Over the last few decades, the U.S. economy has undergone a fundamental shift towards a service based economy. And while manufacturing will always be an integral part of the country’s financial output, in the 21st Century, companies that focus on services such as marketing, healthcare, and information technology are more important than ever. With each passing year, the service sector is making up an ever-growing share of the economy.
The numbers are clear:
- As of 2016, service-based industries were responsible for 79.5% of the GDP in the United States
- The International Trade Administration estimates that service jobs account for 80% of private-sector employment, or about 89.7 million jobs
- The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that “healthcare and social services” are the largest employers in 34 states
As a result, there has never been a better time to sell your service sector business. And if you are ready to move onto the next phase of your life —whether that means retirement or another business venture— then selling your business can provide you with the resources you need to move forward.
If you’re considering adding your company to the list of businesses for sale, then it’s important to begin positioning your company to find the right buyer immediately. Selling a business is rarely a simple process, and selling your service sector business requires careful preparation. This guide is designed to lay out a few strategies that can help.
Improve Your Cash Flow
According to an Insight report from BizBuySell.com, the businesses that were successfully sold in 2016 not only grew revenues by 5.2%, but they also presented a 5.4% increase in cash flow. While a business’s profits are important, most buyers aren’t interested in a business that doesn’t show an immediate positive cash flow.
Before you list your business for sale, it’s important to make cash flow a company priority. If you don’t want to raise prices, then make sure your clients are paying their bills on time. Implement stricter policies and perhaps even penalties to ensure you are paid on time and in full.
Cultivate Your Digital Following
While social media might seem like a waste of time, for service sector businesses it can make a great difference when it comes to attracting buyers and clients. In the digital age, a “Like” on Facebook or a Twitter follow are tantamount to an endorsement. For better or worse, these social platforms have become a crucial part of your company’s brand and reputation, and they are often the first places potential buyers check when researching your brand’s reach.
To set yourself apart from other businesses for sale, it’s important to take proactive steps to increase your digital reach as soon as possible.
Consult a Sell Side Advisory Firm
As the owner of a service sector business, you likely understand the benefits of enlisting expert help. A good advisor can help your business find the right buyers, connecting you with people searching for companies like yours.
Aside from this, the best sell side advisory firms can help you generate multiple offers, thus maximizing your potential closing price. In an economy based overwhelmingly on service sector businesses, it’s important to gain every advantage you can throughout the process.
There has never been a better time to sell you service sector business, but that doesn’t mean you can rest on your laurels. By employing the three strategies above, you can increase the chances of selling your business and move on to the next part of your life with pride.