How to Sell Your Business for More

How to Sell Your Business for More

How to sell your business for more.  At some point a business owner considers selling their business.  Sometimes it is just a fleeting thought.  Sometimes its a thought of  “I don`t need this anymore, get me out”.  Other times its a well planned out progressive process.  You want to sell your business- how do you sell it for more.

This sounds like a fairly straight forward approach, but just as the selling of a business process can be very involved, the question of how to sell it for more firstly needs definition.  I am a business broker based in Anderson South Carolina, focus on businesses for sale in Florida and South Carolina,  and speak to many many business owners about the potential sale of their business.  I also sold my own business several years ago.

Selling Your Business When The Time Is Right

Selling my Greenville SC Business

Just consider the simple analogy of having a rusty bike in the garage with flat tires that you want to sell today.  You put it out at the end of the drive way put a For Sale sign on it- what do you think it will sell for?  How can you sell that bike for more tomorrow than you can today?

Selling Your Business For More:

  • Selling your business for more can be a very good thing and very reasonable goal.
  • Trying to sell a business for more than it is worth can ultimately result in your business not being sold at all.
  • Setting the Goal today to improve your business, prepare it for sale so that it is worth more after your improvements is probably your best approach
  • Wanting to sell your business for more than “what you heard a local competitor sold for” can also be a mis-guided path.

Preparing Your Business For Sale

So selling your business for more is a reasonable and understandable goal.  How do you get more for your business?  Start today preparing your business for sale.  Like so many of your other important business decision, prepare yourself a to-do list and systematically address those items.  Below are some items you will want to include on your to-do list to help ready your business to sell for more. Ask and honestly answer these questions about your business.

When looking at how to sell your business for more, ask yourself -How  are your financials?  Are there some unusual entries on your P/L that have escaped needed adjustment?  Are all sales accounted for?   Do you have a good clean P/L statement?  For smaller businesses Do you have a P/L and Balance sheet?

Again, when looking to sell your business for more, determine, how reliant is your business on you.  What can you do today to help your company be more about your company and less about you.?

How documented are your systems, procedures, policies, pricing structure?

Is your customer base as diverse as it should be?  How reliant is your business on a few key customers.  And again do those customers do business with you the business owner or with the company?

Do you have the opportunity to add recurring revenue streams to your business, but elected to not pursue?  Do you have some contracted customers that you just haven’t updated contracts with?

When analyzing how to sell your business fore more, Spend some time to meet with some of your trusted advisers.  Dont rely on information you hear through the grapevine about this person selling their business for this amount.  Talk to your attorney, your accountant , or visit with a business broker start to really learn the marketplace.   Have you scraped the rust off your bike?, painted it ? oiled the chain? pumped up the tires?  put an ad in the newspaper? on the Internet?- Is your bike worth more today than it was yesterday?

How do you sell your business for more tomorrow or next year  than it is worth today?  Start today preparing your business for sale.

Scott Messinger is a Professional Business Broker working with business owners looking to sell their South Carolina Business or Florida Business.  Also working with business buyers throughout the South east USA, throughout the nation, and international business buyers as well.

Currently represent businesses for sale in Anderson South Carolina, Greenville South Carolina, Pendleton South Carolina, Pickens County, Jacksonville Florida as well as other areas of South Carolina and Florida.

For More information or to discuss how to sell your business for more, email  Scott@GatewayBusinessAdvisors.com or call (864) 210-8226

Selling a Business Current Market Information South Carolina Florida

Thinking about Selling a Business Or Buying a Business?   September 2017 Market Information

As a Business Broker Professional, I participate in Quarterly National Surveys along with over 300 other Business Broker professionals. The below are highlights of the most recent results and represents 293 Business Brokers and Advisors in 38 states and over 250 businesses sold in last 3 months. I focus working with Business Sellers in South Carolina and Florida, and work with buyer prospects througout the USA and international. Below are some highlights of these survey results.

