HOW TO VALUE AND SELL A BUSINESS
Expert advice for business owners.
A collection of articles on this site.
Our Most Visited Articles
From fees to how to find the right broker ... everything you ever wanted to know on the subject, and then some.
We disclose a small selection of data from our database to give you an idea of why it is so difficult to find the right business broker for your business. And what you can do about it .
Our most visited page ever - real life horror stories. Getting the right broker can make a sizeable difference to your chances of selling & the price you achieve, but getting the wrong broker isn't much fun. Think a no-sale-no-fee deal is safe? These business owners thought they had a 'no risk' deal yet ended up losing their house!
The Internet's most comprehensive coverage on this important topic and one of our highest visited pages every single day. A must read for any DIY business seller who's not being professionally advised.
A detailed look at the attributes that persuade a business buyer to pay a higher price for your business. What you think they want is not really what they want at all!
An offer available on only this site to get a free listing at BusinessesForSale.com, Daltons Business and other online business-for-sale portals.
No, a business isn't worth a multiple of earnings or even a multiple of some fancy term like EBITDA. Spend some time on this piece and you're guaranteed to be in a far better position to get top price for your business.
Here are seven important steps you need to take to blow the valuation right out of the water and walk away with a lot more than your business is worth.
It's not unusual for business owners to sign up with a broker and have hardly any enquiries (except from the odd tyre kicker). This light hearted article explains just why your phone isn't ringing off the hook.
Here's what you're likely to hear from business brokers and here's how to interpret what the broker is really saying. We include tips on how best to play these situations and come out a winner.
How To Sell A Business
80% of businesses coming to market don't end up finding a buyer! That's partly because most business owners don't choose the right business broker.
A detailed look at the whole process to arm you with all you need to conduct a DIY sale without risking the use of a business broker or business transfer agent.
One needs to be very careful when responding to buy-out offers. Here are the top ten things you need to know about how to play this hand.
Most businesses we talk about on this site are successful, going concerns. What happens, however, if the business is insolvent or close to insolvent?
The smaller the business (in terms of net profit generated) the more difficult it is to sell the business. In fact, most small businesses are almost impossible to sell!
Learn from these mistakes by some of the largest brokers in the UK (who should really know better!)
Can you exit your business by selling your retained (accumulated) losses for someone else to use against their profit to reduce their Corporation Tax bill? And how much can you get for your loss making business?
The more buyers you have competing for your business the higher the price you're going to walk away with. Learn the simple changes you can make to get three times the prospective buyers. Importantly, they'll be better qualified, more highly targeted candidates!
It's a common misconception that you have no influence over how buyers value your business and therefore how much they are willing to pay. But there's a reason why some firms sell for a lot more than similar other firms ...even when they've never made a profit.
Some buyers are only interested in stringing you along till they've extracted commercially valuable information. Others have far more devious intent! As a seller you need to protect yourself. We've put together the M&A equivalent of a psychometric test
Most buyers only want profitable businesses. But 88% of UK SME owners lose profits unnecessarily. Profit Boosting Projects can help exit results.
Vendors often describe their business as an ideal "bolt-on". Here's an insider tip: That's one of the most damaging things you can say about your business.
Hiring Business Brokers
What are the typical business broker's fees / charges? We cover the subject with various example of not just fees but, importantly, fee structures.
There are 1,000 business broker firms in the UK. But can you find one right for YOUR business based on the size / sector / location / other attributes of your business?
Some of the best brokers specialise in selling businesses in a particular industry or sector. Using one of these can make a big difference to price. We explain the pros and cons of using a sector specialist.
The BTA term is used only in the UK. We cover BTAs and all you need to know about them.
Business brokers simply love giving free valuations. Free valuations costs them nothing but do serve "to get the punters in". But there are risks to getting a free valuation.
The biggest mistake that business owners make is not realising that every business is being closely tracked for "selling intent". When you start doing research on valuing businesses or selling businesses you immediately get flagged ... by all the wrong types of people.
If you want to start researching brokers, Google is not your friend. The top 100 results in Google are the brokers best at SEO, not best at selling businesses.
Did the broker say he's got a list of thousands of eager investors who're hunting for businesses just like yours? Or that he can sell any business? Is there a way to test the claims without committing to a contract?
Using a broker to sell? You need to know that not all you see in the press about brokers & Business Transfer Agents is true. We have some excellent brokers in the UK. We do, however, also have the other type.
Why would you choose a business broker who has a 10% success rate over one who has a 90% or 100% success rate with selling clients' businesses? Here's why.
Some brokers post an ad online and sit back. Others are a lot more proactive in hunting buyers down. You pay more for the latter broker, but is he really putting in the work? Here's how you can motivate your broker.
It's useful to have them all in one place, we can't think why nobody has done this before! Anyway, here are the top places to list a UK small / medium business for sale.
Even a minority shareholder holding just 1% of the shares can hold up the sale of a business if they are not happy with the business being sold or the price being offered.
There's no shortage of people offering to value businesses - most brokers offer a free valuation service - but can you rely on these figures? And how can you get a professional valuation done, a valuation that reliable enough to guide your strategic decisions?
Yes, it's a genuine offer. But what's the snag?
Most business owners who believe their business has value are going to be disappointed. It may have value to them but not 'resellable' value. Your small business may be worthless ...unless you make some changes now!
Fancy being a business broker? Or working for one? How do you train to become a business broker? Do you need to qualify first?
Why does negotiation involve several hours of actual talks and several prior days in preparation? Because that's what is required if you want to get the best deal. Negotiations for the sale of a business are a lot, lot more than just agreeing a price!
It's easy to let the cat out of the bag! Speaking with brokers is particularly risky. How do you keep safe?
This was the advice we put together for a paying client who was considering packing in the day job in the city and moving to the country to buy a newsagent type business. We release it now in the hope it will help other investors considering such a business purchase.
Find the right acquisition opportunity is an art form in itself!
Have a question not answered on this site? Send it in, we may add it, and our answer, to this list. (Your anonymity is 100%, we don't disclose your name or company.)
If you've got significant assets in the form of debtors, it may be worth liquidating that asset - selling the debt - before putting the business up for sale and giving that asset to the buyer.