3. You will need to get your books in order. Prospective buyers will want to see at least three years of Tax Returns and Profit and Loss statements.
4. As part of getting your books in order, you'll need to understand your business' true profitability or cash flow. Since most businesses claim a variety of non-operational expenses (i.e. personal auto lease, personal discretionary expenses, etc.), you must make sure that you have supporting documentation for these.
5. You must also make sure all of your legal commitments are in order. You need to review all of your permits, leases, client and vendor contracts, etc. and understand their impact on the business. For example, if your business' location is key to its performance, a long term lease would be appealing to a buyer.
6. If you are absolutely vital to the business, efforts must be made to gradually delegate key responsibilities to various staff members, especially those related to customer relationships and revenue generation.
When a buyer is coming out to see your business for the first time, it’s important to make a good first impression. Buyers look for companies that show well because it can often be indicative of an orderly run business. The first impression can turn on (or off) buyers and add (or subtract) value from your business.
The common thread weaving through all of these steps is credibility. As a seller, if you want to keep buyers moving forward, you must show your respect by being open, honest and accurate about all things, both good and bad.