I want to sell my business. Now what?

Dear Aunty B,

I own a small business that services and sells the equipment that is used to test people’s hearing. I have been working in this business for 10 years and the past three years have been a struggle.

I need a rest and want to sell the business. I am not asking a ton of money for it, in fact only 25 to 30% of the gross performance. I have approached other service providers in this industry who are small business owners but there just doesn’t seem to be much interest.

Got any suggestions for me on how I can go further? I just want enough to pay off any existing debt and move on.

Thank you so much!

Dear Thank you so much,

You sent that at 3.25 in the morning! My heart goes out to you. But listen. You sell equipment that is used to test people’s hearing. You don’t sell businesses, do you? So why would you think you could wander around and sell your own business?

You need to find someone who can help. Yes they will take some of the proceeds. But negotiate a commission, tell them what you are expecting and make them add that to the selling price. How do you find the right business broker? You ask around your industry. Rather than focusing on who might buy you, you need to focus on who might sell you.

Now I know you need a rest. But you have done this for 10 years. So I know you are a disciplined person who has resilience. You have to take a week off. And try and turn off. You need to build in some capacity for this last important phase of the business, which is selling it.

One more thing. You may be facing more competition but your business is in a growth industry – all those millions of baby boomers worried about their hearing. We have been through tough times with this GFC but we will see some recovery later this year. You may need to hang on for longer than you think. Can you do that? Can you get the business ready for sale, find someone to help you sell it and get a good price for that 10 years of work? Yes you can!

Now get some sleep! Between the hours of 11pm and 7am you do not have to think about your business. There is no point as you only think silly things and never remember them anyway.

Be smart,
Your Aunty B

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