A lot of the time, startups are formed for the sake of selling after they are on their feet--after all, who wants to spend all of their time and money running a business when you can sell it to a larger one and make a decent profit?
If you're looking to sell your startup, you probably already know that it's easier said than done. Larger businesses don't want to take risks on assets that could easily fail them, so when selling your startup, there are a few tips that you should stick to in order to get the highest price for the fruits of your labor, and to make the process easier.
Show Lucrative Figures
Buyers are going to want to look at the long and short of things, meaning risk, profits, growth, etc. When you are going to sell your startup, you need to have all of these things outlined for your buyer in order to grab their attention--they are not going to want to spend a lot of time looking over proposals, and they certainly will not want to look at any proposals that cannot give them an overview.
Make Sure Your Business is Transferrable
Buyers are going to want everything to continue to run smoothly, even when you are out of the picture. Your systems need to be able to be taught, as well as your standard operating procedures. You also need to make sure that the value of your business will not be lost without you, as well as that your pattern for bringing in revenue is sustainable and repeatable. A buyer will glance right over something that will require what they perceive to be more work than it is worth, so be sure that your idea is easy to grab a hold of.
If you are going to want to sell your startup, you are going to need a lot of information to present to negotiating buyers. You need to have the idea to sell in mind about a year before you actually go to sell--that way, when the time comes, you will be prepared.
Show Continued Growth
A better purchase than a company that will maintain revenue is a company whose revenue will continue to grow in time to come. By giving buyers a growth plan, they will be able to see that the investment in your startup is one that will continue to bring something to the larger business, and will add value to the idea of purchasing.
Know the Pace of Acquisition
Larger businesses move at slower rates, and you need to be prepared to market to this point of view as well. Sell things that will work in the long term, give big picture ideals, and most of all, prepare to be patient, as large businesses make decisions at a snail's pace compared to the decision making process within a startup.