Nothing runs forever. If you want to sell your travel business and invest in some other field or just may think to retire, you can certainly do so.

By Angelina Smith

At some or the other point, there will be a time when for certain reasons, you may have to say goodbye to your tour company. In such cases having an exit strategy is a must. You need to have a list to profoundly follow before putting the ‘For Sale’ board on the office door.

Selling your business will not be a cakewalk as you may think. There should be a checklist that you need to stick to prepare your company for sale. From setting the price to arranging and sorting out documents, the process is a tedious one. So, if you don’t have an exit plan, then we have to do list ready to make the journey easier.

1. Get Your Business Ready for Takeover

Before handing over your travel business to someone, make sure that your company is ready for the shift. No one would be interested in buying an unorganized and scattered business like the way one wouldn’t buy a damaged car. You need to prepare your travel agency financially fit for change of hands and also ensure that all the past credit issues and other concerns are reviewed and corrected.

If your business is well-organized and prepared for the change of ownership from you to the potential buyer, then only the sales process will be easy and quick.

2. Know Your Company’s Worth

The next important thing to do is estimating your company’s valuation. If you know the worth of your travel and tourism business, then it will be easy for you to finalize the cost at which you will sell your company. From asset valuations to other cost incurred, a business owner need to note down the estimated value of your business that the buyer has to pay to purchase.

The travel industry is booming and keeping adherence to the company expenses, your profit and the market value of your business, set the selling price of your travel company. No one knows your business and the potential it has better than you. So, keep the price while selling accordingly so that you get worth the value of your business.

3. Organize Important Information

Getting a business ready for sale isn’t just about setting the valuations and financial reports right. There are a lot more things to organize and settle before handing over to the new owner. Especially for small travel operators/travel companies, preparing the business and making it ready for sale is essential.

From storing important documents and information to organizing every department of your business in place, a lot needs to be done. Moreover, it’s not just the written accounts that need to be put in place. Even the knowledge on how you handled your business including how you customized tour itinerary and how you coordinated with suppliers, hotel agents and everyone else you work with should be transferrable. The legacy should be ready for the new owner to carry ahead with the same drive. You must help the buyer understand your business and share your experience so that he can use it if needed.

4. Find Buyer to Sale

Now, when your financial reports, documentation and exit strategy is ready, the next thing to focus on is finding a buyer. However, getting an ideal buyer who is prepared to invest as much as you are thinking can be a bit challenging initially. Such a scenario may incite the need to get in touch with a broker who can arrange for the best deal.

Selling your business isn’t a one-day affair. It may take months and in worst cases even a year. And to avoid such a lengthy duration, you must advertise well, make negotiations and conduct sales endeavors.

One thing you need to be clear about is what you want from the sales deal and where you can compromise it at all required. There may be high chances of negotiations, and you should be prepared to face it and refrain from staying rigid. Also, if you think that you are not satisfied with a particular offer in return for your business sale, you should know when to walk out. You need to think thoroughly before heading for negotiations for selling your tour company.

5. Use Your Industry Contacts

If getting a buyer is giving you a tough time and you are unable to get a suitable one, then why not use your industry sources. Getting contacts of buyers for your travel company in the travel and tourism industry can give you a hard time. That is why you can use contacts within the industry or agency group’s business supplier and representative. They can help you reach potential buyers who may be interested in purchasing your business.

Let your business fraternity know that you are preparing to sell your travel business. Who knows you may get the buyer in the form of your competitor as well. A flourishing business is something that a lot of industry folks may be interested in investing and acquiring. Even if your business is not in a great stage, still selling opportunities doesn’t die. So, keep making the best efforts, and the results will surely be satisfactory.

Angelina Smith is a marketing consultant with 15 years of experience in the execution of marketing strategies. Currently, she heads marketing department at eSalesData LLC, a renowned database company based out of Fremont, CA. Connect with her on Twitter: @angelin45708149

Travel stock photo by kiszon pascal/Shutterstock