Owning your own local boutique or store was a dream come true, but now it's time to sell. Perhaps you are ready to retire, want to pursue other business opportunities, or simply need a break after many years of hard work. Selling your own business should be handled in a thoughtful way in order to maximize your profits and minimize your stress. Here are a few practical steps to keep in mind:
Hire a Business Lawyer
Selling a business is often more complicated legally than you may imagine. An experienced attorney with expertise in buying and selling local businesses will guide the entire process and thoroughly scope out any contracts and the purchase agreement before they are signed. Your lawyer will help clarify your responsibilities as a seller, such as providing accurate and thorough financial records.
One legal consideration to keep in mind is what happens to your current employees after you sell. Whether the store employees are staying or going post-sale, your lawyer will help ensure you are not in violation of employment law.
Work With a Broker
Instead of attempting to sell your local business yourself, it usually pays to work with a broker who does this as their job. They have access to more sophisticated marketing and screening methods, ensuring that you are matched with the right buyer. A broker will also know how to accurately value your small business in order to list it appropriately- high enough that you earn maximum profit but not so high that it's impossible to find a buyer. Brokers often work for a percentage of the sale, which means they are very motivated to secure you a buyer.
Continue Focusing on Success
It can take many months or even years to finalize the sale of a local store. For this reason, it's very important that you continue to focus on building a successful, profitable business, rather than diminishing your efforts since you know you won't be the long-term owner. The more successful your business is, the easier it will be to sell for a higher price. Plus, selling your business when it's at its most successful point helps establish a positive business reputation that you can later leverage into other opportunities.
Hiring a business lawyer and following these tips is a wise move. Taking these practical steps will give you peace of mind and protect you legally and financially when you sell your local shop.