The process of selling a small business can be a complicated one, especially when that business is in a niche market such as the salon industry. The sale can take an emotional toll on the owner and take months or even years to complete. It is HIGHLY recommended that business owners work with qualified professionals to confidentially market the business for sale.
Get the salon business valued. Before you list your business for sale you really should have a qualified CPA or business appraisal firm (a "business broker") give you a value for the business. This value should be the starting place for your listing price. If both the salon business and the building it is housed in are for sale, be sure the broker is one that can also appraise property values.
Market the business. There are dozens of websites and resources that can be used to sell a business; even craigslist.com lists businesses for sale. Consider working with a business broker that has experience selling salons. Ask the broker how many salons he has sold in the past. Business brokers will market the business confidentially and bring buyers to the table.
Negotiate the sale terms. Buyers will often want sellers to finance a portion of the transaction; it is important that sellers give this some serious consideration. A CPA or attorney should be consulted on the deal structure, which deals with the technical details of the sale.
Sign the purchase agreements and other documents. Have an attorney that is experienced in business sales consult on and draft the purchase and financing agreements. Don't cut corners here with online templates or an inexperienced counselor.
Business brokers will typically charge 8 to 12 percent of the final sale price as a commission. For many sellers this sounds like a big number but if the sale happens sooner and at better terms because of the brokers involvement, it can be well worth the price.
Resist the temptation to seek out buyers yourself. Your first thought might be to approach other hair stylists who you think would be potential buyers of your salon. Business brokers recommend keeping your intention to sell a secret. This helps to keep business as usual among customers and employees.
- salon logo image by Allyson Ricketts from Fotolia.com