If a business owner has ever contemplated selling their business, then he or she will probably have some idea how daunting the task appears. It’s very easy to get so wrapped up in the day-to-day running of the business that effectively marketing the business for sale never actually happens.

Neil Barker is aware of this. He operated a very successful business in the Northern Waikato for 20 years that supplied machinery, tractors & motorcycles to farmers. When it came time to sell, despite being an incredibly effective salesman, he struggled. He, as most of us would, underestimated just how much time and effort goes into marketing the business & keeping the business profitable at the same time. He spent three years half-heartily trying to sell an incredibly successful venture. It should not have taken that long.

Using a trusted business brokerage like Barker Business, you’ll receive -

  • A FREE, no obligation, confidential business appraisal
  • A comprehensive marketing package and a refund on your marketing expenses when your business sells!
  • Access to an industry experienced Broker, a specialist who will work for YOU to achieve the best possible outcome

Click here to take a look at some of the tips and tricks our industry experts have to say about how to get maximum value out of your business sale.



Getting a business appraisal is the first step in the selling process. Whether it’s just to find out where your business sits within the market or you're wanting to list it tomorrow, this is what we need. Keep in mind everything supplied to us is kept 100% confidential.

The bare minimum

  • Last year’s Profit & Loss Statements whether it be internal or accountant produced
  • A PC Sum of Stock and Book Value Plant (plant replacement cost would be handy also)


  • 2-5 years full accounts – depending on the business size (3 years is typically fine)
  • Current internal accounts to the most recent month or so
  • A forecast if you have one – with reasons why for the increase or decrease
  • A PC Sum of Stock
  • A full Plant list including everything that is to go with the sale. Please note, if you wish to retain plant items please remove or cross out
  • A copy of your current lease

Nice to have

  • A list of key employees
  • Does it have a general manager? Can anyone be promoted?
  • A financial forecast



Selling a business is never an easy or simple process. However, the rewards can be great, and ultimately, life changing; so if you do decide to sell there are several key issues you need to be aware of that will help you maximize your chances of success. Getting it wrong before you start can ruin any hopes of a sale and can mean many months of your time wasted. Potential experienced buyers will see straight through the flaws in the business you are selling and will quickly pass over your offering if they see any red flags.

We regularly speak to business owners who believe they have a potential gold mine and expect to command a high selling price based on perceived potential alone. This isn’t how it works. If a business is simply a concept without a proven revenue stream then there isn’t any value in the eyes of the vast majority of potential buyers. The business must be priced correctly as buyers look at many businesses before deciding on a purchase – and they want value for money.

Another common misconception is that buyers are impressed with revenue figures. Sure, they can sound good, but when it comes down to it the only number that matters is the Profit or Cash Surplus to a working owner that a business makes.

If you are going to claim revenue from a specific source, you need to have verifiable proof. It is very difficult to claim cash that you have put in your pocket.

The previous success of a business is largely irrelevant at the time of sale, especially if it has been struggling lately. Buyers are interested in recent performance (usually the last 12 months) and future sustainability and viability, especially if you operate in a dynamic space (such as with websites). We commonly hear sellers talk about how successful their business was in the past. They say “the business has suffered after a recent drop and all it needs is a little work to get it back on track”.

Unfortunately, buyers don’t see it this way. They aren’t interested in fixing and recovering your business, especially if you are expecting them to pay a premium. However, don’t be afraid to show previous years if the business has been growing steadily. Buyers love to see growing revenue and profit figures, especially if you have already made future plans for the business that seem realistic based on past performance.

The first question a buyer usually asks is “How much?”. The second question is “Why are they selling?” This is why a logical explanation is required.

The truth is always going to surface, so be upfront about everything from the beginning. Experienced investors understand that every business is going to have positives and negatives. There is no such thing as a perfect business. If you are honest and transparent from the start there is less risk of a deal going sour because the buyer uncovered something during due diligence that wasn’t accurate, or an instance where the truth was stretched.
Honesty is the best policy in all business transactions and selling any business is no different. Avoid surprises, as surprises will destroy the buyers trust and the buyer will run, not walk, to another opportunity. Never judge a buyer. You never know whom you are dealing with or the buying power they possess. Someone asking what appears to be a simple question could potentially be a buyer that is new to the specific industry and has deep pockets for investing. Experienced buyers will often hammer the seller with questions in an attempt to turn up inconsistencies and red flags.

There are a lot of dreamers & ‘tyre-kickers’ that can waste a lot of time for inexperienced vendors. The only real key to approximately qualifying the purchaser is through good questioning, experience & target-specific marketing. To do this they not only need to understand their own business but have to possess an extensive knowledge of the market they operate in from the purchaser’s perspective.

All Directors/Shareholders will be required to sign a non-competitive clause that they will not compete in the same industry.

Buyers will want to know exactly what they are buying before they make an offer. A complete list of assets is required.

Do not decide that as I am going to sell I will step back. Keep your business humming and make sure it is clean and appealing.

Landlords can be deal killers. Buyers need to know if the lease will be assigned or a new lease needs to be negotiated.  

Using our systems and experienced sales people, we promise to strive to achieve the best possible price on today‚Äôs market for you.