Ready to Sell? 3 Steps to Prepare

You’ve spent years building your company, but the day has come. It’s time to sell your business. Whether you’re planning to retire, move to a different industry, or reinvest in a new company, selling your current business can be challenging.

It’s important to find a buyer who is ready and willing to do right by your customers, employees, and suppliers. However, there are also likely hard changes to be made. How can you prepare your company for sale and get the right buyer?

Here are three steps to help you prepare to sell your business:

1. Build Your Revenue

A buyer will look closely at how your business is trending. A growing business is more desirable and will command a higher price than a stagnating or downward-trending company.

Consider creating a new sales initiative for your employees or bumping up your sales staff. Also, make sure that every dollar of income and expenses is recorded accurately in your financial records.

When you have a growing business with impeccable records, your company will become much more attractive to buyers.

2. Reduce Your Influence in the Company

This may be one of the hardest, but most important, ways to prepare for a business sale. You need to reduce your role in the business so that your management team can step forward. If you haven’t created a strong management group, this is a great time to do so.

Selling the business naturally means that you won’t be there to call the shots. Someone else will be taking over. The more you’ve stepped back and let others lead, the easier the transition.

Employees, customers, and suppliers need a go-to contact that isn’t you. Set these reporting structures up now so that when you sell, the process will be seamless.

3. Turn Excess Inventory and Assets to Cash

It’s easy for a company to sit on old inventory well after it should have sold. If you’ve been leading the business for a number of years, there may be a lot of excess inventory in storage.

Generally, a new buyer isn’t going to be interested in paying for old stock, so now is the time to liquidate it and turn it into cash for your company. Get your inventory down to the level it needs to be for normal business operation before you sell.

The same principle applies to business assets. If you have old equipment you’re not using anymore or other assets that are gathering dust, it’s time to sell them. If they don’t have retail value, sell them for scrap or parts or dispose of them.

Just the Beginning

These three steps are essential, but there’s more you need to know. There are actually nine steps we recommend to prepare your business for sale. Get the guide for free now!

Once you’re ready to sell, you need the right brokerage to partner with you and help you find a qualified buyer. Don’t waste your time with people who are just practicing their valuations or “kicking the tires.”

When you work with Murphy Business, we can connect you with serious, highly-qualified buyers who are ready to take action on your company. Ready to get started? Contact us today!

How to Create an Exit Strategy From the Start

You’re just starting your business. You have a deep passion to serve your customers and provide the very best products and services available. Thinking about how you’re going to exit the business is likely the last thing on your mind.

Unfortunately, failing to plan for the end means that you aren’t sure where you’re going. Yes, your business can grow and develop, and an exit plan might materialize. It’s a much better idea to plan for your exit from the beginning.

Best of all, with an exit plan, you’ll have an easier time winning over investors. They love a business plan that shows them how they’ll get their return on investment.

Possible Exit Strategies

What are the possible ways you can exit your business? There are several.

If you’re a sole proprietor without investors, you can simply increase your personal income from the business in the final years. At the end, close the business, liquidate, and retire or move to your next venture.

Other companies might plan on growing to the point that they can go public. Once your business is publicly traded, you can sell your shares when you’re ready to retire. Your management and employees will choose a new leader and move forward.

Or you might decide you want to sell the company to another entrepreneur or a larger firm. To do this, you need to be aware of who needs your technology or products and cultivate a relationship with them as early as possible.

No matter how you plan to finish your involvement with your company, whether it’s in three years or twenty, you need to plan for it now.

 

Step 1: Design the Business to Run Without You

The biggest mistake business founders make is centering the business on themselves personally. It’s easy to do — after all, you have the passion and the vision, and in the early days, you might have the most expertise as well.

As your company progresses, you may want to bring in a CEO. You might be tempted to be the CEO yourself, but this can hamstring your company. Independent leadership helps you grow in new ways and gives your company an independent leg to stand on.

You should also build work teams and ensure that you aren’t the primary face that the customer sees. That way, when it’s time for you to exit, the company will continue to run smoothly.

Step 2: Keep Your Finances in Order From the Beginning

When a business owner wants to sell their company, one of the biggest challenges can be getting the financials and documentation in order. You need detailed historical financials as well as projections for the future.

If you plan to sell as an exit strategy, develop a process for creating and storing these documents right away. It will make everything much easier when you’re ready to sell.

