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How long does it actually take to sell a business?

If you’re planning to sell your business, you should give thought to the time it would take to close the deal and hand over ownership. This time is determined by a number of factors. However, you can never get an exact figure that can let you know the time it would take to sell your existing business. As a starting point, six to nine months is a reasonable amount of time when you’re planning the sale. This is why you need to start planning things as soon as you decide to sell your business.

Having said that, we will take a look at the factors that have a major say in determining the time it would take from the day you put up the advertisement to the day everything is settled in the hands of the new buyer.

  • Preparing the business advertisement:

This is the very first step that needs to be taken once you make your mind up about selling your current business. The business advertisement should be made very thoughtfully, as it determines the amount of response you will get from your potential buyers. A well laid out ad can be very helpful in bringing in a lot of buyers, thus saving you the trouble of having to reach out to them, You need to make sure that only relevant information is included in your business ad and that it is presented in an attractive manner. This will allow your ad to stand out from the rest of the advertisements that get posted on various websites and the classified sections of newspapers and magazines.

Relying on digital media can also be a wise option if you want to save on costs along with improving the chances of getting your ad noticed by the buyers.

  • Your marketing strategy determines the time to negotiate the deal:

Another thing that comes into the picture is the way your marketing strategy is implemented once you start putting the word out. Dealing with buyers and negotiating the price is a crucial part of any business deal and determines the total time that the deal would take. Having a strong team of advisors can let you deal with the buyers in a better way than you would be able to on your own.

  • Price of the business is a determining factor:

How much time it takes to complete the deal is also dependent on the price you’re expecting for your business. Overpriced businesses can be easily identified by the amount of response they receive from potential buyers. You must ensure that your price expectations are reasonable if you don’t want to waste your time negotiating with potential buyers. This price should also reflect where the business is located. For example, if you have a business for sale in Houston on the market, you need to know how your industry fares in Houston as well as what the competition looks like  in order to come up with a reasonable price point to sell your business at.

This is why a proper business evaluation needs to be done in order to have an approximate idea of the price offers you should be getting once buyers start approaching you. A decent price tag will be more likely to gain genuine, buyers but you shouldn’t end up settling for anything less than what your business actually deserves. So, make sure that the price you get is justified. Otherwise a significant amount of time can get unnecessarily wasted.

  • Finalizing the deal:

Finalizing the deal with the client is what it all depends on in the end. There are various known methods that can help you speed up the process of closing the deal with your potential buyer. These methods and strategies can only be implemented if you have a decent amount of knowledge on how to sell a business. This is why sellers tend to take the help of professional advisors and business brokers, as these people have extensive knowledge of the market conditions. If you’re selling a business and are worried about dealing with buyers on your own, then you may want to consider using a business broker.  A business broker can save you the trouble of finding potential buyers along with helping you get the best deal.

There are a number of other factors that do not seem obvious but have a major say in determining the amount of time it will take to actually sell your business. For instance, even if you have closed the deal with your buyer, certain legal documents need to be cleared before the ownership can be passed on. You must have a clear idea of the time you want to invest in selling your business so as to manage the process accordingly. An estimated value of time will ensure that your business deal doesn’t end up getting finalized in any hurry and that you can walk away with the best deal possible for your business.

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