I need to sell my business in a hurry. How do I get the highest price?

Dear Aunty B,

I have absolutely had enough. I have been running a business for eight years and I just don’t feel I have the energy to get this business through the next few years.

I also need the best price for my business now my super has been decimated.

How do I sell in a hurry and get the highest price?



Dear MS,

You can approach a broker, he or she can advertise your business, and you can flog it off to the highest bidder. That’s real quick.

However if you want the highest price, that’s a different matter. You will get the highest price by finding a buyer who can see the potential in the business and is able to exploit that potential.

So, as Tom McKaskill, our business sales expert on SmartCompany, continually points out, you need to find a person or corporation who can develop the business and who has the capacity and capability to do so.

That means the right buyer is someone within your own industry who wants to expand their business by consolidating or doing a roll-up. Therefore your best strategy is to understand who is still doing acquisitions and get yourself on their target list. Now many of the consolidators at present are actually consolidating because like everyone and their dog, they have taken on too much debt.

That also means this strategy will take time. With the market looking like it will get worse not better, you are going to have to be strategic and hard working at a time when your business needs your full attention and you feel like a break!

So you either use a broker now and try and flog the business before Christmas, which may not get you the best price – or you decide to work on it.

If I were you, I would try this. Hit the phones and organise coffees with people in your industry and ask your accountant for leads, introductions and advice.

Get a feel for the industry, who is buying and what is happening. But also make sure you don’t take your eye off your business, which at present needs you more then ever.

And here is what I am hoping.

You get some ideas for revitalising the business from discussions with potential purchasers and you decide that now is not the time to sell.

Instead you decide to take a break over Christmas, turn off and not stress! You will come back refreshed and ready for a challenging year which you, with all your experience, will survive! Then you will be in a better position to sell because you will have developed your networks and relationships and understand the future of your industry!

Good luck,

Your Aunty B.

Aunty B - Your problems answered by SmartCompany's business bitch

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