News for Sellers

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3 Overlooked Ways To Make Selling Your Business Easier

When my husband, Chris, and I sold our retail espresso business in 2006 we had the wind at our backs. It was pre-recession. Valuations were high and the business-for-sale marketplace was hot. Regardless, it was a tough year of our lives. We had to continue running the business while keeping a sale quiet, find the right advisors, endure lengthy negotiations, respond to a mountain of due diligence requests. By the time we finally made it to the closing table we were too exhausted to even think about celebrating. Looking back on it, the only thing harder than starting our business was selling it. Ask anyone who has sold their business and they will tell you that the process is enlightening, to say the least. Statistically speaking, the odds of starting a successful business appear better than the odds of selling one. New business ventures have about a 50/50 chance of being around after five years. While it’s notoriously difficult to get data about private business sales, according to Tom West — author of The Business Reference Guide — only 25% of businesses will ever sell. That number goes down to 20% for businesses with annual sales less than $500,000 and up to 33% for business with sales between $2.5 million to $10 million. After selling my own business and helping dozens of other business owners sell, I’ve noticed a number of hurdles that get in the way of getting out. Let’s start with three ways to make selling your business easier that many owners ignore: […]

10 Things That Can Kill Your Business

By John Warrillow – Founder, The Value Builder System Your revenue, profits and the industry you’re in drive the value of your company but there are a number of lesser-known factors that can secretly drag down the value of your business. They say heart disease is the “silent killer” because there are no outward symptoms of clogged arteries. You walk around oblivious to the growing risk inside your body until, one day, you wake up in a hospital bed–or worse. Similarly, there are a number of business attributes that can be secretly dragging down the value of your company. We see this all the time with the business owners who use The Value Builder System. We ask each owner who starts with us to do an assessment of what his or her business is worth. Inevitably, we find things that are silently dragging down the value of their company. In most cases, fixing the problems is relatively easy as long as they know what the problems are. Here’s a list of some of the most common “silent killers” that are decreasing the value of the businesses we evaluate: […]

10 Questions to Ask Before Selling Your Business

If you’re thinking about selling your business, think twice. Selling a business should never be a spur-of-the-moment decision, says Curtis Kroeker, group general manager for San Francisco-based and, business-for-sale marketplaces that have an inventory of about 40,000 businesses. “You need to figure out things like if you should sell, when is the best time to sell, and what you need to consider before selling, among many other considerations.” So, should you sell your business? Here are 10 key questions to help you figure it out. […]

10 Things That Make Your Company Irresistible

Energizing and insightful article written by John Warrillow, the founder of The Sellability Score and author of Built To Sell, about what makes a company desirable to a potential buyer. Big companies are on the prowl for little ones. Our own data over at The Sellability Score shows the proportion of business owners who have received an unsolicited bid for their business in the last year has gone up to 17%--the highest it's been since we started measuring in 2012. With interest rates low and stock valuations still high (even after the selloff in September), there has never been a better time to get the attention of an acquirer. Here are 10 things you can do to make your business attractive to a buyer:

Reasons Why Businesses Fail To Sell

There are many reasons why a business may fail to sell, and in an article authored by Holly Magistar, some of the more commons reasons are explained. This information comes from a quarterly survey of 250 business owner respondents nationally who listed and/or sold their business in the 2nd quarter of 2014, conducted by Pepperdine University and the International Business Brokers Association. You can visit this link to read the full article. The complete recap of the survey results can be found here.