Whatever the reason for the decision, you’ve decided to sell the business. So what do you do next?
It’s important to approach your succession plan in as organised a fashion as you have approached the management and day to day running of the business.
Perhaps you already have a buyer in mind, perhaps you are just formulating the idea in your mind. Either way, you need to have a sense of what exactly you are selling and what the business is worth – not to you, but in the market. Your accountant will be able to give you some guidance on the market value.
Consider how you will structure your sale – will it be shares in the business or the assets? Good tax advice will help you maximise your sale.
Of course you will be preparing annual financial reports and these will form an essential part of the sales review. But you will also need to compile a host of relevant documents which include franchise, licence and supplier agreements, operations manual, a list of all intellectual property.
These will all need to be current documents, so now is the time to update any paperwork that is out of date.
Ensure you have an assets and liabilities register and a note of all the critical dates applicable to the business operations – the expiry dates of franchise agreements for instance.
You will need to check there are no restrictions in your agreements and leases that may hold up the sales process.
Any sign of a dispute or claim in the franchise network will deter buyers – deal with any outstanding or upcoming issues now so there is a clean slate.
The key to a successful transference of the business is preparation. Be prepared.