5 important jobs for your to-do list before selling your business in 2024

Deciding to sell your business can be a daunting step. It’s unlikely you’ve ever been through the process before, and it may feel like there are a million things you need to do.

Fortunately, at the Exit Partnership, we have been through the process ourselves. Using our personal experience of selling our own businesses, and our years of experience helping others navigate the exit process, here are five things to include in your to-do list before you start.

1. Set out clear expectations for you, your team, and your clients

Before you can start the process of selling your business, it’s important to establish what you, your team, and your clients can expect from the process.

This will vary for every business and will probably require a bit of soul-searching.

First, establish your priorities for the sale. These could include:

  • Ensuring clients are well looked after
  • Ensuring employees are taken care of
  • The continuation of your brand
  • Getting the best possible deal (not necessarily the highest price).

Other important areas to think about include whether you are willing to keep working for the business after the sale, and what kind of timescale you would like to complete the process in.

2. Ensure your processes and systems are foolproof

To make your business an attractive purchase for potential buyers, take some time to go over your business processes and systems.

Are there problems that need to be addressed? Are there areas where you can increase efficiency before you begin to market your business to buyers?

Potential places for improvement include:

  • Initial client fact-finds
  • The client review process
  • Compliance
  • Revenue management.

3. Keep on top of your accounts

Potential buyers will need to see your financial records so they can understand your expenses, income and profitability. So, in the run-up to selling your business, you’ll need to gather financial statements for the past three to five years (at least) and make sure they’re in good shape. Additionally, you should create financial projections for the next three to five years.

4. Make sure you’re emotionally prepared for the change

You may have expected this list to be purely practical, but there is an emotional side to selling your business that you also need to consider.

As our cover star Stephen Baxter said in his interview: “It’s important to stop and ask yourself: am I personally ready? What is going to be my new purpose when I finish work? You probably need a couple of years of preparation to understand more about your personal goals – other interests, hobbies or roles you’re going to put time into.”

5. Turn to your network for help and support

It’s very important to have a trusted team around you to make sure you get your sale right. Your team could include:

  • A valuation expert
  • An accountant
  • A tax adviser
  • A specialist solicitor.

Of course, it’s also important to have an expert on your side to guide you through the process of selling your business. The Exit Partnership offers an innovative Partner Route to support business owners like you throughout your exit process. Our partner route allows you to get on with your day job while we look after the heavy lifting, showcasing your business in the best possible light and building a strong relationship with your chosen buyer.

If you’re not sure you’re ready to sell your business, asking yourself these nine questions could help.

Get in touch

If you’re ready to sell your business and want the support of experienced professionals throughout the process, speak to Melo.

We’ll work closely with you from start to finish, taking you from concept of sale right through to completion. Even once the sale is complete, we’ll act as a support network to help you adjust to what’s next in your life after exiting.

Email hello@melo.co.uk or call 0113 4656 111.


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