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How To Sell When Your Tank Is Empty


What do you do when you want to sell your business, but you’re feeling totally burned-out and the business is not faring much better? You needn’t stress yourself out too much. It’s totally possible to sell a company even when your financial and emotional tanks are on “E.” Here are a few strategies for surviving the transition without losing your marbles.

 

Sell In Parts.

Who says you have to sell all at once? Some companies are best split into pieces. For instance, if you own a full-service online marketing company, you may get separate offers for your mobile component, your SEO business, and your web design services. You may find your competitors have been chomping at the bit for a piece of your pie.

 

Wait For Stabilization.  

You may be tempted to cut and run, but holding off until you reach stable ground may ensure that a better offer is made. Tanking businesses are not worth very much, after all. Meet with your most trusted advisors and see if a last-ditch effort can be made to turn things around. When you do, keep the promise you made to yourself – and get out!

 

Find A Buyer Who Excels Where You Fail.

There may be many reasons why your business could not succeed – you didn’t have enough capital to put in, you are not very good at marketing, you don’t have enough spare time to invest, or you don’t know where to find consumers. Be honest about your shortcomings and find someone who has more experience or expertise than you.

 

Emphasize Future Earnings.

Doing a bit of research can paint a much rosier picture of your business. Can you find market trends and proof that your industry is flourishing? Can you demonstrate that there is a big pool of customers that has not been tapped yet? Future projections can improve the valuation if you can show, given the current trajectory, when profitability will be reached. 

 

Be Smart About The Sale.

Even though you may be desperate to get rid of your business, you still need to make calculated decisions. How much money will you need to live in the coming months? How long will the transition take? Will your employees be forced to relocate or make a difficult merger? Do you want to maintain a minority stake for your family as part of your legacy? Does this buyer seem trustworthy? Go with your gut instincts! If an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is.

 

Don’t Go It Alone.

You may feel overwhelmed trying to sell at a time when it feels everything is going wrong. You may be able to get more money working through a broker who will be “in it to win it” because it means a better commission for him as well. You’ll also want to speak with your accountant and law firm, as they may know people looking to buy. Consulting firms that work with corporations may also be a great source of leads. You can advertise in industry trade publications or online marketplaces.     

 

 

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Resources:
INC: Selling Your Company When You’re Running On Fumes
International Brokers Association: Consider More Than Money When Selling Your Business


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