Step 3: Decide How Much to Say

You probably don’t want to publicly broadcast your exit plan as soon as you found your company. Customers and partners will have a hard time trusting you, and employees may not want to work for an owner who seems uncommitted.

Instead, plan for your eventual exit and put processes in place quietly.

Are You Ready to Sell Your Business?

If you’re ready to exit your business through a sale, we’re here to help. Murphy Business has helped many companies market themselves, qualify buyers, and negotiate the terms of a sale.

If it’s time to implement your exit plan and sell, contact us today for more information!

How to Be a Great Leader in Uncertain Times

Leading a business in 2020 has been extremely challenging. However, it seems like there are always difficult circumstances in business. From the attacks of 9/11 to the economic meltdown of 2008-10 to COVID-19, tough times surface periodically.

What separates those who do well from those who fail is often a single factor — great leadership.

How can you be a top leader in these uncertain times? Here are ideas you can use today — and in the next crisis.

Learn to Manage Well Remotely
Pandemic or not, remote work is a growing trend. Over the last five years, remote positions grew by 44%. Many top workers look for flexibility and the ability to work from home when they apply for jobs. Crises, such as disease or economic uncertainty, make remote work even more appealing to both companies and their staff.

Are you able to lead successfully from a distance? It requires excellent communication, the technology skills to use project management and video meeting tools, and the ability to engage people and help them feel successful.

Work on being very clear with employees about goals and expectations, along with project plans and timelines. The more you can do this, in person or remotely, the more practice you’ll have for future opportunities.
Also, the fact that every person manages their workload differently is magnified during remote work. Practice seeing that as a benefit, not a threat. Encourage people to work in a way that fits them best.

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
When people can’t see your body language or hear your tone of voice, communication is challenging. Practice being especially clear in emails and using video meetings instead of in-person more often. You’ll learn a lot, and having the opportunity to follow up in person will help avoid misunderstandings while you’re growing.

Help your employees communicate with you more clearly as well. They should be able to define their goals in their own words, tell you how things are going, and give you a heads-up if a project is late.

This level of communication might seem overmuch under normal, in-office circumstances. However, if there’s another crisis or your company decides to make at-home work more available, the skills will be priceless.

Work Closely With Your Leadership Team
One of the things that everyone deeply needs during a difficult time is a sense of stability and routine. One person alone cannot provide that. Be sure you work closely with other leaders in your company to provide a united front and communicate the same message to everyone.

Inconsistency in leadership and messaging in tough times makes problems worse. If you’ve recently bought a business, it’s even more critical to get everyone on the same page. Strive for levelheadedness, empathy, and focused leadership.

Is it Time for a Change for You?
As a leader, you might be ready to take the next step — owning your own business. While this is a challenging economy, the truth is that you will always face obstacles. Don’t let that stop you from moving forward with your dreams!

If you’re ready to take the leap to own your own business, let us help you find exactly what you’re looking for. Contact us today to learn more!

Selling A Business? Find Out How Murphy Can Help

If you’re looking at selling a business, it’s key that you have the assistance of an expert business broker service like Murphy Business. We work with a proven model for valuating businesses, marketing to buyers, and selling businesses for fair market value. This model, along with our extensive expertise and experience, has made us one of the most successful business brokers in North America.

We understand how stressful it can be to sell your business without outside support. Not only do you want to ensure that you’re getting maximum value for the sale, but you also want to avoid getting hung up on details and procedural hurdles that could prevent you from closing the transaction once you’ve found a buyer.

With a professional business broker from Murphy Business by your side every step of the way, you’ll enjoy a greater level of confidence when selling your business and less overall stress about finding the right buyer. Read on to learn more about how our business brokerage services can help you make a successful sale.

How Our Services Make Selling a Business Easier

Because the process of selling a business is confidential, most business owners lack the knowledge they need to manage these complicated procedures without help. At Murphy Business, we know what it takes to complete these complex transactions in a way that enables you to sell your business on own your own terms. Our proven track record of successful sales and high closing ratios are a result of our dedication to helping business owners reap the benefits of their hard work.

