purchase
Prior to meeting with your future company owner or any other investors, make sure that you know your data very well. That means, ensure that you know exactly what you are selling, set strict yet valuable conditions, and take the necessary space before saying "yes" to the offer that they are making you. Write down the criteria for the deal that you would personally accept. Also, write down how high/low you are determined/willing to go. If you are more of a risker, make sure that you know when to push and when to wait and turn that selling process into a smooth operation.
2. Cultivate Relationships
Cultivating a real relationship lays the foundation of any successful sale, so make friends with the investors that you will be meeting. Focus on the things that they need and want; this is how you add value to their input. Make sure you listen to them actively (not to respond, listen to understand!) and be as open as possible. Even though it is your business and things can get intense, start the meeting with an open mind and be as present as you can.
Be mindful. Be inherently interested in what the other person has to say and curious about their intention. Ask questions that interest you but only after they’ve finished talking, showing respect. Think that the person in front of you is a helpful tool to helping you climb the success ladder. Also think that they might have come with various expectations; since you have none, you are as malleable as possible, turning this sale into your event.
3. Know Your Customers
As a business owner, psychologist, and NSBroker specialist, I am telling you: knowing who you are dealing with is crucial. It will help you figure out what the other person is looking into and expecting.
Ask them about their motivations, goals, interests, and see where they fall in this big picture. What do they have that can advance your business in a hot minute? What can they change within the company? Can they evolve? Can they help the employees evolve? What is their mindset and why do you like it? What are some of the points that you find most attractive regarding how your business will be run? Let them come up with a practical strategy and present it to you. Then let them expand on it and tell you more about it. If you’re able to help them out, do it!
4. Analyze the Offer
When your company "fits a hole" in a corporate portfolio, it’ll quickly sell. Here’s your test: do not rush! Take time to analyze the offer and make the sale. Give them time to think too. Be honest and fair when explaining the situation, even if they’d like to get a positive response from the start. Tell them that you’d like to analyze their offer and run it to your business partner before accepting it. Tell them that you want to make sure that this is the best offer that you can get before selling. Be straightforward.
5. Your Industry
You know your industry the best, so a major point that you’d want to consider is explaining it to others. Some interested investors will not have any history in this domain, so it’s important to take time and explain the model to your clients. In the end, you want them to maximize your company’s potential! So, once you took the decision to sell, help them figure your industry out and driving value to your business. Have them understand how your finances work and encourage them to check them progressively. Tell them the ups and downs of this business and ask them if they have any questions. Be as helpful as you can once the decision is made!
6. Don’t Take Things Personally
Many business owners make the mistake of taking things personally, which is a complete disadvantage for making a good sale. If you want to cultivate a relationship and build on it, make sure that you understand where your client is coming from too. Do not appear too personal too quickly but do keep an open mind and smile when reaching out. Give the other person their personal space too. Use non-defensive body language and tone. React to how they are reacting.
7. Trust Yourself
Last but not least, you got to trust yourself when making a sale. Here are some techniques that might give you a boost in confidence:
- Try meditation. Sit, breathe, react less, engage, understand.
- Focus on thinking less. Do not lose yourself with analysis paralysis. Getting stuck in your thoughts leads to less trustable action and thus, fewer sales.
- Focus on where you are right now. You cannot sell a business without running one first, so congratulate yourself on what you achieved. Make sure you give yourself enough credit for it.
Selling your business must be an important part of your life, so ensure that you know all the tips and tricks before running the process. Set your goals, know your customers, cultivate the relationship, analyze the offer, and do not forget to trust yourself!