Systems and procedures
Document all of your company systems and procedures. It may be worth having a Policy and Procedures manual professionally prepared. Take care to document all of the ‘invisible’ and intuitive processes that only you or key staff know about.
If your business is location dependent (e.g. retail, loyal customer base), make sure the lease is locked in and secure. If the business value is not location dependent (e.g. wholesale) and is potentially in an area that may discourage buyers, consider relocating if you have the time and resources.
Staff and operations
Make sure you are not indispensable. A new buyer wants to see the real potential of running the business without you. Similarly, while staff are valuable assets (and a new owner might be counting on their expertise), you cannot guarantee continuity, so your operations manuals must be accurate and up to date.
Don’t forget to inform your staff in a timely fashion. You have a right to confidentiality but loyal staff also have a right to be treated with respect. You don’t want them finding out about the sale from another source.
Customers and clients
Try and avoid passing difficult customers onto a new owner. Similarly, don’t leave your customers in the lurch. Document any special arrangements or long standing deals. Inform key customers in advance and assure them as much as possible of continued quality of service. Ongoing business value depends on the good will of your customers.