20 Questions to Ask Before Selling Your Chicago Business
Entrepreneurs often make decisions based on intuition and experience. So you may have grown accustomed to acting quickly to reap the rewards of a once in a lifetime opportunity. Selling a business isn't like this.
Entrepreneurs often make decisions based on intuition and experience. So you may have grown accustomed to acting quickly to reap the rewards of a once in a lifetime opportunity. Selling a business isn't like this. It requires planning, time, and a highly measured approach. And the skills you use to sell your products likely won’t be of much use to you as you navigate the process. This is why hiring a business broker to sell a business is so critical to the success of the sale. But before you initiate the process, here are 20 questions to ask yourself to assess how truly prepared you are:
- What is your reason for selling? Is this a reason that will appeal to or alienate a buyer?
- What is the value of your business, and how did you arrive at that figure?
- What are you going to do after you sell your company? How much money will you need to fund that venture?
- Do you have any unspoken assumptions about leaving, such as that your kids will take the reins?
- Who are the most important members of your team? Their titles may not reflect their importance.
- Are your managers prepared to run the business fully in your absence?
- Do you have reasonable forecasts for the future?
- Are you prepared for due diligence? Can you document all claims about your business, in addition to providing contracts, agreements, titles, and other information a potential buyer will seek?
- How quickly do you need to sell your business? If now is not the right time, how long are you willing to wait?
- Is your business currently profitable and growing? If not, what could you do to change that?
- Who is your ideal buyer? Is there a competitor who might like to purchase your company? Or could your company offer significant additional value to a company in another industry?
- What is your ideal structure? Do you have a good understanding of how this deal structure will affect the transaction?
- Do you want to stay on after closing, or do you hope to fully walk away from the business?
- How is the market in your niche right now? How are market factors likely to affect a sale?
- Are you working with a business broker? Have you gotten referrals from colleagues or asked for references?
- Which experts will you need to sell your business?
- Are there any regulatory issues that may come into play as you move toward a sale?
- Does your business have any potential areas of exposure or legal liability? Can you do anything to mitigate them now?
- What will a buyer worry most about with your company? What can you do to allay those fears?
- What are your dealbreakers? What is most important to you in this deal? Do you care about how your company looks after the sale?