Because of this, you will need to start preparing for the sale as early as possible and have a clear plan in mind when you do.
The sale will go better the earlier you start preparing for it. One of the most important ways that you need to prepare is to get your business financials documented and separate from your personal finances.
Planning ahead for the sale will let you get your financials clear and in order so that potential buyers can see what it is that they are buying. The value of your business will be increased if you can display a clear growth in profits or business.
Your planning can also go into the way that the business looks. Update the decorating in the rooms, paint walls that need it and fix anything that has broken over the years. You will need to look at your B&B with the eyes of the buyer and make sure that there isn’t anything that could put off a potential buyer or lower the value.
You can also plan for areas in which your business could expand. Offer this knowledge to buyers as any areas where they could expand will make your business a more attractive proposition.
When it comes to marketing your B&B for sale, there are a few options at your disposal. It can often be a good idea to advertise locally, especially if your business is well-known within your community. Local publications are a good place for you to start.
Finding a business broker that specialises in selling businesses like B&Bs can also be a great help. A broker will help you through the sales process and will be responsible for finding you a buyer. Remember, however, that a broker will also take a commission from the sale.
If you want to reach a wider audience, you should look to advertise your business online. There are online marketplaces where you can list your business. This will allow hundreds of potential buyers to make enquiries on your business.
Once you have decided to advertise your business for sale, it will come down to you to decide which option is right.
Once you do find a buyer, the negotiations will be vital. Building a personal relationship with the buyer rather than having them solely communicate through the lawyers will be of benefit to the negotiations. Ask a lot of questions and listen carefully to what it is that the buyer is saying.
From your side, you will need to be carefully honest. Don’t say too much and risk losing the interest of the buyer.
Most importantly, you need to be prepared to be flexible. Finding a final deal where both you and the buyer are happy is the goal and, for this, you will need to be able to shift on some of your positions.
Don’t forget the worth of your B&B and all the hard work that you have put in the business over the years. You should be able to list all the best aspects of the business to the buyer when you are negotiating.
You will also need, though, to stop yourself from making promises that you aren’t able to keep when it comes to things like the timing of the sale. Be realistic even if the buyer has given you the price that you want!
By Jo Thornley, Head of Brand and Partnerships at Dynamis. Joining in 2005 to co-ordinate PR and communications and produce editorial across all business brands. She earned her spurs managing the communications strategy and now creates and develops partnerships between BusinessesForSale.com, FranchiseSales.com and PropertySales.com and likeminded companies.