Selling the business it took you so long to create is not easy in any way, practically and emotionally.  It is difficult to be objective when talking or deciding about something so close to your heart. You will have only one opportunity to position and price it to maximize the profit you will get for years of hard work.

To make it through triumphantly, you need a plan.  You must follow several steps to get you fit for the sale and have control over the whole process.  It is vital that you define very clearly why it was that you started the business and under what conditions you are prepared to sell it.

If you are considering the option of selling your business, please follow these steps to guide you painlessly through the process:

  1. There must be an advisory team, composed by your lawyer, accountant, and a specialist in mergers or acquisitions, like for example, a pharmaceutical consultant, for this specific field.  These three people will cover every important area of the process and will get you what you desire.
  2. Put the right price on your business.  Experience and knowledge are necessary to avoid overpricing, which will scare buyers, and underpricing, which will cause suspicion.  Your team must be able to price your company according to the market.  The mergers and acquisitions’ specialist can set a fair market price and can also identify elements in your business that, if corrected or changed, may increase its value.
  3. Study tax consequences of the sale, because taxes can consume your profits. Get a tax expert’s help.  Taxes will be based on two things: how the business is legally set up and whether you are selling assets or stock.  The merger’s specialist can help you find ways to reduce tax impact.
  4. Prepare due diligence materials with your mergers’ specialist.  This person is in charge of qualifying buyers confidentially, and once these start asking for your business’s information, these materials have to be gathered carefully to avoid surprises later.
  5. You must promote your business for it to be noticed among others.  The specialist is an experienced marketer, thus, he or she is the person to turn to for advice.  Let them do their job in completely justifying your price.
  6. Ask for expert help in talking about the sell to your employees, suppliers, and customers.  The specialist knows how to maintain things confidential until every buyer has been interviewed and checked for financial references.
  7. Negotiate for a win/win situation.  The specialist will be there to assist you and help you avoid disputes.  His or her objective view will help you sort the toughest issues.
  8. The specialist may also help your potential buyer find financing opportunities. Many owners finance part of the price to their buyers.
  9. Define terms and conditions early on.  Clarify if the buyer will limit your future participation in the field, if you will work for them in any way, or if you are keeping some assets.
  10. Have everything ready for the closing meeting, as you shouldn’t deal with last minute issues then.  The mergers’ specialist will help you gather everything to present to the buyer.

Of course, each of these steps demands a complicated process that must be understood clearly before selling, and through it all, you should have the mergers and acquisitions’ specialist right by your side.