How to Sell a Cleaning Business

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Cleaning (Image: sanja gjenero)

There are several reasons you might need to sell your cleaning business. You might be moving to a town in another state, retiring or switching occupations. Whatever the reason is, you can cash in on the hard work you have put into your business over the years when you sell it. The buyer will be buying the business name and, in most cases, the current client list. Employees may choose to stay with the new owner or find new employment.

Talk to your employees first to see if any of them are interested in buying the business from you. They will already know everything about the business except for how to keep the books. Offer to train them on the administrative end of the business before you hand the business over. This is a great opportunity for your employee, and you will feel good knowing that the business is going to someone you like.

Go through your contacts to see if there is anyone in the cleaning business field that you you can make an offer to. Businesses are often sold to individuals who know the seller. Do some networking to find a buyer.

Place an ad in a newspaper. Put as many details as possible. List how much the business is for sale, how long the business has been around for, if you will train the new buyer and if you plan to hand over your client information. Buyers will want to know this information before they approach you with an offer.

Place an ad on Business Nation (see Resources). There are a lot of other cleaning businesses for sale, and buyers can search for the best cleaning business to buy. Study the other ads before you create yours so that you get an idea of what to say and information to include. By viewing other listings, you may also get an idea of how much you should sell your business for.

Set up a listing on Craigslist, which has become very popular and is specific to location. This way you can locate a buyer in or near your town of business. Craigslist also provides you with a temporary email so you can screen out any prospective buyers without giving them your personal information.

Give your employees some time to decide whether they want to stay with the new owner or look for employment somewhere else. Talk with the buyer so that you can give your employees information as to the new buyer's intentions for the business.

Send out a notice to your clients letting them know of the new change once an agreement has been reached. Introduce the clients to the new owner and give them a chance to opt out. That means the client has the right not to share their information with the new owner. This will help make the transition easier for both parties.

Tips & Warnings

  • You may want to consult a real estate agent if you operate out of a store. The agent may also be able to help you come to a selling price for your business.
  • Have a lawyer look over all contracts to make sure they protect you and don't include any unnecessary fees.

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