February 21, 2020  
 
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Selling an Independent Church

Business-for-sale markets are susceptible to a variety of influences. As you know, the independent church industry has seen more than its share of fluctuations in business values. Sellers have adapted their strategies to accommodate changing market realities, incorporating a handful of proven techniques for selling an independent church during challenging economic times.

Business sellers are notorious for second-guessing themselves about the right time to put their companies up for sale.
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Qualified buyers are constantly looking for attractive independent churches. Like always, unprofitable and poorly positioned businesses struggle to find buyers while sellers who have invested time and effort to prepare their sale are being rewarded in the marketplace.

Preparing Your Independent Church for Sale

The outcome of a business sale is largely determined prior to a market listing. Profitable independent church sales begin with a comprehensive strategy that incorporates planning, preparation and market positioning. Even though it may take years to adequately position your independent church, the amount of preparation you perform will have direct correlation on asking and sale prices. But your efforts to improve your company's position and profitability will only be effective if you invest similar effort into the preparation of accurate financial statements for buyers.

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. For example, if the buyer needs seller financing, you can leverage a five-year loan to push for a higher sales price. Although you won't see all of the proceeds upfront, you'll earn interest on the balance and realize a higher price than you would in an all cash deal. You can also choose to exclude certain items like equipment or inventory from the deal if the buyer isn't willing to meet your price expectations. By selling excluded assets on the secondary market, you can compensate for an anemic sale price.

Sale Costs

In an independent church sale, pricing is based on a number of factors, including the costs incurred during the sale. Hiring a broker is a mixed bag because although brokers can increase the sale price, they also take a 10% fee. Professional consultations can also represent a significant expense during the course of an independent church sale. Furthermore, your time has value, so you may need to include a personal compensation consideration in your expense estimates.

More Exit Planning Articles

Given your interest in exit planning and in independent churches, you might find these additional resources to be of interest.

What Does a Business Broker Charge?

Marketing an Independent Church

Why Most Businesses Do Not Have Exit Plans


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