If you are considering selling your business, we can help you get the maximum value for it. We will provide you with the special attention and professional services that you and your business deserve. We have the knowledge and experience to successfully market and sell your business.
Alpine Business Brokers is a local business brokerage affiliated with CENTURY 21 Harman Realty, Inc. We combine many years of business experience that provides you with a professional approach to selling your business.
We specialize in business sales. All consultations are strictly confidential.
Call us today: 801-224-8848
One of the major advantages of small and mid-sized businesses is that it is much easier to make changes with this category of business than it is with the larger kind. The larger company can become so mired in bureaucracy that it can’t turn on a dollar much less on a dime. Changes can be a new product or service, expansion into new markets or focusing on existing markets, or a change in direction or positioning.
If your business is small or mid-sized, this might be the time to consider whether change, no matter how minor, might increase business. For example, if you’re in a retail business, would a new product or product line increase sales without increasing costs? If you’re in a service business, are there some new services that can be offered, or existing ones expanded? It is better to attempt a change rather than not to try one, because in the small and mid-sized business, strategies for change usually can be withdrawn or modified without inordinate damage to the existing business.
One change increasing in popularity is co-branding. This movement manifests itself in a variety of business combinations, one of the most common being the gas station and convenience store or mini-mart. Food franchises are also co-branding
How does someone else, for example, a potential buyer, rate your business on the issues listed below? Rate your business and yourself on the time-honored “A” to “F” scale. You can even use a plus or minus. What’s your average? Too many business owners operate on gut feel or “from the heart.” Nothing wrong with that; many people start or buy their own business and operate it successfully with nothing more tangible than this kind of factor. But, every now and then, perhaps once a year, seize the moment and take a more realistic look at your business. Grade yourself, using the following business report card as a yardstick:
The Cost of Doing Business Really Can Go Down
It’s easy to be negative about cost-cutting. “Everything just costs more,” a business owner will say; the subtext being, “What’s the use?” Don’t give up. There are ways to cut costs. The first step is to identify where the money goes . . . and why. Then look at creative ways to shave off the non-essential while keeping the shape of your business intact.
1. Look Beyond In-House
Outsourcing is the latest word in cost-cutting, and it can mean more than one thing. Outsourcing labor—hiring temporary employees or contract workers—is the answer for jobs that aren’t included in the daily running of a business. Temps make sense for holiday rush periods or for short-term assignments or campaigns. Outsourcing certain operations, such as photocopying, mailing, and telephone answering is an increasingly popular way to cut down on carrying these costs in-house. Another, less typical, kind of outsourcing is “hiring” temporary space. If your business needs a conference room only occasionally or only a small portion of a warehouse, consider subletting the space from another business and cut the square footage of your own operation.
2. Don’t Assume Outsourcing Is Always Cheaper
It pays to keep some operations in-house. For instance, if your receptionist can do some on-line bookkeeping while waiting for the phone to ring, or if your warehouse worker can stuff envelopes for a mailing in between delivery deadlines, you should consider these as in-house candidates. In addition, there are some jobs that should stay in-house even if outsourcing may appear to be a bargain: those that involve issues of confidentiality or accounting operations that might help owners and managers to better understand the business.
3. Take Advantage of the “Free Lunch”
It may be food for thought instead of steak, but there are many free offers of benefit to business owners. Continuing education lectures, SBA seminars, and informational evenings offered by local banks and corporations are often free or inexpensive ways to hone business acumen. Try these before going the more expensive route via consultants.
4. Go Electronic…
If you haven’t yet substituted a voice mail system for a receptionist, you are paying an unnecessary yearly salary. Using e-mail can replace the need for most correspondence – saving the cost of a secretarial salary, or at least one that is full-time. Computer programs for bookkeeping and for riding herd on inventory and payroll can also reduce employee numbers or hours. Selling on-line is cheaper than traditional advertising, and the individual targeting may pay off in more “hits,” further reducing the cost of doing this particular type of business.
5. …But Don’t Get Shocked
The cost of sending faxes, using cellular phones, and certain on-line services can get lost in the glow of their convenience. Monitor the use of all such devices. If charges seem unreasonable due to the service provider’s fees instead of employee usage, negotiate with the carrier or provider.
When threatened with a loss of business, they will often lower fees or at least negotiate payment schedules. Another electronic cost-saver: run certain equipment during off-peak electricity hours and save up to 30 percent annually in electric bills.
6. Shop Around
Don’t be a slave to recommendations. If your computer consultant has a “pet” equipment source, or your graphic designer has a favored printing house, make a few calls to see how the prices stack up. You could end up with big savings for very little effort. The same holds for seeking financing. You should always talk to at least two banks, looking for the best loan terms and interest rates.
7. Offer Discounts; Take Discounts
If you haven’t yet substituted a voice mail system for a receptionist, you are paying an unnecessary yearly salary. Using e-mail can replace the need for most correspondence – saving the cost of a secretarial salary, or at least one that is full-time. Computer programs for bookkeeping and for riding herd on inventory and payroll can also reduce employee numbers or hours.
Selling on-line is cheaper than traditional advertising, and the individual targeting may pay off in more “hits,” further reducing the cost of doing this particular type of business.
8. Purchase from the Source
The cost of sending faxes, using cellular phones, and certain on-line services can get lost in the glow of their convenience. Monitor the use of all such devices. If charges seem unreasonable due to the service
9. Curry Favor
Try to cultivate business favor by patronizing one operation per service. Be loyal to one printer, photographer, designer, or copy service, and they may repay you with reduced fees and/or discounts.
10. Understand that Deductibles Still “Cost”
A deductible expense is still a cost. The only “free” part is whatever your specific tax rate will allow you to deduct, which could be as low as 25 percent, perhaps even less. When tempted to splurge on a deductible expense, always look at your profits and see how much you’d have to earn in order to justify it.
If you have made the decision to sell your business, the wisest first move is to contact a qualified business broker professional, who can:
- Advise you on pricing and structuring the sale of your business.
- Prepare the marketing strategy, using professional resources.
- Determine the right buyer for your particular business.
- Educate buyers in the business-buying process.
- Keep you informed about market reaction.
- Present offers and point out strengths and weaknesses
because one company may own or franchise several brands. KFC and Taco Bell may share the same premises and kitchens. Many of the travel plazas will have, for example, a Burger King, a Popeye’s Chicken and a Cinnabon’s (cinnamon rolls) joined together. There are coin laundries that also house espresso bars, tanning salons, and small convenience stores that sell soaps and other laundry items for use in washers and dryers, right along with snacks and other products.
Many other small businesses are adding other products and/or services to their existing business. Even some movie theaters are adding fine dining as a complement to the traditional movie to create a whole entertainment experience. Perhaps your business would profit by adding something else to the mix. All it takes is a little imagination, some homework, perhaps a trial run, and the courage to give it a try.