HOW TO VALUE AND SELL A BUSINESS
Expert advice for business owners on valuing and selling businesses
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.
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. All shareholder disputes need to be resolved prior to taking a business to market.
Settle yourself in for a long (and uncomfortable) read about what really presses the right buttons for those who invest in buying businesses. There's a chasm between what vendors think buyers want ... and what buyers actually want. Learn what you do need to do differently >>
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 (even if it's owner-run, owner-dependent and making no profit)?
Are these claims sometimes true? Is there a way to test the claims without committing to a contract? Find out here.
Some brokers specialise in the sale of businesses in a particular sector / industry. This can be highly effective for business owners and get them a much higher price. But there's something you need to know.
Under one of these options you can get double the price you'd get under the other. But there's a catch. All your questions about selling assets vs selling shares answered here.
It's easy to make the wrong choice with brokers! Follow our 8-step process to get the right broker for your business and to get them on the right terms: How To Choose A Business Broker >>
It's so useful to have them all in one place that we can't think why nobody has done this before! Anyway, here's a list of all the top places to list a UK small or medium sized business for sale.
Prices quoted here for listing at these various locations were correct at time of going to press.
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!
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? Chris Thorne of Valuology shares some tips >>
Some buyers are only interested in stringing you along till they've extracted commerically 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. The 10 questions you must ask every buyer >>
What is a business transfer agent / business broker? What do they do? Who regulates them? How do you go about choosing one? All your questions answered here.
That's a bold claim to make and you'll learn why the "valuation figure" you have is irrelevant. There is one thing about valuation that they don't tell you in the books ... and which is why I can afford to make the offer to buy your business at double whatever valuation you currently have.
Business brokers and business transfer agents are very shy about disclosing how much they charge - very few disclose publicly what their charges and fees are. Get the low down here. Included are extracts from the extensive database I have on UK brokers, their fees, their fee structures and their terms. How much does it really cost to use a business broker to sell your business?
Real life customer experiences - reviews and feedback about business brokers they have used. Getting the right broker can make a sizeable difference to both your chances of selling and the price you achieve, but getting the wrong broker isn't much fun as these business owners found out.
There are far too many myths and misconceptions about how businesses are valued. Most of what you've heard is likely not true. Many small businesses owners believe at least one of these myths, if not more. Are you one of them?
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 (or more) the prospective buyers. Importantly, they'll be better qualified, more highly targeted candidates! Get more buyers for your business.
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. And this is it.
When paying tens or hundreds of thousands of pounds in overall commission, charges and "success fees" to a business broker, business transfer agent or other intermediary, use these tips to ensure you get full value for your money and keep your adviser highly motivated to get your business sold.
The biggest mistake that business owners make is not realising that every business is being closely tracked for "selling intent". The moment you start doing research on valuing businesses or selling businesses you immediately get red flagged ... by all the wrong types of people. Read the low-down in this three part article and protect yourself from losing, potentially, hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Part 1: The Confidentiality Risk | Part 2: The Real & Hidden Risk | Part 3: Protecting Confidentiality
Business brokers simply love giving free valuations. Free valuations costs them nothing but do persuade business owners to sign the broker's contract. No broker will put money on getting you a sale at that price! The most they'll offer is a no-sale-no-fee contract as a "demonstration of their confidence". But that's a trick. Avoid the free valuations bait, read the truth behind brokers' valuations of businesses.
If you want to start researching brokers, Google is not your friend. Most of the best brokers don't figure in Google results. So how do you go about finding good business brokers in the UK?
Fancy being a business broker? Or working for one? How do you train to become a business broker? Do you need to qualify first?
Here are the routes into the business of selling businesses.
The risk with choosing the wrong business broker is not limited to getting a lower price. You could seriously damage your business, or even lose it altogether. In this two part article I explain why, provide examples of broker sharp practices and explain how you can protect yourself.
What to watch out for | Precautions you can take
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