Selling a business
Selling a business is certainly a more complex process than selling a house. But it doesn’t need to be a stressful experience if you are willing to take specialist advice.
“Hotels are always an attractive business to buy, it doesn’t matter if it’s a small boutique hotel or a big hotel in the city centre”
At Christie & Co, we’ve been selling independent businesses in your sector for more than 80 years and our knowledge is unrivalled. Our people are the best in the business — experienced, enthusiastic and dedicated to giving accurate and honest advice.
“I’m not interested in selling my business, although…”
Although the thought of selling their business may be far from their minds, some owners choose to meet with us when they discover that we’ve successfully sold similar properties in the area. Others simply want to chat about the market.
Whether you’ve already made your mind up or not, the idea of selling is a lot more attractive with the right help and expertise behind you.
The idea of selling a business: questions to ask yourself
Why sell and when?
There are lots of reasons other than price for selling – such as retirement, end of partnership, poor health, or a change of lifestyle. So, does it matter when you sell? Not really. There’s never a bad time to sell a good business! But it can be stressful, so help from understanding experts is essential.
Do you know what you need to?
What price do you set for your business? How can you sell it most effectively? How to manage it whilst still running the business? What’s the schedule of events and processes? What information to gather and prepare? If you don’t sell businesses every day, there’s quite a steep learning curve to negotiate.
Can you get the right price?
What is the price you should ask for your business? You’ve worked hard to build your business so there’s every reason to get the highest possible value. You need to understand the price the market is willing to pay, and to do nothing better than being advised by an expert who knows the market and operational data.
Start preparing your business for sale
By getting all your financial and legal paperwork in order now, you can save a lot of time later on. It also creates a more ‘watertight’ case for facts and figures, making it harder for potential buyers to knock you down or play hardball.
Momentum is everything when it comes to negotiating price.
Consult with your professional advisers
Professionally prepared material can mean a higher selling price for you, more likelihood of finance (i.e. a mortgage or loan) for the buyer and a quicker deal for all parties.
Your accountant will help with key financial data such as trading accounts, certificate of turnover and whether to sell the asset or shares. Think about your tax position post-sale too. Make sure that the liabilities you’ll incur don’t make it impossible for you to sell the business!
Your solicitor can avoid later delays by preparing a draft contract of sale and covering off any ongoing legal issues that may need clarifying or resolving (egg planning permission).
Your Christie & Co agent will be using business intelligence to weigh up potential strengths and weaknesses and determine the best possible strategy. At Christie & Co, we use every possible means to ensure a successful sale process and clinch the best deal for you.
Make your business look more attractive to buyers
This sounds like common sense but many sellers overlook small improvements that can make a big difference to generating interest in the business and to the ultimate selling price.
A wisely invested £5,000 at this stage could repay itself several times over. Especially if it’s based on shrewd advice from a good agent!
Appoint a tried and trusted sales agent
This is key to getting the best deal at the business end. It’s easy to be swayed in the short term by bargain basement fees or the agent who puts the biggest price tag on your business. But do you really want a disappointingly low sale to the first bidder or no sale at all when you could have done much better?
Going for integrity, experience and honesty is what gets results. And don’t forget to inform your solicitor who you’ve appointed.
What Christie & Co will do
We’ll analyse what you’re selling
We’ll analyse all the factors that contribute to the sale-worthiness of your business, particularly to a purchaser.
Through our sector knowledge, we’re also likely to know where you stand in the local business pecking order. We’ve probably valued or sold several similar businesses locally. And we can use all this business intelligence to advise you.
We’ll get you a better price
You only get one shot at selling your business, so make sure it’s your best by using our premium service. Christie & Co provides full advice on sales process, strategy, pricing, buyer profiles, marketing and close attention to detail once we’ve found a buyer.
We’ll work out who is likely to buy and why
This is not about selling anything to anyone, but to carry out a serious and oriented prospection to the most appropriate buyer. In fact, once you have met with our agent, he or she will begin to have a very clear idea of what potential buyers candidates may be interested in your hotel.
We specialise in telling the story of a business well – and knowing things you need to do to help us tell it. If there’s an angle for the buyer, we’ll find it. From our massive and growing database, we’ll find the buyers too.
Christie & Co terms
We like to work closely and exclusively for our vendors because they get more out of it that way. You get 100% of our effort and attention. And you don’t look desperate to sell or indecisive by going down the multi-agency route. It’s a joint commitment to selling your business well. Buyers come to us because they know that our sellers are serious.
"Hotels are evaluated regularly given their benefit. The price per room is used as a criterion to ensure that the price is reasonable. Then we deploy all our market knowledge to determine what price a buyer would pay for the property"
“I would rather deal with one professional who knows the process inside out”
At Christie & Co, we know that putting your business on the market is an important step for you. So we make sure that you deal with the same professional from the beginning to the conclusion of your sale. We’re totally committed to selling businesses and we’re able to use a range of powerful tools to attract all the right people at the right price.