*At the price you seek, and without a lengthy wait.

Almost anyone can sell a company if it’s priced low enough or if you wait long enough. But few want to be in that position.

Having thought long and hard to reach a decision to retire or otherwise move on, most business owners eagerly begin looking forward to taking that next step. They’re anxious to sell at a price as high as possible and close the deal as soon as practicable.

If not really “secrets,” here are five sometimes overlooked measures that can help ensure a successful transition:

1. Be prepared

Your financial information will almost always be the first focus of any prospective purchaser. So, for your sale to go smoothly, you’ll need to have all your financial information fully up to date and, equally important, available in a format where you can share it readily.

Look for ways to stay current. For example, if you regularly close a month in 45 days, aim to do it in 30.
Update procedural guides, employee manuals, and other key documents, too.

As for easily sharing documents with others, there’s really only one way to go: electronically. A “no-brainer” you think? You might be surprised at how many business owners still maintain critical documents in a paper format rather than a computer file.

2. Be available

For a sale to proceed expeditiously, the seller must remain available. If you’re the owner, you’ll need to be on hand to not only run the business but also demonstrate its operation and answer any questions.

Potential purchasers will likely want to “pick your brain.” So, even you have a long-awaited vacation scheduled, you may wish to postpone it. That golf course, ski slope or Caribbean cruise are sure to be there later on, but many a prospective buyer will have moved on to a different opportunity instead of waiting for your return.

3. Be proactive

Take a good look around your location and fix any obvious items in need of repair. Perhaps it’s a hastily patched broken window, a small roof leak or even burned-out lights on your storefront sign.

Consider that a business that’s in good condition is likely to gain a higher purchase price. Also, know that noticeable problems can plant seeds of doubt in a prospective purchaser’s mind: “If that front sign needs maintenance, what else around here might be wrong that I can’t see?”

4. Be flexible

While you may be focused on cashing out (literally) as soon as possible, there’s are advantages to owner financing if you’re able to do so.

Exiting owners who are willing to finance a portion of their business can often sell at a higher price than those who will not. You’ll also benefit from the interest income on the loan. What’s more, owner financing may just be the determining factor that tips the scale from “no-sale” to “sale.”

5. Be calm

If there’s a downside to selling your business, it might the criticism or disparaging remarks you’re likely to hear during due diligence. Potential buyers will be focused on anything that’s wrong or something they might do differently once in charge.

Don’t take negative comments personally. Offer to repair without fuss anything that’s incorrect and patiently explain your reasoning for something that may be called into question. Calmly accept the fact that things will likely change once you walk out the door.

Bottom line? Address the big issues and don’t sweat the small stuff. If you’ve put off retirement or some other new next step, the opportunity is close at hand.

Independent printers: Consider selling through an industry leader

Allegra helps printers sell — and entrepreneurs buy — through our MatchMaker® Program. It’s a win-win proposition.

We bring qualified prospects to owners who are ready to exit. On the other hand, purchasers “hit the ground running” by acquiring an established printing business and converting it to an Allegra Center.

Like to learn about the advantages of franchising with Allegra? Complete the form on this page and we will contact you.