What did these 250 + business sell for from April-June 2017?

selling a south carolina business

 

 

 

Businesses sell for a “Multiple” of SDE (Seller Discretionary Earnings)- which is similar to Adjusted Cash Flow- essentially what does the business make for an owner and what could it make for a new owner.
Again, the Multiple Paid for a Business is dependent on size (with some variation- some industries do get paid a higher multiple than other industries). The Multiples paid for businesses sold over the last several years have been somewhat consistent with the average multiple paid for a business that is valued under $1M is approximately 2 X SDE.
How Much Cash at Closing? –

Selling a business

 

 

 

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Some Seller financing is typical in business sales of all sizes.Furthermore business buyer rarely walk in with 100% of the Funds needed out of their own pocket. Very often for a business buyer to come up with the 75-86% cash at closing, financing from a bank (often SBA financing) or other financing is secured by buyer to complete the acquisition. For smaller businesses having the business meet the qualifications for an SBA loan can be a challenge and can make a sale difficult or worse.
Where Do Business Buyers Come From?

buying a South Carolina Business

 

 

 

 

As you can see above, the smaller businesses may find a buyer “down the street”. But the search for a buyer almost ALWAYS requires a search and marketing that includes local, regional, statewide, nationally and often international.

Who Are the Business Buyers?

Buying a South Carolina Business

 

 

 

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Again, searching for a Business Buyer includes marketing for 1sttime buyers, and experienced business owners for “smaller businesses”. But depending on business size contacting competitors, other strategic buyers, and larger investors are all active applicable business buying prospects.
Thanks to the survey information and IBBA, M&A Sources, Pepperdine Capital Markets Project, and the Graziadio School of Business and Management at Pepperdine University.
For more information please feel free to contact me- Scott Messinger
working with Business Sellers in Greenville South Carolina, Anderson, the entire Upstate and Florida and business buyers throughout the USA and internationally.

 

I am currently working for business buyers looking for:
:: Salon Greenville SC area
:: Aviation Parts Business S.Carolina
::Business earning $100k+ cash flow in Upstate
::HVAC Business
::Mfg Business w/$400k+ cash flow in Upstate
::Home Service Business
::Pest Control Business
::Multiple Buyers looking for businesses earning $1M+ cash flow
:: Janitorial Business in Florida
Pack and Ship ANderson SC

Businesses that Want to Sell

Business Owners Have recently Expressed Interest in Selling their business: ….
*Window Cleaning
*Auto Parts online and brick/mortar
*Computer Service
*Hair Salon/Spa –
*Metal Refinishing-
*Commercial Contractor
*Electric Contractor
*Sports Bar – SC
*Carpet Cleaning –
*Ethnic Rest.
*Printing Business

Contact me for any
further info on these or more information on selling a business in South Carolina.

September-2017-  “Whats Important When Buying or Selling a South Carolina  Business
How long does it take to Sell a Business??
I have sold a business in 3 days and one took 3 Years.
I would advise the “average time” to sell a business could be 9-14 months.
If wanting to sell your business next year…. start the process yesterday.

For More info on Selling a Business or Buying a business in SOuth Carolina – Anderson, Greenville, Spartanburg, Clemson, Easly, Greer, Pickens The Upstate and all of South Carolina Florida as well please contact Scott Messinger at:
Scott@Gatewaybusinessadvisors.com

SC- (864) 210-8226
FL (239) 770-2421

 

 

 

Number One Reason For Selling Your Business

What is Number 1 Reason for Selling your Business

– Thinking about Selling your South Carolina Business?

What is the Number 1 Reason I hear when speaking to Business Owners about selling their business?-  Why are you looking to sell your Business?  — ” Because  I Am Ready”.     For those of you who have owned a business for any period of time this is a response that is fairly easy to understand.

Selling Your Business

 

I am a business broker working in both South Carolina and  Florida (and business owner)  and speak to many prospective buyers and sellers of business and understanding  the “Why” for both parties is so important in assisting the buyers and sellers of businesses.  I really think that most people that have given a fleeting thought to buying a business believe that business owners want to sell their business and therefore something must be wrong with the business.  Actually I am currently working on selling a Landscape Business in Florida.

The business owner has a  good quality business for sale, good cash flow, a comfortable lifestyle.  He has owned the business for x years and is “ready to do something else”.  He will be relocating out of state, he owns a successful business he is looking to sell. Recently we spoke about the potential purchase of another business in an unrelated field and his hesitancy about buying a business because why would someone sell a “good” business- .  And this comment is coming from someone selling a “good business”.

I also am currently helping an owner of a Computer Service Store For Sale who`s revenues are up 30% over last year, Profits are up 20% plus and is seeking to sell his business at less than 1 times annual adjusted cash flow.  He also is anxious to start a new business opportunity with a close friend, and that endevor is awaiting the sale of his business.  A good business at a good price and the owner is “ready to move on”.

Solid Reason For Selling Your Business

What is the number one reason for selling your business?

