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10 Interesting Statistics About Selling Your Business

Team Acquira
-  April 12, 2024
What You’ll Learn
  • How the majority of an owner’s wealth might be tied in their business.
  • Why thorough planning is essential before initiating the sale process.
  • What the median sale price and revenue for small U.S. businesses are.
  • How long, on average, it takes to sell a small business.
  • Why many high-value businesses face challenges in securing buyers.

Selling a business is a momentous decision, often culminating from years of hard work, dedication, and personal sacrifice. 

It’s not just a financial transaction, but a deeply personal endeavor that can have profound implications on an owner’s future, wealth, and legacy. 

While proper planning can ensure a seamless transition and successful sale, business owners must arm themselves with the necessary facts and data to navigate this process effectively. 

Interesting Business Selling Statistics

Let’s delve into ten crucial statistics that shed light on the complexities and nuances of selling your business.

  1. Maximizing Business Value: Engaging in the process of selling your business is crucial for maximizing its value and ensuring a smooth transition of ownership. Proper preparation, as explained by Business News Daily, is essential for a successful sale.
  2. Unlocking Financial Wealth: 80-90% of business owners have their wealth tied up in their companies, according to The Exit Planning Institute. Selling provides a unique opportunity to unlock this wealth, enabling new ventures or a comfortable retirement.
  3. Accurate Business Valuation: As an owner and operator, determining the true value of your business can be challenging. The Library of Congress Small Business Hub emphasizes the need for an objective evaluation to overcome common owner-related valuation challenges.
  4. Strategic Sale Planning: The significant undertaking of selling a business requires meticulous planning. Business.com stresses the importance of thorough preparation to navigate the complexities of the sale process successfully.
  5. Market Research for Optimal Timing: Understanding market conditions is key to determining the right time to sell and maximizing financial returns. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce underscores the importance of market research in achieving optimal sale outcomes.
  6. Understanding Market Prices: BizBuySell’s study provides valuable market insights, indicating a median sale price of $329,000 for small businesses, with median revenue at $636,000. These figures are crucial for setting realistic expectations. 
  7. Patience Throughout the Sale Process: On average, selling a small business takes 6 to 12 months, according to BizBuySell. This timeframe highlights the importance of patience and maintaining realistic expectations throughout the sale process. 
  8. Exit Strategy Awareness: Notably, 48% of business owners intending to sell lack a proper exit strategy, as reported by smallbiztrends, indicating a potential area of improvement for prospective sellers. 
  9. Navigating Regulatory Requirements: Approximately 34% of U.S. states mandate the involvement of a business broker in the sale process, emphasizing the need for professional expertise, especially in specific jurisdictions, according to Rocky Mountain Business Advisors.
  10. Challenges for High-Value Businesses: High-value businesses, priced over $2,500,000, face unique challenges in the market, with less than one in three successfully finding a buyer, shows Rocky Mountain Business Advisors. Awareness of this trend is crucial for setting realistic goals.
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Tips for a Smooth Transition

When the time comes to hand over the reins of your business to a new owner, ensuring a seamless transition is paramount. The process can be complex, impacting not just the seller and buyer, but also employees, clients, and the ongoing operations of the business. 

A smooth transition is crucial to maintain the business’s stability, safeguard jobs, and preserve the company’s reputation and customer relationships. The following actionable tips are designed to guide you through this important phase, laying the groundwork for a successful changeover that benefits all parties involved.

Documenting Business Processes: One of the most crucial steps to ensure a smooth transition is meticulously documenting all business processes. This includes outlining daily operations, detailing the roles and responsibilities of employees, and creating a comprehensive manual for all software and tools used within the business. By doing so, the new owner can quickly grasp how the business functions and continue operations with minimal disruptions. Furthermore, well-documented processes demonstrate the business’s organization and efficiency, potentially increasing its market value.

Employee Preparation: Employees are the backbone of any business, and preparing them for the transition is paramount. Transparent communication is key. When the time is right, work with the buyer to inform your team about the changes and ensure them that their roles and job security will remain intact. Involve key personnel in the transition process

Training and Support: Offering training and support to the new owner is another vital component of a seamless transition. Depending on the complexity of the business, this might involve spending a few weeks or even months helping them get acquainted with the business operations, customer relations, and other critical aspects. Ensure that they are comfortable and confident in running the business, and be available to answer any questions they might have during the initial period post-sale.

Collaboration Post-Closure: Maintaining a collaborative relationship with the buyer post-close is a key element in ensuring a smooth transition. Even after the sale is complete, your expertise and knowledge of the business are invaluable assets that can significantly aid the new owner in navigating the early stages of their leadership. Establish clear communication channels and be open to providing advice and insights when needed. However, it’s also important to respect boundaries and allow the new owner the space to make their own decisions and implement their vision for the business. By striking the right balance, you can contribute to the ongoing success of the business while fostering a positive and supportive relationship with the new owner.

Understanding the Impact of Key Personnel: In many businesses, certain employees hold critical knowledge or have specialized skills that are crucial for the company’s operations. It is essential to identify these key personnel and understand the impact they have on the business. Documenting their roles, responsibilities, and the unique value they bring to the company is a vital step in preparing for a seamless transition.

Creating an Employee Skills Matrix: If you’re working with Acquira or an Acquira-backed buyer, this is one of the first things they will ask you for so preparing it ahead of time will only help the process. For each key employee, create a comprehensive skills matrix that includes their job description, daily responsibilities, any specialized skills or knowledge they possess, and their contributions to the company’s success. Include details on any ongoing projects they are involved in, key relationships they manage (both internally and externally), and any other information that would be critical for the new owner to know.

Conclusion

Are you considering selling your business? If so, reach out to Acquira to learn about how we can help you get maximum value from all your hard work – while also maintaining your legacy.

Our industry experts have access to an ecosystem of hundreds of qualified – and motivated – buyers. 

Get your FREE business valuation by filling out the form below. 

Key Takeaways

  • 80-90% of owners’ wealth is in their businesses.
  • Valuing a company is challenging for owners.
  • 48% of selling owners lack an exit strategy.
  • Maintaining a collaborative relationship with the buyer post-close is a key element in ensuring a smooth transition.
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