As one of the city’s thousands of business owners, you may find it hard to decide when it’s the right time to sell the company for the highest possible value. Should you sell your business in Dallas? Selling a business is a personal decision, and to make an informed choice, you’ll need to make several considerations. If you’re thinking about selling your Dallas business, here are a few preliminary questions to ask.
Is the Company Growing, Stagnating, or Declining?
A company with more than 10% growth in profitability and sales will command a premium price. Dallas business trends from the past three to five years are one of the factors potential buyers will consider, and they’ll largely determine what those buyers will pay. If you’re planning to sell your business in Dallas, work with a business broker who knows the city and its market trends.
By comparison, companies that have leveled off over the past few years won’t generate as much interest. These businesses, though, are good buys if they have market potential and offer an opportunity for a buyer who is willing to explore all their options.
Finally, a business on a down trend may not sell because it has a higher level of perceived risk. However, if issues are identified and there’s a way to turn things around, a sale may be possible. If your business is faltering, either take the time to get it back on track or be willing to accept a lower offer.
Are Market Conditions Right for a Successful Sale?
As with many other things in life, timing is crucial when selling a Dallas business. When the economy is booming and important industries are performing as they should, you’ll find more willing buyers. However, if there’s still room for growth and improvement, or if there’s a recession going on, it may be best to wait—or you will end up on the short end of the stick.
Am I Still a Motivated Business Owner?
Dallas business brokers have represented numerous owners with strong companies and dependable business models but don’t have the motivation and energy to operate at peak efficiency. In the simplest terms, these owners have held on too long. Burnout is common among small business owners, and many fail to recognize it until it is too late.
In some cases, businesses have sold for less than half the value the owner would have received if they’d tried to sell before starting another company, or before hiring an unskilled manager. If you’re losing the passion for business ownership—or if you’re dealing with substandard management practices—now may be the time to sell.
Are My Tax Returns and Financial Statements an Accurate Reflection of the Company’s Profitability?
When selling a Dallas business, a broker will usually review its financial statements in search of nonrecurring and discretionary expenses. While it may seem invasive to some, the practice is standard, and most buyers know that not all a company’s profits appear on the tax return’s bottom line.
Some adjustments, like personal medical insurance and retirement plans, are easy to spot and can be added to the bottom line with little objection from a potential buyer. However, buyers and their lenders may object to unreported cash and revenue that’s pushed from year to year. If you’re planning to sell, it’s best to form a long-term tax strategy and maintain clean books for at least a couple of years beforehand.
Do People Like Me, or Is My Company Generating All the Goodwill?
Dallas buyers want to ensure that the businesses they purchase will go on as usual. When a business owner maintains good relationships with their customers, it’s much harder to sell compared to companies where the rank-and-file employees are responsible for customer retention.
If your company’s sales and profitability are mostly the result of your efforts, most of the goodwill comes from you—and once you leave, those good feelings are gone. Therefore, it’s important to do what you can to tie that goodwill to your brand. Strengthening the management team is a great place to start.
Would an Ownership Transfer Work?
Selling a business to outsiders may take a while, and though you may plan to depart eventually, you might not be receptive to the changes a new owner will make. Before selling the company to someone else, think about transferring ownership to a family member or a trusted employee.
Certain business transfer structures, such as employee stock ownership plans, can be used. Here, employees can buy ownership stakes and take over a company. With a transfer, business owners can gradually phase out their roles while handing the reins over to a successor. While outside buyers often ask Dallas business owners to stay on in advisory roles, it’s possible to leave on your own terms with an ownership transfer.
Are All the Loose Ends Tied Up?
When selling a Dallas business, don’t try to do it alone. You’ll need advice from various experts, including accountants, lawyers, and business brokers, who have worked with owners in your field. By working with a team of professionals, you’ll ensure that important details, like non-disclosure agreements, aren’t overlooked.
After I Sell, What Will I Do?
Dallas business brokers represent many owners with plans to retire. Most buyers see retirement as a good reason to sell, but that’s not the only reason to exit. If an owner has concrete plans for after the sale, they’ll be more committed to the whole process, and they will be more likely to achieve the results they’re seeking.
Sell Your Company Today and Enjoy More Financial Security Tomorrow
A profitable business is one of an owner’s biggest assets. For many, the thought of a sale is a frightening one, simply because they’ve invested so much effort and time into building the company. Should you sell your business in Dallas? Only you can answer this question. When selling a business, it’s important to be emotionally prepared—and for the company to be ready to change hands. Once those factors have been addressed, find a reliable business broker to help you meet your goals and represent you during the process.