It is often said that selling a business takes time. From the moment a business owner decides to sell, it may take anywhere from one to two years for the sale to complete, depending on the size of the business and the complexity of the sale.
But what if you can’t, or don’t want to, wait that long? Do all businesses take more than a year to sell? Are there any options for those who either need to get out fast or just want to be done with it all?
Every business owner who decides to sell their business would like to get it done as quickly, efficiently and painlessly as possible. Some business owners, though, have a pressing need to make that happen.
Maybe there are personal debts to pay off, such as a mortgage or kids’ college tuition. Maybe there is another investment opportunity that requires cash in a short period of time. Maybe they’re just worn out and need to retire ASAP.
Whatever the reason, there are a few ways a business owner can sell their business quickly. Here are some of those options.
Sell to Employees
One of the quickest options for selling a business would be to sell to an employee or group of employees. The people who work for you should already be very familiar with your business — what it does, how it operates and what its long-term potential is. This is especially true for your long-tenured upper management workers.
This familiarity will eliminate the need, first and foremost, from you searching for a buyer from the outside and then educating/selling them on your business’ value.
While there is some risk in opening the books completely to employees in case a sale doesn’t go through, you should really only approach employees you trust completely about buying your business.
Take on a Business Partner
An alternative option to selling the business outright is to add a business partner who will take on the day-to-day responsibilities that you are no longer interested in handling. This person, or group of people, would take a large burden off your shoulders while paying you for their share of the business.
This strategy wouldn’t see you exit the business completely, at least not at first, but you could find a partner who’s willing to take on at least 51% or more of the business and, therefore, controlling interest. You could play a much lesser role in this scenario, offering support and guidance rather than actual work in the business.
And while you wouldn’t be free and clear of your business by taking on a partner, that is something that could happen down the line if your partner eventually wants to buy you out completely.
Be Aggressive in Searching for a Buyer
If you’d prefer to go the traditional route of selling your entire business to an outsider, one way you could get that done quickly is to aggressively market your business to prospective buyers. This could entail reaching out to competitors, colleagues who own complementary businesses and/or asking around at networking events.
Of course, this strategy could potentially make your business vulnerable, since word will be out that you’re planning to sell. However, it could also bring you a buyer much quicker than taking your time and doing your best to keep word close to the vest, so to speak.
Offer Your Business at a Discount
While the goal most of the time is to sell your business for the largest amount possible, one way that might reduce the time it takes to sell is to offer your business at a discount. This strategy could serve two purposes. A lower sales price could make your business a value to potential buyers, and it might also widen the pool of potential buyers.
Again, it’s never the first option to sell your business for less than it’s worth — or less than you could get if you waited — but if you need to sell fast, this could be a viable option. The lower sales price might be worth it to you in exchange for the quick sale.
Liquidate Your Assets
A final option to sell your business quickly would be to not sell your business at all. Instead of selling to another person or company, you would instead liquidate all of your assets.
Such a strategy is common for retail stores, with “going out of business sales” that discount all products in the store and warehouse. As you might expect, liquidating your assets will likely bring a lower price in return for your products than if you took the time to sell them at full price. Again, though, this may be worth it to you in exchange for selling fast.
One thing liquidation won’t do is bring you any value for your intangible assets, such as your customer base, your intellectual property and your business name, for example. It will only allow you to sell your tangible assets such as products, equipment and any real estate you own.
These are a few ways you could sell your business quickly if you’re looking to get out of the game as fast as possible. There are certainly pros and cons to each of these strategies, but if you need to get out fast, each could work for you.
Our best advice? Don’t waste another day and talk to a Sunbelt South Florida broker today!
Sunbelt Business Brokers of West Palm Beach provides dedicated business brokerage services for all of your selling needs. Whether you are an established business owner nearing retirement and looking to sell, or an ambitious entrepreneur seeking your next investment opportunity, there is no reason to look beyond Sunbelt Business Brokers. Visit us at 800 Village Square Crossing
Suite 216 Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410 or contact us at (561) 832-9222.