Are you looking to sell your business in 2023? You’ve come to the right place. The new year is shaping up to be an opportune time to find eager buyers in a thriving economy.
But to actually sell quickly and for top dollar, you need to start preparing now. There are several steps you should be taking today to position your business for a fast and lucrative sale next year.
We’ll walk you through how to value your business, how to reach the right buyers, how to ensure the financial records are squeaky clean, and how to negotiate the best deal.
By the time 2023 rolls around, you’ll have buyers lining up to make you an offer you can’t refuse. So roll up your sleeves and dive in – your business exit strategy starts today.
Price Your Business Competitively
Pricing your business competitively is key to a quick sale. Do some research to determine a fair asking price. Check sites like BizBuySell to see what similar businesses in your area and industry are going for.
Aim for the lower end of the range. In 2023, buyers will have a lot of options, so you’ll need to price attractively to garner interest. Undercutting the competition a bit could help your business stand out.
Also consider your financials and profit margins. If business has been steadily growing over the last few years with healthy profits, you’ll have more flexibility to ask a premium price. If revenue or profits have been flat or declining, keep your expectations in check.
Think about pricing in terms of multiples of your cash flow or earnings. For example, asking 3 to 5 times your annual cash flow is common for small main street businesses.
Professional practices like medical, dental or legal offices often sell for higher multiples, around 65-95% of annual revenue.
Don’t get greedy.
An unrealistically high asking price is one of the biggest reasons businesses don’t sell. Do you really want your business languishing on the market for years? Price it to move and be willing to negotiate to make a deal.
Polish Your Online Presence
Want to sell your business quickly in 2023? Make sure your online presence is polished and professional.
-Update your business website. A modern, mobile-friendly site with engaging photos and content about your company’s offerings and customer experience will make a good first impression.
Include testimonials from happy clients while you’re at it.
-Build an active social media profile. Post frequently on platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram to increase visibility and engagement.
Share blog posts, behind-the-scenes photos, news coverage, events, milestones, and more. Respond to comments and messages promptly.
-Claim and optimize profiles on sites like Yelp, Google My Business, Bing Places for Business, and your industry’s top directories.
Make sure all listings have consistent and detailed information with your business name, address, phone number, operating hours, and a brief description.
-Generate reviews and ratings. Ask loyal customers to leave reviews on your website, Google, Yelp, and other places people research local businesses.
Monitor reviews and politely respond to both positive and negative ones.
-Start an email newsletter. Build a mailing list of current and potential customers and send them a newsletter with company news, promotions, and useful tips or content. Staying in touch with an email newsletter helps build familiarity and trust.
Get Your Financials in Order
To sell your business quickly, you’ll need to have all your financial records organized and ready to share with potential buyers.
Gather Your Financial Statements
Pull together your income statements, balance sheets, cash flow statements, and tax returns for the past 3 years. Buyers will want to see revenue, profits, liabilities, assets, and cash flow over time to determine the health and growth of your company.
Make copies of these statements to share with interested parties during the selling process.
- Income statements show your company’s revenue and expenses to determine annual profits
- Balance sheets provide a snapshot of your assets, liabilities, and equity at a given point in time
- Cash flow statements reveal how much cash is coming in and going out of your business each month
- Tax returns verify that your financial records are accurate and that the business pays its taxes properly
Have Your Books In Order
Ensure your accounting records, accounts receivable, accounts payable, and general ledgers are up to date and balanced.
Buyers will likely want to review your books to confirm the financial statements are correct and see the overall financial position of the company.
If your records aren’t clean and organized, it can raise red flags and potentially lower your selling price.
Value Your Business
Work with an accountant or business valuation expert to determine a reasonable asking price range for your company based on your financials, annual revenue and profits, business assets, and current market conditions.
Be prepared to justify and negotiate your asking price with facts to get the maximum value.
Getting ready to show your financials may require extra work upfront, but solid numbers and transparent records will help you sell your business as quickly as possible and for the best price.
Take the time to get organized and you’ll gain the trust and confidence of buyers, leading to a faster deal at a higher value.
Build an Exit Strategy
To sell your business as quickly as possible in 2023, you need to start planning your exit strategy today. Build a realistic timeline
Lay out all the steps required to prepare your business for a sale and work backwards from your target sale date to create a detailed schedule of what needs to happen when. Be sure to include:
- Updating financial records and statements
- Developing a business plan and sales materials
- Meeting with your broker or investment banker
- Allowing time for buyer due diligence
- Negotiating and finalizing a sales agreement
Get your records in order
Make sure all your financial records, tax returns, profit and loss statements, balance sheets, and key metrics are up to date and show your business in the best possible light.
