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How to build a business you can sell...

What a whirlwind last 4/5 years I have had. I have started 4 businesses and now I only have a shareholding in one of them and no longer 'work'.. (Motherhood is a bloody full time job so I can't leave out those inverted comma's!!)

So in that time I have mentored, helped, chatted with and advised a whole host of people who were either at the start of their business journey or stuck after a few years that just were not panning out as had been expected.

In leaving Australia to live in the U.S I had to sell out of my businesses and I learnt a whole host during that process about what adds value to a business and what simple key features make it easy to sell over not so easy..

Here are my key points that everyone can slip into their model.

  • Above and beyond you want to create a business that has something unique about it over your competitors. This will help you pimp it up to any prospective buyers.
  • Keep it simple. If a business has too many 'arms' it makes it harder to sell.
  • Know your place in your industry and be ready for questions that try to devalue what you consider of value to your brand.
  • If you are on line ensure you have a presence on all the social media platforms and really do put some time into the ones that are relevant to your industry.
  • If you business is on line ensure the platform is as simple as possible so that it can be easily handed over and does not take tech geniuses to run it (they can be expensive and whilst you may be one yourself your purchaser may not)
  • As you build your business create a brand guideline that can be documented for someone else to have as a guidebook of sorts.
  • All those day to day admin bits? List them. Even if you don't need a diary to keep up with your schedule do have one as it will be a fabulous way to show a new owner what sort of time they need and also help you look at where you are at and value the time needed to be put into your model and what it returns wages wise for the new owner.
  • Paperwork is key. Keep it up to date and ensure each 3 months you print off Profit and Loss sheets so you can easy show the future projections of the business.
  • Know that a buyer will not value revenue, they just want to know about profits
  • Know that a buyer will not purchase 'future predictions' they are now going to spend money on a maybe/possibly/might...
  • Know that you 100% have to take out the personal side of it.. this is business not friendship so be prepared.
If you can prepare all those and prepare yourself you can then soft launch the sale yourself or get a broker to do it for you. Depending on where you are in the world there are websites that can help but I have found my close network was a great place to start as I was selling more personal and small businesses.

Have you sold your business? 
Do you have any tips to add? 
Are you thinking of setting one up and need some advice? 

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