How to prepare your business for a profitable sale cover image
24 Apr 2020

How to prepare your business for a profitable sale


Those on the hunt for a business investment are savvy. They will only invest in a bargain that suits their current situation and has the ability to expand their business success.

The process of selling a business can be extremely difficult. When I embarked on this journey for the first time I had absolutely no idea just how arduous it would be. I didn’t realise how long it would all take and I certainly hadn’t considered what would be required to make my business attractive to a buyer. When I started the process I naively thought that all I needed was profitability. After a year of working at that sale, I learned a few lessons that just might make the world of difference to you as you prepare to take your business to market. 

There was a time in the middle of preparing for the sale where I had to push through the fear that I may not make it. It was a roller coaster ride that was fraught with risky unknowns. I know now that my worries were actually founded in fact. Only 20% of all of the businesses listed for sale ever sell. 

Those on the hunt for a business investment are savvy. They will only invest in a bargain that suits their current situation and has the ability to expand their business success. The health of your bottom line will certainly make your business more attractive, but this is only one factor your potential buyers will use to evaluate the opportunity you are presenting. Along with a profitable sales history, your buyer needs a truckload of certainty. It is essential that these five key areas ooze stability if you want to sell your business for what it’s truly worth: 


If you can demonstrate that your staff work well with or without you there, you will be in a strong selling position. There is not a single business buyer in the world who wants to inherit a chaotic, negative workforce. A team of reliable, competent people running a tight ship is a compelling asset for any business purchase. Well established systems for recruitment, onboarding, training, management and offboarding are even more attractive again.


Knowing the business has clean, clear lines of supply for stock and other essential resources is vital to a successful sale. You must be on good terms with all of your suppliers. You need to be able to show you have watertight processes for managing accounts, and for purchasing and receiving supplies. When you present your business to your prospect, assure them that your company has easy access to quality supplies at great prices, and that there’s no risk of this changing in the foreseeable future.


You will be ready to show off the value of your business asset when you can walk your prospect through well-maintained operations manuals which document how everything is done. From your workflows to your website, to your marketing, service delivery, site management, and administration… every part of a saleable business must run like a well-oiled machine. This is the proof that the cogs of your business machine can and will keep turning long after you have left the engine room.  


Maximising the strength of your business reputation is an effective way to boost the final sale price. The value of your business brand name, solid customer base, good customer relations, good employee relations, and any patents or proprietary technology will all hold you in good stead with your buyers as long as they are rock solid. Success in this area cannot be achieved overnight. If you are thinking of selling up in future, you need to invest in building the goodwill of your business over the long term.


Your business will be irresistible to buyers if you show them you are ready to roll out the red carpet to welcome them. Map out a clear timeline of how you will hand the business over. Include an overview of the steps you have prepared to make it easy for them to take the reins. A successful handover is a natural extension of quality business leadership. Building effective systems to manage your staff, suppliers and operations will enhance the goodwill of your business and set you up for a silky smooth handover.

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