Digitize records if needed and have everything ready to share with potential buyers.
Develop a business plan and sales materials
Create a business plan that outlines your company’s goals, growth, opportunities, competitive advantages, and financial projections.
Develop a sales memorandum, pitch deck, client lists, marketing materials, and anything else that conveys the key highlights and upside of your business.
Find expert help
Hire a business broker, investment banker, or M&A advisory firm to help you navigate the sales process. They can determine an asking price, market your business to the right buyers, handle negotiations, and work with lawyers on legal documentation.
Their expertise and connections will help you get the best deal as quickly as possible.
With the right planning and preparation, you can successfully develop an exit strategy to sell your business on your timeline and desired terms in 2023. Start putting the pieces in place today to make it happen.
To sell your business quickly in today’s fast-paced market, you need to aggressively market it to potential buyers.
Spread the Word
Tell everyone you know that your business is for sale. Reach out to your personal and professional networks, including:
- Friends and family
- Employees, former employees, and business partners
- Competitors and collaborators
- Industry associations and networking groups
Let them know the key details about your business and your asking price. Word of mouth marketing is incredibly effective, so tap into all your connections.
Place listings for your business on popular business-for-sale websites and platforms like BizBuySell, BusinessBroker.net, and LoopNet.
These sites attract many prospective buyers. You should also run ads on LinkedIn, Facebook Marketplace, and industry websites and newsletters.
Consider hiring a broker to help market your business to their networks as well.
Highlight Your Success
Promote your business’s achievements and potential to attract serious buyers. Emphasize things like:
- Strong and consistent revenue and profit growth
- A loyal customer base
- Proprietary products, services or intellectual property
- An established brand with a solid reputation
- A skilled, dedicated team that will remain in place after the sale
- The opportunity for significant upside or expansion
The more you can demonstrate your business’s success and sustainability, the more interest you’ll garner from qualified buyers, and the higher the price you’ll command.
With an aggressive multi-channel marketing campaign, you can successfully sell your business in 2023 on your own timeline and terms.
How to Sell a Business Quickly in 2023 – Frequently Asked Question
What’s a reasonable asking price for my business?
Determining a fair asking price for your business depends on several factors, including:
- Your annual revenue and profits. A general rule of thumb is to ask for 2 to 5 times your annual profits.
- The condition and value of your assets. The worth of your equipment, inventory, real estate, and other holdings will impact your price.
- The growth potential and stability of your industry. Fast-growing, stable industries will command higher prices than declining or volatile ones.
- The skills, experience, and responsibilities of the new owner. A turnkey business that doesn’t require much owner involvement will sell for more than one that relies heavily on the owner’s knowledge and relationships.
- Recent sales of comparable businesses. Check business broker listings and databases to see what similar companies in your area and industry recently sold for. That will help determine a reasonable range for your business.
How long will it take to sell my business?
The time it takes to sell a business can vary greatly depending on factors like:
➜ Your asking price and how reasonably it’s set. An overpriced business will take longer to sell.
➜ The overall health and competitiveness of your industry. Businesses in thriving industries will sell faster.
➜ How well-prepared your business is for a sale. Having financial records, client lists, operating procedures, and other documents ready will speed up the process.
➜ Using a business broker. Brokers have networks and experience to help market your business and negotiate a deal. Without a broker, selling a business typically takes 6-18 months. With a broker, you can expect 3-12 months.
➜ Your willingness to entertain reasonable offers. The more flexible you can be on price and terms, the faster you’ll find a serious buyer.
➜ Economic conditions. A strong, stable economy with available financing will lead to a faster sale than during a recession or tight credit market.
In the end, selling any business takes time and patience. But by setting the right asking price, preparing well, and working with an experienced broker, you can maximize your chances of a successful—and sufficiently speedy—sale.
So there you have it, the key steps required to sell your business fast in 2023. It may seem like a daunting process, but by focusing on preparation, valuation, marketing, and negotiation, you’ll be in the best position to find the right buyer and get the best price.
The hard work you put in now will pay off. Remember, you only get one chance to sell your business, so do it right.
If you follow these tips, stay determined, and don’t get distracted, you’ll be well on your way to closing a life-changing deal.
Before you know it, you’ll be planning how you’ll spend your newfound freedom and resources. The end of one chapter leads to the beginning of another. Now go get started!