Here are just a few of the ways that Murphy Business can help you successfully sell a business:

  • We work across all industries and understand local markets. Our local business brokers have a strong sense of their individual markets, including the going rates for a variety of different business types as well as the amount of time it typically takes to close a deal. We’ll leverage this knowledge to target the right candidates when promoting your business. Also since regulations differ based on location, it’s important to choose a local business broker that has a deep understanding of the fine print for business sales in your area.
  • We ensure that your business is properly valued. It’s not uncommon for business owners to have an inaccurate understanding of their business’s worth, making it even harder for them to sell at a fair price. With our professional business valuation services, you can be sure that your business is properly evaluated before listing it for sale. We’ll take a wide range of factors into account, including the management structure of the business and other details that business owners often find hard to quantify.
  • We market your business to a wider, deeper pool. We’ll design a personalized marketing plan to promote the sale of your business using an assortment of targeted strategies. This includes the creation of a detailed Offering Portfolio, which provides potential buyers with essential information in an upfront and efficient manner. Our experience and affiliations with brokerage associations and networks enable your marketing materials to reach a larger pool of buyers, making it more likely that you’ll find qualified candidates in a timely fashion.
  • We assist with negotiating and closing the transaction. You can count on us to make sure the negotiation and closure of the sale is a smooth process. We’ll be there to help assess different offers and handle any negotiations that arise so that you can leave with the very best offer for your business. This professional expertise is often essential to preventing deals from coming apart at the last minute. Plus, our support helps promote the financial stability of your business after the transfer so you can have peace of mind that you’re leaving your business in good hands.

Are you thinking about selling a business? Give Murphy Business a call today at (888) 561-3243 to connect with one of our professional business brokers and request a free, no-strings-attached consultation.

3 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Resale Franchise Business

Buying an established franchise business can be a rock-solid investment. That’s especially true if you can find a well-run business under a great franchise brand.

However, buying a resale franchise isn’t for everyone. Some entrepreneurs prefer independent businesses. Some would rather start their own franchise instead of purchasing a resale. And if you purchase a poorly run franchise or choose a mismanaged brand, you’re in for serious disappointment.

So before you buy a resale franchise, ask yourself three questions:

    • #1: What makes owning a franchise a better option than independent business ownership?
    • #2: If I want to own a franchise, why buy a resale franchise instead of a new one?
    • #3: How can I find the right resale franchise for my goals and resources?

Franchise Business vs. Independent Business

There’s a long-running debate about whether it’s better to own a franchise business or an independent company. At the end of the day, it’s a matter of personal preference. Some people prefer a proven blueprint and recognized brand. Others want the freedom to run their business their way.

But when it comes to purchasing an established business, there’s a lot to be said for franchise resales. The main advantage here is that franchises are designed for a range of different owners. That makes it much easier for a franchise location to work under new ownership. Whereas, independent entrepreneurs tend to build businesses according to their own preferences and talent. Under new ownership, many of these businesses struggle.

Then you have the usual reasons for choosing a franchise over an independent business. A proven blueprint, plus training opportunities and corporate support, give franchisees a head start. Marketing tends to be easier with a recognized brand and corporate marketing materials. And by choosing a forward-thinking brand, you’ll be well-positioned for future developments in the industry. 

Resale Franchise vs. New Franchise

If you want to own and operate a franchise business, you have two basic paths to ownership. The first is to purchase the rights to a new franchise opportunity and develop your business from the ground up. The second is to purchase a resale franchise that’s already operational.

While many entrepreneurs would rather start a new franchise, others prefer resale opportunities. Resale franchises typically cost more than the startup costs for a new franchise. But they also typically come with less risk and a faster route to profitability.

Here are four other reasons that you might want to purchase a resale franchise instead of starting a new one:

      • Different Business Challenges. Some entrepreneurs love the challenge of building and developing a business. Others excel at managing an already up-and-running company. If you fall into this second category, it makes more sense to purchase an existing company. And if you prefer franchising, that means finding a resale franchise business.
      • Established Cash Flow. Any time you purchase a resale business — whether a franchise or an independent business — you benefit from existing cash flow. A resale franchise provides you with an established customer base, allowing you to become profitable much more quickly. Instead of starting in the batter’s box, you’ll be on second or third base.
      • Existing Infrastructure. In the same way that a resale franchise provides you with existing customers, it also provides you with existing infrastructure. You’ll have key assets in place, such as a physical location, marketing resources, back office systems, and equipment. And you’ll have a staff that’s already familiar with day-to-day operations.
      • Access to Protected Territories. If you get in on the ground floor with a franchise brand, you get your choice of territory. But if you’re late to the game, you might find yourself looking at markets with limited potential. Purchasing a resale franchise business will allow you to acquire the kind of territory you’re looking for.

