When Should You Sell Your Business?

The decision to sell a business is never an easy one. There are a lot of factors to consider, and it’s important to get professional advice.

In general, the best time to sell a business is when it is performing well. This means the financials are trending upwards and sales are strong. The team is also strong and there is a lot of demand. Although it can be difficult to leave a business that is performing well, it might be worth it.

However, keep in mind that the average time it takes to sell a business can be 6-9 months. When choosing a business broker to represent your business, take into account the following factors:

  • The Size of the Business: Larger businesses usually take longer to sell than smaller businesses. This is because there are more moving parts and more people involved in the sale of a larger business.
  • The Industry: Some industries are just naturally slower than others. For example, businesses in the healthcare industry tend to take longer to sell than businesses in the retail industry.
  • The Asking Price: If you have an unrealistic asking price, it will likely lengthen the amount of time it takes to sell your business. Buyers are looking for a good deal, so if your asking price is too high, they may move on to another business that is priced more reasonably.
  • Financing: If you are selling your business on terms (meaning that the buyer will finance part of the purchase price), this can lengthen the sales process as well. Buyers will need to secure financing from a lender, which can take some time.
  • Your Business Broker: Last but not least, your choice of business broker can influence how long it takes to sell your business. An experienced and reputable broker will be able to help you navigate through the sale process quickly and efficiently so that you can get top dollar for your business.

The selling price for a business depends on several factors, including its annual cash flow, the industry it operates in, and the current market conditions. A business can typically sell for anywhere from two to four times its discretionary earnings (SDE) range, with the majority of businesses selling in the 2 or 3 range.

Please keep in mind that many factors can make it difficult to sell a business.

One is the emotional attachment that many business owners have to their businesses. It can be hard to let go of something you have built up over the years. Another factor is the lack of buyers. Many businesses are not attractive to potential buyers because they are not profitable or because they have significant problems. Finally, the process of selling a business can be complex and time-consuming, which can deter some potential buyers.

About the Author
Hi there, I'm James, founder of Melbado. I have over 20 years of experience as a leader and entrepreneur. Recently, I turned to leadership coaching and writing to pass on my knowledge to the next generation. If you have any questions or comments, please contact me via our contact page.


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