How to Sell a Small Business in British Columbia

Recognized as having the most diverse economy in Canada, Vancouver is a growing hub for professional services and start-ups. Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, it was estimated that the city’s GDP would grow by 2.9 percent. As the economy continues facing uncertainty, there are now new obstacles surfacing for small business owners everywhere in North America. However, if you’re contemplating listing a small business for sale, there are many financial tips and resources available at your disposal. Read on as we break down how to sell a small business in British Columbia with the steps below.

How to Sell a Small Business in British Columbia: 5 Steps

As a small business owner, there are many reasons you could be looking to list your business on the market. Whatever your reasoning, the selling process can be complex for anyone going into it blindly. Plan accordingly, and utilize the following five guidelines to help you negotiate a profitable sale.

  1. Plan Your Exit

    To start, you’ll want to establish a strong exit strategy. The right approach will vary, depending on the size and goals of your small business. Your potential buyers likely will want to have a clear idea of how operations will run without you.

    Ask yourself the following:

    • How soon do you plan on leaving?
    • How will you transfer on the ownership?
    • Do your employees intend to stay after you leave?
    • Do your plans depend on the sale of your business?
  2. Organize Your Documents

    As a professional business owner, you’ll need to start focusing on getting your paperwork and documents in order. Interested prospects often ask to look over income statements, cash flows, and balance sheets prior to buying a business. If you need help, consider hiring a lawyer to organize legal documents.

  3. Assess and Make Improvements

    Next, ensure your small business is in the best shape possible for selling. Observe any lacking areas that could benefit from improvements. For example, you may notice that your foot traffic isn’t quite as consistent as it could be. In this case, it may prove beneficial to improve marketing efforts directed towards your Canadian target market. Try brainstorming ideas to attract more customers in the greater Vancouver area, such as adding or updating a social media plan or enhancing your logo.

    Additionally, keep your business clean, organized, and running smoothly. The new owner will most likely implement a new business model. Making changes to ease this transition will make the ownership transfer much easier and more manageable.

  4. Determine the Value of Your Small Business

    Establishing an accurate sale price of your small business is one of the most important steps in the selling process. As you begin valuing your business, consider hiring a third-party appraiser or business brokerage firm. Professionals can help you determine a fair asking price for your potential buyers.

  5. List Your Business For Sale on Vancouver’s Market

    Lastly, you’ll need to put your business on Vancouver’s market. Although you can list a small business yourself, it’s usually much easier to work with a broker. By hiring a business broker, you can focus your time on running the business, while the broker takes care of finding a pool of prospective buyers.

Make Sure Selling Your Business in British Columbia is the Right Decision

When all is said and done, you’ll likely know if you’re ready to sell your business by addressing the details listed above. However, it’s quite common for small business owners to form emotional ties when selling their own businesses, especially if you’ve built it from the ground up. Before passing on your business to new ownership, ensure you’re confident you’ve made the right decision, weighed all your options, and have a clear idea of what you intend to do next in life.

Once you’re ready to move forward, consider consulting with Pacific M&A and Business Brokers to alleviate the stress associated with the final selling stages. We can help ensure a smooth and timely transaction. Our experts have the right connections to find you qualified buyers interested in new business opportunities in Vancouver! Contact our office today to get started!

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