1) Prepare well in advance
It pays to be prepared when selling a business (literally), so start talking to the people who might want to buy your business at least a year before you do want to sell. Even if you are not ready it is wise to give people time to consider the pros and cons of purchasing your enterprise, as they won’t make such a sizeable decision in less than a few months. Keep touching base with potential buyers every few months and you will hopefully have a few people wanting to buy when you are ready to sell.
2) Share ideas
When you contact different businesses who might in the future absorb yours, you should suggest ways in which your enterprise can integrate into their processes and practices. If people can foresee an easy transition when taking on your company, they will be more likely to want to buy.
3) Come up with a formula
Before prices are mentioned come up with a simple formula that both sides agree on to value your company. This might be something like 6 times forward earnings, assuming customers will stay with the business. This figure will be a useful starting point to negotiate from.
4) Negotiate hard
You and the people buying your company will naturally come to a price but when negotiating you should remember to ask for everything else you need so that the transaction doesn’t cost you anything. Tell them what you need, such as salary, options, office transportation etc.
5) Hold tight until the deal is done
Even when you have shaken hands on a deal and agreed to the particulars, a deal can still fall apart. The secret to this part of the process is to stay cool and chase your lawyer to make sure that the legalities of the deal are progressing every day. With this is mind, make sure you have a very good lawyer who will take care of your interests from the beginning to the end of the deal, when finally you can enjoy the profits you have worked so hard for.
There are a number of companies operating today, such as Axis Partnership, that buy and sell businesses. Their assistance could be what you need whether you are buying or selling a business.