Frequently Asked Questions From Sellers

How long will it take to sell my business?

It generally takes, on average, between six to eighteen months to sell most businesses. Keep in mind that an average is just that. Obviously, the more demand for a type of business, coupled with a lower than average asking price will typically speed up the process and the reverse is true, low demand and high asking price will dramatically slow the process. Some sellers, operating under the premise that they can always come down in price will often find that this approach "backfires", because buyers refuse to look at an overpriced business. Other factors that play a role in determining how quickly your business sells include:

  • Owner’s preparation
  • Owner’s commitment to the process
  • Asking price
  • Terms and conditions
  • Cash flow and profitability considerations
  • Sufficiency of national, even international, advertising and marketing
  • Owner willingness to take back some of the financing
  • Ability of buyer to obtain financing
  • Availability and credibility of business financials
  • Competition of similar businesses in the market
  • Location of the business
  • Whether the business can be relocated
  • External economic factors outside the owner’s control

More information about the timeline of selling a business can be found here.

Should I consider selling my business?

With so much uncertainty in the market, sellers considering selling a good to exceptional quality business continue to remain on the sidelines until prevailing conditions improve. On the other side, as predicted, there is a surge of qualified buyers coming into the market place... Read the full article here

How much is my business worth?

Ultimately, as with any asset, a business is worth what a buyer is willing to pay. There are no magic formulas or exact calculations. Sunbelt of Nashville has a vast amount of experience on which to draw from when we determine the value of your company. The broker will determine a fair market value of your business based on cash flow, competitive strengths, market position, growth potential, and risks of the business. But, it will ultimately come down to what a buyer is willing to pay considering the above issues.  To find out what your business is worth in today's market, contact Sunbelt of Nashville and we will provide you with a free market valuation... Read the full article here

Why is seller financing so important?

Surveys have shown that a seller, who asks for all cash, receives on average only about 70 to 75 percent of their asking price, while sellers who offer some amount of seller financing, receive on average about 86 to 91 percent of their asking price. That's a huge difference! In many cases, businesses that are listed for all cash and no seller financing, often take much longer to sell. With attractive terms, however, the chances of selling increase dramatically and the time period from listing to closing greatly decreases... Read the full article here

My business is for sale.  What can I do to help my broker sell the business?

Most potential buyers will want up-to-date financial information. Time is of the essence in any business sale transaction. Involve your accountant before and during the selling process, and respond to our information requests in a timely manner. Buyers want businesses that are stable and well run. The #1 way you can help is to stay committed to running the business while we lead the sale process. Keep normal hours, build order backlog, maintain important relationships, and meet or beat your financial projections. Keep the facility and equipment in good condition. Be candid with buyers -- if they like and trust you, they might buy from you! Represent your company enthusiastically, but not to the point of covering up. Resolve any issues uncovered during the evaluation phase. If the company has deficiencies, address them early on, with solutions in hand.

How will you keep the sale of my business confidential?

Most often it is detrimental to a business if it is common knowledge that the business is for sale. It can be damaging to the relationships between the company and employees, creditors, the competition, and customers. Damage to these relationships can weaken the company's competitive position. Sunbelt of Nashville understands the importance of confidentiality. We protect your sensitive information throughout the course of a transaction and discreetly market to qualified buyers. No buyer sees detailed information about your business until they have signed a confidentiality agreement and financial summary.

I don’t want to use a broker; can I just sell the business myself?

Sunbelt of Nashville has found most sellers can't provide the time and marketing expertise to effectively sell their business for its maximum value. It's also very difficult to find serious buyers with the necessary capital to acquire a business when there are so many tire kickers. A successful sale is the result of a complete marketing plan. The marketing plan must determine proper market value, justify the asking price, create acceptable terms and provide maximum exposure. Click here to learn more

How do I add value to my business in order to obtain a higher selling price?

If you’re looking to sell a business, it’s critical to look at the value of the business. For many small and mid-sized businesses hard assets like equipment, vehicles, land, buildings, and inventory may be limited. For some small businesses there may be no hard assets at all. Instead, their value is based on intangibles like employees, business processes, customer lists, location and business relationships… Read the full article here