As a business owner, you’ve invested time, money and effort growing your business. So, when it’s time to consider selling, it’s normal to have questions. Are you ready to sell? Is the business ready? Is the timing right? What is a realistic sale price?
In this article, we’ve compiled our top tips for preparing a Canberra business for sale, and provided recommendations for local business brokers based on your feedback.
Let’s get started.
Location, location, location
If your business is based in the Canberra region, you’re in luck. Buyers tend to look for businesses in appealing locations, and Canberra – as one of the most liveable cities in the world – fits the bill.
It is also strategically located between Sydney and Melbourne, making it a major regional service hub with easy access to the Asia Pacific market. Supporting those benefits are the added allure of relatively low-cost commercial space, outstanding infrastructure and a stable economy.
‘The ACT’s $40 billion economy is significantly larger than that of Tasmania or the Northern Territory’ – ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr.
Buyers will also welcome the fact that Canberra is investing heavily in infrastructure, transport, education and healthcare. In fact, over the next four years, more than $2.9 billion will be spent in partnership with the private sector.
There are plenty of business statistics you can quote but, at the end of the day, what your business buyer really wants to know is whether customers will continue to come through the door.
Canberra’s population sits at around 421,000 and is growing at a rate of 2.2 per cent. Compared to the national average of 1.9 per cent, that’s great news for business owners in the region. The rapid growth is attributed to both ‘natural increase’ and overseas migration.
These are all key points you, or your business broker, can include in your marketing material when selling your business. It shows potential buyers that finding the right staff won’t be a problem and, with an increasing population, demand for products and services is growing rapidly.
Other things to consider before selling your business
Preparation is essential for selling any business, whether in Canberra or elsewhere. To get the highest price possible for your business, consider details like:
- Timing. One of the fastest-growing industries in the ACT region is tourism, so now is a prime time to sell your tourism or hospitality business. Other growth industries include retail, construction, manufacturing, education and training, healthcare and social assistance, defence, cybersecurity and renewable energy.
- Financials. Are your accounts in order? What are your debts? Is there good cash flow? Is your tax up-to-date?
- Systems. Have you moved to the cloud? The most attractive business to buy is the one with clearly defined systems, which save time and money. Efficiency and productivity are key.
- Policies and procedures. Contracts, leases and operational procedures should be up-to-date.
- Kerb appeal. Is your business looking its best? Flaking paint, faded signage, broken fittings and antiquated displays may not get you the price you desire for your business.
- New markets. Have you considered adapting your business for the export market? Exporting offers many benefits to the business owner, including more sales and bigger profits, better use of workforce and facilities, reduced dependence on local markets, and fewer seasonal fluctuations.
- Government support. There is plenty of government support for business innovation in Canberra, including the CBR Innovation Network, grants and funding. To make your business more attractive to prospective buyers, find out if it is eligible for help.
- Remove yourself from the equation. Are you the most important person in your business? In fact, are you the business? The new owners typically want to be sure the business can run without you. When you decide to sell, start distancing yourself from the day-to-day operations as much as possible.
Many business owners choose to engage a business broker to help prepare their business for sale. In addition to being skilled negotiators with packed contact books, business brokers remain independent throughout the process and know what makes a business attractive to buyers.
The top business brokers in Canberra – according to you
RiotACT’s editorial team has combed through 19 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended business brokers according to you.
To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on RiotACT and Facebook as well as maintaining a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google.
Xcllusive understands that no two businesses are alike, which means that a one-size-fits-all service will often fall short of achieving its goals. Xcllusive offers a range of sales services to suit different businesses and budgets, helping sellers find the right buyer at the best price.
Xcllusive Business Sales Associate Robert Issell is centrally located in Canberra, providing support to business owners wishing to exit and requiring a strategy and support to do so.
“My role in the Canberra region as an analyst, listing agent and business broker comes after 40-plus years working in a wide variety of industries, including business insurance broking, aged care industry, multi-sports stadium/roller rink, farm machinery dealerships, holiday accommodation and real estate investment advisory,” Robert said.
With 35 years in business, including insolvency practice, providing business mentoring and advisory services, Eddie Senatore has seen it all. Skilled at seeking out both opportunities and problems within a business, Eddie has deep experience helping business owners plan their exits.
His exit optimisation services range from succession planning, negotiation assistance and formal restructures.
Andrew Nuttall formed Summit Business Brokers after the experience of selling his successful newsagency left him frustrated and emotionally drained. He knew there was a better, less stressful way to sell businesses, and set out to create it.
Summit Business Brokers’ model is unique because it doesn’t charge upfront fees or administration fees. There is a small monthly advertising fee and a fixed rate commission when your business is sold.
Google reviewer Marina had this to say about working with Summit: “Andrew is 200% honest, helpful and work to give your clients the absolute best at both ends (seller and buyer).”
Who did you pick?
Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful tips and recommendations for selling a business in Canberra.
If you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.
Have you sold a Canberra business? Share your advice below.