Good businesses get sold for very good reasons.  Being “ready to do something else” is a good reason.    A seller of a business needs to be ready to sell.  Really- you only really exit your business by 2 means.

1. By your choice-your timeframe, your plan.

2. Not by your choice– closing due to business failure, business conditions, bankruptcy,Forced Sale.

Granted there may be certain undesirable business or personal events that prompts one to “be ready”.  A business owner may have additional employee problems and decide that enough is enough and that is the impetus to sell ones business.  New frustrating regulation, customer problems, and any one of numerous  problems a business owner may face may be  the “final straw” and induce a business owner to pursue the sale of the business.

But again for any  business owner that has owned and managed a business for an extended period of time problems such as these come and go.  Business can be going quite well and the owner may just be ready to move on.  Actually selling a business while the business is doing well is a well thought out exit strategy for a business owner.  And yes problems can and, do come along with the business.  Problems within the business does not make a business a bad business.

A business owner may “just be Ready” to:

  • retire
  • try  something new- a second career
  • want to move or relocate
  • Just be done running the business I have been running for the last 20 years

I am not aware of the existence of a Perfect Business. Even the best of business opportunities will likely contain issues and or undesirable situations.  But if you truly want to own your own business and move into the role of business owner- Understand that good business are being sold by business owners that are just ready…. to move on.

Scott M Messinger is a Business Broker in Anderson South Carolina and Florida as well.  I work with both business sellers and buyers.  Looking to sell your Anderson South Carolina business or Selling your Upstate business?  Contact me for a free confidential discussion.

Steps Involved with Selling a Business

Steps Involved with Selling a Business

There are many steps involved with selling a business

Steps Involved with Selling a Business

Steps Involved with Selling a Business

Buying or Selling a Business is a process.   The below provides a framework to define the steps involved with selling a business in South Carolina, Florida or SE USA..  The size and type of business that one may be buying or selling will influences the complexity of each of these steps.  I am a Business Broker based in Anderson South Carolina.  I work with Business Sellers in South Carolina, Florida and Business Buyers locally, throughout the US and International as well.  Every Business Sale transaction is different but share some similarities as well.

1)  INITIAL INFORMATION REVIEW– Gathering needed information and protecting that information ensuring Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure Agreements are signed to assure confidentiality related to this  private matter.  Irreparable harm can occur if the confidential content of discussions and negotiations are improperly disclosed. Seller reserves right to approve potential buyers and may require that additional buyer information/capability be submitted before confidential information is released to the  buyer of the business.

2)  THE INITIAL MEETING: At the first meeting, the potential   buyer of the business  will want to know specifics from the owner potentially including  seller’s motives for selling the company as well as more detailed information about the business.  Conversely, the seller will want to know how if  the buyer is the type of person to whom he wants to sell the company. If the results of the initial meeting warrant further consideration of the deal, the buyer will next begin to evaluate the company and develop a financial structure for the proposed business purchase.

3)  THE LETTER OF INTENT/PURCHASE CONTRACT: Either a contract with

contingencies or a letter of intent will be presented. A letter of intent may have an ” escape clause”  in it to allow one or both parties the opportunity to withdraw from the deal if certain conditions are not met.  The letter of intent will address :

  • The purchase price/ consideration – Selling price of cash, notes, equity, or some combination of these.
  • What is being purchased — Assets, liabilities, and operations that are being transferred to the buyer and those being retained by the seller should be identified.

    Structure — The parties need to agree about whether the sale will be a sale of assets, a sale of stock, a merger, or some other structure. Whether the SBA, bank, or owner takes back a note, the company cash flows must be able to support that loan.

  • The definitive purchase agreement — As the buyer begins its detailed evaluation of the company, the attorneys will be preparing the purchase agreements. The Sales Purchase contract is usually drafted by the buyer’s attorney.
  • Due diligence — The seller will need to have ready his financial records, all corporate records,pertinent  contracts and all pertinent other  documents  that the buyer of the business will be requesting for review once the letter of intent or contract is signed. This will allow the buyer of the business to analyze the company in greater depth to determine whether everything has been represented properly, whether he wants to buy the company, and, if so, the appropriate price to pay. A purchase price is usually negotiated based in part on historical financial information. and future potential earnings.
  • Escrow — The buyer will establish an escrow account  into which his initial  Good Faith deposit of monies shall be deposited and handled by a 3rd party escrow agent .
  • Other significant items-  non- compete terms,  and employment contracts.   leases and long-term purchase contracts, and any other pertinent business agreements shall be addressed.
  • Professional fees – Usually the buyer and seller will bear their own costs for attorneys and accountants.
  • Conditions and Timing for closing. Usually the closing is within two weeks after all contingencies have been completed, and like most steps in the buying or selling of a business this time is negotiable.