Finding the Right Resale Franchise Business

Buying a resale franchise can leave you with a steady and reliable income stream for years to come. But if you purchase a mismanaged franchise or join a brand in decline, you’re likely in serious trouble.

One of the best ways to avoid this scenario is to hire a business broker. At Murphy Business, our brokers make it easy to navigate the franchise resale market, matching you with the right franchise business and the right franchise brand.

A great business broker also makes it easier to negotiate and close the purchase of a franchise business. Your broker can counsel you throughout negotiations and help you avoid common mistakes made when purchasing a business. Brokers can also refer you to legal and financial experts or help you acquire financing through local lenders.

Ready to buy a resale franchise business? Call Murphy Business at (888) 561-3243 today to request a free consultation!

How Murphy Can Help You Land the Ideal Business Opportunity

Finding the ideal business opportunity takes time, hard work, and perseverance. It also requires you to know what you want from a business — a step that many entrepreneurs forget. Even then, you may struggle to find the right business without help from someone who knows the market.

Murphy Business Brokers can help you find the perfect business.

Working with a Murphy Business Broker can make finding the right business opportunity a lot easier. Our brokers take the time to understand your needs, possess an expert understanding of the business sales market, and have access to private business listing networks. We’re also experts at negotiating and closing business transactions, as well as acquiring financing.

Understanding Your Goals & Situation

As an entrepreneur, your ideal business opportunity will depend on your goals, skills, and resources. 

When you meet with a Murphy Business Broker, we’ll start by exploring these factors. This way, we’ll understand what you’re looking for in a business. Just as importantly, we’ll know what you bring to the table. We want to match you with an opportunity that you’re passionate about and where you’re well-positioned for success.

To make this a reality, we’ll talk with you in detail about a wide range of considerations:

    • Your Short-Term Goals. Where do you see yourself immediately after purchasing your business? What types of challenges are you excited to tackle? Which would you like to avoid?
    • Your Long-Term Goals. What’s your ultimate goal as a business owner? At what point do you expect a positive return from your investment? Do you plan to sell the business at a later date or run it for as long as you can?
    • Your Ideal Market. What type of living situation do you want for you and your family? How far are you willing to relocate for the right business? Are you looking for opportunities in specific markets?
    • Your Skills & Experience. Which aspects of your professional background and skill set will be assets as a business owner? How can you harness your existing strengths? How much work will you put into learning new skills?
    • Your Budget & Resources. How much capital can you afford to invest in a business opportunity? How easily will you be able to acquire financing? What other existing resources can you bring to a new business venture?

Based on your answers to these questions, we’ll then conduct a search for your ideal business opportunity.

Finding the Right Business Opportunity

No one understands the market for business sales like an experienced business broker. What’s more, no one is better equipped to navigate this market.

At Murphy Business, our brokers enjoy access to a wide range of business listing networks, including private networks meant exclusively for brokers. At the same time, we have connections to other Murphy Business Brokers. This gives our brokers insider access to major markets in 35+ different states.

In addition to providing you with access to a wider range of business listings, we make it easier to identify and target high-quality listings

Having handled countless business sales and purchases — and having written countless business listings ourselves — we can navigate listings much faster than independent buyers, and we can identify quality listings at a much higher rate of success. This way, you don’t need to waste time going from listing to listing, trying to find the best fit.

Negotiating & Closing the Deal

Finding the perfect business opportunity is a complicated process. But once you’ve found the right opportunity, you still need to negotiate and close the sale itself. And that can be an even more complicated process for buyers.

By hiring a Murphy Business Broker, you’ll have an expert to guide you through these steps. We can assist or represent you in negotiations, help you avoid common pitfalls that occur during this stage, and connect you with qualified legal and financial experts.

Murphy Business Brokers can also help you acquire the financing you need to purchase a business. Our brokers maintain close contact with local lenders in U.S. markets, and we have experience helping buyers acquire both traditional financing and SBA loans.

Searching for the perfect business opportunity? Call (888) 561-3243 today to connect with a Murphy Business Broker and request a free consultation.

