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Have You Asked These 4 Questions Before Selling?

Garry Stephensen

Article Author: Garry Stephensen
Position: Managing Director
Read time: 4 mins

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Selling your business in Australia is more than just a financial transaction; it's a significant milestone that can reshape your lifestyle, priorities, and sense of identity. Whether you're a seasoned entrepreneur or a first-time business owner, having a clear exit strategy and vision is paramount. At Lloyds Brokers, we understand the intricacies involved in preparing your business for sale. Here are some key questions to ponder before taking this important step.

1) Is it the right time to sell?

Timing is critical in the sale of any business. Ideally, you want to capitalize on a thriving market and industry. While it can be challenging to detach emotionally from your business, it's essential to assess its market position objectively. If experts advise that it's the right time to sell, don't hesitate. Even in less favorable market conditions, honesty and transparency are key. Highlight potential growth opportunities to prospective buyers while being upfront about any challenges. Surround yourself with a team of experts to navigate the complexities of the sale process while ensuring your mental well-being remains a priority.

View our track record of business sales.

2) What is my motivation to sell?

Understanding your underlying reasons for selling is crucial. Are you seeking a change in pace after years of hard work? Perhaps retirement is on the horizon, or maybe you're looking to explore new ventures. Whatever the motivation, it's essential to be honest with yourself. Our experience shows that a realistic assessment of your business's current status is vital. Qualified sydney business brokers can assist in evaluating your business's worth and preparing the necessary documentation for a smooth transition.

If you need liquidity, have you considered obtaining business financing instead of selling?

Instead of selling, have you considered strategies for growth and funding.

If the workload is too much, have you explored what is possibly with automation and process streamlining to maximise efficiency?

3) How long have you felt this way?

The duration of your inclination to sell your business is a critical factor to consider. While it's natural for entrepreneurs to experience fluctuations in motivation and mood, making hasty decisions during temporary phases can have long-term consequences. If a recent event has influenced your desire to sell, it's essential to pause and reflect before taking action.  

Temporary setbacks or challenges can skew your perception of your business's value and potential. Rushing into a sale during such times may lead to regrets once the dust settles. Instead, take the time to assess whether your desire to sell is rooted in a genuine, long-term strategic decision or if it's a reaction to temporary circumstances. Consulting with mental health professionals or trusted advisors can provide valuable perspective and support during challenging times.

Moreover, sudden shifts in personal circumstances can cloud your judgment and hinder your ability to negotiate favourable terms during the sale process. Potential buyers may sense desperation or uncertainty, impacting their willingness to offer competitive prices or favourable terms. By taking a step back and evaluating your decision within the context of your long-term goals and aspirations, you can ensure that selling your business aligns with your overarching vision for the future. It's important to recognize that seeking professional assistance and support is not a sign of weakness but a proactive step towards making informed decisions. Whether you're grappling with temporary challenges or experiencing a period of uncertainty, surrounding yourself with a network of trusted advisors can provide clarity and guidance. By carefully considering the duration of your desire to sell and addressing any temporary factors influencing your decision, you can approach the sale process with confidence and clarity, ultimately ensuring a successful transition to the next phase of your journey.

4) How much is my business worth now, vs in the future?

Have you received a business appraisal or valuation to understand the trajectory that your business is on. What is it worth now vs in 12 months vs in 5 years. Understanding your potential for growth and increased valuation may dramatically change the timeframe that you decide to work towards, while keeping in mind the same end goal of selling your business.

business appraisal entails estimating the potential selling price of a business at a specific moment. Typically, it relies on a basic evaluation of the business, primarily based on its normalized profit over recent years.  By contrast, business valuations are an intricate and exhaustive process. This method scrutinizes the trading history of the business, requiring a comprehensive analysis conducted solely by qualified business valuers

Read more about the difference between Business valuations and Business Appraisal

Have you asked these 4questions before selling your business?

5) What does the future hold for me?

Selling your business marks the end of one chapter and the beginning of another. Consider what lies ahead both emotionally and practically. Are you already eyeing your next entrepreneurial endeavor, or are you planning to retire? Financial planning is key here. Determine how the proceeds from the sale will be allocated and whether you'll need to supplement your income post-sale. It's natural to feel a sense of loss after selling your business, so having a plan in place and support from loved ones can ease the transition.

In Australia, the business landscape is dynamic, with various industries experiencing growth and transformation. According to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, small businesses accounted for 97% of all businesses in Australia in June 2021, highlighting the importance of thoughtful planning when selling your business. By addressing these questions and seeking guidance from experienced professionals, you can navigate the sale process with confidence and embark on the next chapter of your journey.

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