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New Rules for Selling Your Spa

By: William J. Lynott
Posted: October 26, 2010, from the November 2010 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
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Although this may or may not be the best time to put your spa on the block, any time is a good time to be getting it ready. If you have any notion of selling in the near future, take these steps to make sure that you bring a princess to market and not an ugly duckling.

Plan ahead

“Last-minute, emotional decisions to sell businesses seldom end up as satisfactory sales,” says business intermediary Dick Marsh of R.H. Marsh & Associates in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania. “I often receive telephone calls from business owners who have had a frustrating day. ‘I’ve had it,’ they say. ‘I want to sell my business.’ That’s a recipe for failure.”

Preparing a business for sale takes more than a few weeks of cosmetic touch-ups. Potential buyers will examine a business with a calculating eye, and unless they see the likelihood of an excellent return on their investment, they will move on. That’s the rub. Human nature being what it is, many business owners start to think about selling when business is slow and profits are sluggish. “That’s exactly the wrong time to sell a business,” states Marsh. “Nothing is more attractive to a potential buyer than a couple of years of solid growth in gross volume and net income. Nothing will scare off a buyer more quickly than a business that seems stuck in the doldrums.”

Because of this, preparing your spa for sale calls for bringing it into a state of good health. When it looks so good to you that you begin to wonder why you want to sell it, it’s probably ready for the market.

Have a realistic view

It’s understandable: You gave birth to the business, nurtured it and lived with it during good times and bad—it’s part of you. There is a genuine emotional attachment between you and your business. Realistically, however, a potential buyer doesn’t care a whit about your emotional relationship with your business. A buyer has one interest above all others: Can I make this business a success and what return can I expect from my investment?