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A plan that shows how, when and for how much you intend on selling your business for is often called an "exit strategy". This plan takes into account your long term intentions and then highlights how you plan to reach those intentions.
Your plan should help you decide whether you want to sell your business outright or if you still want to remain involved in some way.
Your plan should take into account how the sale of your business will affect your staff, partners or other stakeholders. Will the sale of the business or its assets affect the employment protection rights of your staff?
You should also look at doing a bit of research in your sector. Look to see if your industry is growing or shrinking. Also look to see if there is a demand for your type of business and what similar businesses are selling for. This information could help you decide whether it is better to sell sooner rather than later or vice versa depending on market conditions. Timing the sale of your business correctly could be worth a great deal of money and could ensure a swift sale.
Implementing your plan early, sometimes years before you actually sell, can ensure your circumstances are ideal for selling a business when the time comes. If youre selling your business when conditions dont suit you or you are in a hurry to sell, you will almost certainly have to discount your business price to sell it.
Get advice early on in the process. Ask your accountant what factors will increase the value of your business in the long term and then set milestones to achieve those things. This form of planning can dramatically increase the amount you get out in the end and it shouldnt take more than 15 minutes a week to build and refine your exit strategy.