A business exit is always a trying experience. But when you need to sell your art restoration and conservation business in a depressed economy, the challenges can seem insurmountable.
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The economy hasn't squashed the market for art restoration and conservation businesses. Not surprisingly, buyers expect to receive value for their dollars - and that means sellers need to demonstrate that their businesses are capable of delivering anticipated returns.
Sale Preparation Timeframes
It's critical to properly plan for the sale ofan art restoration and conservation business. Since buyers prefer to see evidence of future cash flow, you'll want to to strategically lock in cash flows and increase profits before you list the business. Additionally, prospective buyers usually request documentation that allows them to understand the business's daily workflows and operational strategy. Since all of this takes time and effort, a art restoration and conservation business can rarely be ready for the marketplace in less than six months. A more likely scenario is that it will take more than a year to create the conditions necessary to receive the maximum sale price.
Turning the Tables: Buyer Concessions
Sellers aren't the only ones who can make concessions in a business sale. In many instances, sellers can request buyer concessions. Although this scenario frequently plays out around seller financed deals, it's possible to push for a higher sales price or other form of compensation if you agree to mentor the buyer for a specified period of time. Asset exclusions, retained ownership shares and long-term contracts with another of the seller's companies can also be leveraged to extract concessions from buyers.
Leveraging Industry Connections
Today's art restoration and conservation business buyers can be found in a variety of locations. To advertise your sale to the widest possible audience, consider a listing on BizBuySell.com or other top online business-for-sale listing sites. For more targeted lead generation, consider tapping into your network of industry contacts. When leveraging industry relationships for sales prospects, you'll need to be cognizant of the potential for competitors to use knowledge of your sale against you in the marketplace. Your broker may be able to offer strategies for promoting your sale within your network while maintaining some remnant of a confidential sale.
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