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5 Steps to Selling a Screen Printing Business

Posted On: / By: Brian Knoderer
Selling A Business

You’ve worked very hard growing your small business, and now you’re ready to sell and start putting your passion into something new. Selling your business is an overwhelming process, no matter the reason. Whether you’re thinking about retirement or want to jump into a new endeavor and out of the printing industry, keep these things in mind when selling a screen printing business.

Tips for Preparing Screen Printing Businesses for Sale

The COVID-19 pandemic hit the print shop industry hard in 2020, with IBISWorld forecasting an 18% decrease in revenue in the United States. If your company has weathered the storm without too big of a hit, then it may be the opportune time to sell. If not, you’ll likely want to hold off until listing. However, exiting takes time, and it’s never too early to start planning for your future.

1. Have An Exit Strategy

The first step when selling your screen printing business is developing an exit strategy. This will be a detailed plan of how your business will transition from your leaving and new ownership taking over.

Prospective new owners will want to know how your business model will continue to work without you there. Taking time to answer these questions will help you give them a better picture of how they can succeed at the helm. Consider the following:

  • Do you plan to exit immediately? Are you able to stay and train new ownership before you leave the business?
  • Is the sale of your screen print business a significant factor in your retirement plan?
  • Will your current employees stay with the company? Do you need to file paperwork to ensure those employees keep their jobs?
  • How will the new ownership transition take place? How can you help your existing customer base be comfortable with the shift?

Addressing these things will help you be better prepared to answer questions with potential buyers and help you avoid surprising issues popping up throughout the selling process.

2. Organize Your Books

Another essential step when you are deciding to sell your screen printing business is getting everything in order. Potential new owners need to see everything from tax records to inventory to contracts and more. Consider hiring an accountant to help you ease the headache of getting all of your documents in order.

3. Determine the Value for Your Screen Printing Business Employee using screen printer in screen printing store

It is crucial to receive a proper valuation from an impartial entity to decide your print shop’s value. It’s natural to have an emotional bias when evaluating your screen print shop’s price since you built your small business into what it is. Ensuring that all necessary factors go into the valuation and that the price is fair is crucial to limiting time at the negotiation table. Working with a third-party source is the best way to determine a reasonable asking price.

4. Identify Weaknesses

When selling your own business, it is your responsibility, the business owner, to make sure the company is as attractive as possible to potential buyers. This means identifying specific parts of your operations that you may need to improve on. For example, ensure that your screen printing machinery is still high-quality, state of the art technology. Potential screen printing business buyers are more likely to become owners if there are fewer additional costs after purchase. Any weaknesses in your daily operations detected by a potential buyer should be improved before listing.

Take some time to freshen up your storefront and showcase your successful screen print work. Look at your marketing and social media efforts and address any changes that might improve the promotional products that you offer. Whether you only offer custom t-shirts or handle a breadth of heat press products and embroidery business, it’s worth taking the extra time to diversify your customer base. Perhaps consider partnering with local businesses to grow your clientele base. Consider new business ideas to bring in potential customers, and potential buyers will be even more intrigued.

5. List Your Screen Printing Business for Sale

With all of the above prepared, you’re ready to list your screen printing business for sale. If you plan on selling independently, consider using paid search ads. Managing your listings and qualifying buyers is time-consuming. Hiring a broker is often a great way to minimize stress.

Professional business brokers have the industry experience to market your screen printing business successfully. Business brokers can take care of the hard work during the selling process while you can still manage your business.


Brian Knoderer is the President of Sunbelt Business Brokers. He has over 20 years of experience as a business owner and managing business transactions. As a seasoned intermediary, Brian has successfully represented companies in a broad range of industries helping business owners achieve their desired exit strategy or growth initiative.

Brian is also co-owner of Sunbelt Indiana and Managing Director of MMI Capital Partners, a franchisor focused investment banking firm.

Previously Brian was involved in several entrepreneurial ventures as well as having held corporate roles in Franchise Development for Prime Hospitality and Choice Hotels.

Brian is a graduate of Ball State University with a degree in Management Information Systems and earned his MBA from Butler University. He has received the Certified Merger & Acquisition Advisor (CM&AA) designation, holds both the Series 7 – General Security License and the Series 63 – Uniform Securities Licenses, and is a licensed Real Estate Broker. He has been affiliated with several organizations including the Entrepreneur Organization, a Member of the International Business Brokers Association, Venture Club, and a Board Member of The Entrepreneur Institute.

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