4)  CLOSING– Once all issues have been resolved, the documents are signed, and the consideration exchanges hands, the deal is in condition to close. The actual closing marks the conclusion of the process.

Again buying or selling a business is a process and depending upon the size of the business and type of business this process from start to end can take several months or even longer.  There are many steps involved with selling a business.  Due diligence when buying or selling a business is a very important part of this process. Negotiations are made at most every step of the process as new information becomes available and additional analyses are performed.

In a successful negotiation, both the buyer and the seller need to be flexible and to understand which points are important  and which ones may be “deal breakers”.  Most people may buy or sell a business maybe once in his or hers life.  Following  the advise of a trusted advisor such as a business broker can help increase the likelihood of a successful business sale or business acquisition. The steps involved with selling a business can vary and each business is different yet the above is intended to provide basic framework.

 

Scott Messinger is a business broker based in Anderson South Carolina and work with business sellers in South Carolina including Anderson, Greenville, Spartanburg, Clemson and the Upstate areas.  Also work with Business Sellers in Florida and business buyers throughout the USA and Internationally. many areas of USA.

Selling My Business Next Year

I was thinking about selling my  business next year….   last year, but didn’t take any steps … yet.  And now another year is gone and 2017 is approaching.  I do plan on selling my business next year. Getting a business ready for sale is both advisable and prudent.  Waking up one day and deciding you want to sell your business tomorrow may not be a good idea.  Deciding that you would like to sell your business as an exit strategy and putting together a plan is likely to maximize your gain from the sale of your business.

Selling My Business Next Year

Selling My Business Next Year

You could easily Google Preparing your business for sale and find many many articles/list and sources of information.   I had written a related article in the past as well.  But beyond the list- what of these methods are most important?  Are all of these measures necessary or are they just guidelines?

I had sold my own business of 20 years, I had considered several offers over the years, I went thru various stages of decisions as to how I would exit my business.  At some point I realized that my exit strategy would be to sell my business if I could find the right situation.  But from my perspective the most important part of my approach was to commit to running my business as if I would own it  perpetually.

So many businesses that try to sell- don’t sell.  A business owner needs to realize this and allow this fact to influence their thought process.  Currently I am a business broker in Anderson South Carolina and work with business sellers and business buyers in South Carolina, Florida , and South east USA.

Be Realistic When Deciding On Selling Your Business

Many components and aspects of your business should be looked at from a realistic standpoint, critiqued,  and adjusted as needed when preparing your business for an eventual sale.  Often its easy to think “selling my business next year”,  but the months and years can go by and next year never happens. When Selling My business next year, steps should be taken this year… or now.   Some important areas to address when looking to sell your business include:

  • Either develop, establish, or refine your business operational procedures, practices, and methodologies and have them documented
  • Does your business rely on you the business owner?  If so, make changes to reduce that reliance.
  • Clean financials-  Does your Income statement and Balance Sheet make sense ?

But the question to pose is what of these measures is most important or essential as it relates to preparing for the sale of my business?

In my opinion it is accurate , sensible, reliable Financial records.

The Importance Of Reliable Financial Records

Typical financials involved with the sale of you business can include Profit/Loss or Income Statements, Balance Sheets and   Tax Records.  Further into the due diligence process of your business good  Sales Journals, Customer Information, Inventory Info,   all can go a long way to maximizing the value of your business.

Clean financial records are so essential to all parties involved with the acquisition of a business. And all involved includes the Seller, the buyer, and possibly a bank, lender or third party investor.

So when looking to Sell your business-

  • If you have a great business that is producing great margins, produces a great bottom line, and a very high owner benefit- but the financial records do not support this – what do you have?
  • If you have a business that you own and run it semi-absentee, great systems, increasing sales, good industry but poor financial records- what do you have?
  • If you have the nicest looking, shiniest looking store, website, equipment, office or vehicles, but your financial records don’t make sense- what do you have?
  • Looking to sell your business next year?  Start working on your financial records today.

Scott Messinger is a Business Broker and Business owner based in Anderson South Carolina.  He has personally purchased 8+ small businesses and currently works with both business sellers and business buyers in both South Carolina and Florida. For a free consultation call Scott in South Carolina at (864) 210-8226 or Florida (239) 770-2421.