Ed Phillips has everything you need to help you to live a healthy, happy life. Every weekday Ed talks to the best medical experts who love to answer your questions on the open line.  He also gets into the Talking Lifestyle kitchens, giving you all the best recipes and food tips, before helping get your finances in order as well.  Along the way, there’s plenty of entertainment and fun with all your calls and emails too.

Essential Decisions To Make Before Selling Your Business

The best thing anyone can do when they start their business is to set it up for sale somewhere down the track. What you really need to look at is how the business can stand on its own. Can it run without you? If you’re the business owner, how do you manage to get your business to a stage where you can take a decent sort of holiday and nothing falls apart? If you are still very much part of the business then what you don’t have is a saleable business; what you have is a job.

The bottom line is to start systemising, having a look at what you’re doing in your business that you are repeating. If there is a job function that you have to do more than once, how can you create a system around that?

You might say, “How on earth can I do that?” We have some marvellous tools available for us today that allow you to be able to do that. Smartphones allow you to be able to take a little video of the particular process that you might be doing. A simple mind map will be the beginning of the system. The system to writing systems is to be able to demonstrate and show what it is you’re doing, why it is that it’s being done, what are the steps in the process, and what are the results that you want to have that comes from that particular process.

There is no real excuse for anybody today not to be able to do that, allocating the time that it takes to set it in place. If you start now, then months down the track you’ll have a magnificent system in place. As I said, there are so many wonderful tools that are now available in the technological sense. Gone are the days when we had handwritten flowcharts, like I used to do in my business more than 20 years ago.

Where Do You Find A Buyer?

One of the things that I would really highly recommend is to sit down and think about who might be a potential buyer for your business. This is a way of coming up with somebody that could take your business strategically. This allows you to get the best possible price that you can for the business.

You could have customers that couple potentially be interested. You might have suppliers that could be potentially interested. There might even be competitors that could potentially be interested. The first thing I suggest is sit down and do a bit of a brainstorm around that.

How Important Is Timing?

The best time to be able to sell your business is when it’s on the growth curve. A lot of business owners wait until they’ve actually ridden it over the top and it’s already starting to have a little bit of a slide and they’ve basically said, “I’ve had enough, I want to get out.” That is not a good time to be selling. If you put yourself in the shoes of someone who might want to buy your business, what are they going to be looking for? They’re going to be looking for growth potential and what the future profits might be out of that business.

The other point I would love to make is when Kerry Packer famously sold Channel 9 to Alan Bond. Every business should always be ready for sale. When you set your business up properly, you have it functioning so you’re not integral to it. There are quite a few other key factors around that as well, but when a potential buyer comes along, you’re ready, you can actually say, “Yes, thank you very much, I’m ready for it.”

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