The Advantages of Selling with Small Business Brokers

When you’re selling a business, finding the right business broker will save a lot of time and stress. More importantly, it will improve the actual chances of selling your business, and it can help increase the value of your sale. So, you want to make sure that your broker understands what it takes to sell your business. For most small business owners, that means choosing a small business broker.

What constitutes a small business? The Small Business Administration is the best place to reference for details, but typically a company with less than 250 employees is considered a small business. While the definition does vary by industry, the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council found that of all US firms, 99.7% or 28 million are considered small businesses.

Murphy Business brokers can assist you in selling your business.

Small business brokers are brokers who specialize in selling smaller. These brokers tend to work directly with independent business owners, rather than working as part of a larger, multi-touchpoint team. They also tend to be locally based, focusing on sales within a particular market.

This makes them uniquely valuable to small business owners in a number of ways, both before and during the business sales process.

Why Sell with a Small Business Broker?

If you’re selling a small business, it simply makes sense to hire a broker who specializes in small business sales.

First and foremost, they’ll understand how to sell a small business better than a broker who’s focused on mid-size companies. The best small business brokers have chosen to focus on Main Street business sales because they’re passionate about working with Main Street business owners.

As a result, they’ve built a unique skill set for valuating and selling small businesses. At the same time, they understand the small business market better than most other brokers. They also possess detailed understanding of how different small businesses operate, and how different business structures impact the value of a business listing.

Working with a small business broker also comes with additional benefits. For example…

High-Touch Relationships

With small business brokers, one of the biggest advantages is the high-touch nature of their client relationships.

With larger brokerage firms, you’re typically looking at one of two options. Some of these firms specifically target larger businesses. They might accept small business listings, but they don’t invest a lot of time in smaller clients. Then you have larger firms that target smaller businesses, but who churn out listings via an assembly-line-style process.

In neither case will you build the kind of relationship you want with a business broker.

Instead, you want a broker who works specifically with small business owners and who treats each business and listing as a unique project. This kind of broker will take the time to understand the ins and outs of your business, what’s contributing to or detracting from its value, and how to make it saleable.

Professional References

The vast majority of business brokers are locally based, serving sellers within a specific metro area or regional market. Over time, they develop relationships with other local providers of professional services, including valuation specialists, attorneys and paralegals, real estate brokers, and loan officers.

These relationships can prove valuable to small business owners preparing to sell a business. Most sellers have never gone through the process of selling a business, so they don’t know which kinds of services they need or who to trust with these services.

A small business broker with a strong reputation and track record can refer you to other professionals who provide the services you need. Keep in mind that, typically, a broker only makes money if they successfully sell your business, and the money they make is contingent on the value of that sale. So, it’s in a broker’s best interests to connect you with the services you need to make your business more saleable and valuable.

Best of all, brokers who work with small business owners tend to develop referral networks with similar professionals. That means referring you to other professional services providers who specialize in working with small businesses like yours.

Local Expertise

A local business broker isn’t just a great source for referrals. They’re also a great source for information and insights about your local market.

This level of expertise can prove valuable in many different ways. If there are state or local regulations that could complicate the sale of your business, a great broker will not only alert you to these regulations but will also help you navigate them. If you find the perfect buyer but they’re looking for local financing, your broker will know where to direct them.

At the same time, a local small business broker will know how to market your city or region. Many business buyers are looking to not only find a great business, but also a great place to live. A great local business broker will know which types of buyers are attracted to your area, which qualities about your area attract them, and how to market your listing to these buyers.

Finding Small Business Brokers Near You

While selling with a small business broker has lots of advantages, that’s only the case if you find the right broker. If you choose an unreliable, inexperienced, or otherwise low-quality broker, you won’t enjoy these benefits.

Our suggestion? Start by contacting your nearest Murphy Business brokerage office. We have decades of experience working with small business owners. Additionally, each of our brokers offers the kind of local expertise you need in a small business transaction.

While we offer all the benefits that you’d expect from small business brokers, we also offer the perks of a larger brokerage network. Our brokers use a proven system for assessing, valuating, and listing small businesses for sale. We also have access to national and international brokerage networks. This allows us to reach a much larger pool of qualified buyers compared to your typical independent broker.

Looking for small business brokers in your area? Call (727) 725-7090 today and connect with your local Murphy Business Broker!