7 easy steps to exit your business

So you want to sell your business and you are looking for a crash course on the process. We have seven foolproof steps to sell your business and reach your financial goals.

Step 1: Hire a business advisor

Bringing on a business advisor at the start of the process is a great way to make sure you are moving towards your goals at each step of the process. A good business advisor makes sure to listen to you and your goals instead of throwing a one-size-fits-all process at you. At Quest, our advisors get to know you and your business and prioritize your life goals – business and professional. These aspects of your life often overlap and we want to make sure you are heading in the direction you want to go. That’s why each of our packages provides guideline services but are never applied in the same way for each of our clients. Recommendations are crafted specifically for you and your goals.

Step 2: Increase the value of your business your goals

Selling your business is something that most business owners only do once in their lifetime. As such, it is important that when you bring your business to market, you get the best offer possible. This means ensuring your business reaches its full value. The biggest driver for value is your business’s capacity to produce cashflow, but it’s also important to normalize expenses and optimize margins for a sustained period of time. Quest business succession advisors will evaluate your business and provide specific, actionable recommendations to maximize your profits in a sale.

Step 3: Meet your financial goals

Before selling your business, you need to establish your financial goals after the business sale. There are many options when selling your business to meet your liquidity goals, such as selling part of your business or keeping it in the family. We help you weigh your options and choose the course that will help support your goals after the sale. This is another reason that it’s important to bring a business advisor in right away that listens to you and advocates for your goals.

Step 4: Identify investors

Next, you need a targeted list of prospective buyers. This list should be strategically developed based on ownership goals for the future of the business and consideration of buyer qualification. This list may be comprised of your family members, employees at your business, or third-party investors. A business advisor can help you identify this pool of investors and conduct the proper outreach.

Step 5: Qualify your buyers

Before entering into negotiations with prospective investors, it is imperative to qualify all buyers. Quest business succession planning consultants factor in the buyer’s access to capital and investment potential, the culture fit of investors, if the sale is tax-friendly, and many other aspects. It’s important that the sale checks every one of your boxes in order to preserve your legacy and exit the business on your terms.

Step 6: Transition the business

Your succession plan should include clear guidelines for transitioning the customer and vendor relationships that impact business operations and cash flow. It is important that you recognize the significant relationships and implement a strategy for the relationship to continue into the future. This will minimize risk for the new owner, driving up the value of your business after the sale.

Step 7: Keep your business advisor

The final step is retaining your business advisor. A business advisor will help you develop a succession plan. A strategic succession plan includes tactics for growing the business beyond customer and vendor relationships. We can help you develop your succession plan. Additionally, we offer a Legacy package that will help you maintain your financial goals after the business sale. We work with your team, including your attorney, your CPA, and your financial planner, making your life easier.

We work for you

We are dedicated to helping business owners achieve their business goals and life plans. To learn more about our Legacy package and to chat with expert succession planning consultants, click here to contact us.

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