Guide To Selling Your Business

Selling a business is a complex process that requires careful planning and execution. Throughout the process, it’s important to work with experienced professionals such as solicitors, accountants, and business brokers to ensure a smooth and successful sale.

Who is Succession Planning For?

It is important business owners understand their options fully. Too many SME owners just close their businesses when they exit. We want to ensure that the business owners can go to their next venture knowing they have made a good deal. It is also important to ensure their business is in safe hands and be fully ready to sail off into the sunset for their next venture, retirement or new role.

Business owners often devote a significant part of their life to building their businesses but may have not spent any time considering an exit or planning for an exit. The Succession Planning team aim to ensure that business owners:

  • Maximise consideration on exit
  • Decide upon the right time for exit
  • Find the best cultural fit for the business

Selling their business is often the biggest transaction they will ever complete, and they must be provided with patient, detailed advice to navigate them through the process. We go through the following with business owners:

  • Is their business ready for a sale
  • Could their management team take over the business (MBO)
  • Possible valuation range of the business

Complete confidentiality and matching business synergies enables us to give you the options on where to take your business next:

  • Introducing potential buyers/sellers
  • Comprehensive and detailed marketing & direct marketing campaigns to ensure all potential audiences have been reached
  • Providing pre-transaction tax planning advice
  • Identifying strengths and suggesting methods to overcome weaknesses
  • Project managing each transaction from initial concept through to completion in the most commercially aware and tax advantageous way possible

What do I need to do to sell my business?

Selling a business can be a significant milestone for any entrepreneur or business owner, whether they are planning to exit soon or have already completed the sale. However, the process of selling a business involves many considerations, both before and after the sale, that can have a significant impact on the success and profitability of the transaction. By addressing these critical factors both before and after the sale, you can increase your chances of a successful and lucrative exit from your business.

When is the right time to sell my business?

To ensure a smooth and successful sale of a business, it is essential to consider factors such as timing, management information, processes and legal records, second-tier management, and sales and clients. Buyers often look for a gradual handover to ensure the continued success of the business, and it is essential to have well-documented processes and reporting to instill confidence in the buyer.

So what are the kinds of things you should be preparing for? Given that implementing your exit strategy and selling your business can take up to anywhere between 1 and 2 years, it’s important you take some key steps to ensure your business is ready to sell when the time comes. Even if your ideal exit date is in 3 years, the time to start working on your exit is now. Why so long?  Well assiming your exit date is August 2025, let’s work backwards:

  • 24 months – Assuming that the buyer will want to stay in the business for max 2 years handover, and will help maximise earn out
  • 3 months – Lawyers & Advisors to finalise SPA (sale purchase agreement) and perform due diligence
  • 1 month – Exclusivity to pin down Heads of Terms
  • 1 month – Final potential buyer meetings and pin down best offers
  • 3 months – Discussions with potential buyers
  • 3 months – Marketing to find the best potential buyers
  • 1 month – Working with the business to ensure all info ready for marketing
  • Start – Instruct Succession Planning Ltd

All elements can be accelerated in certain circumstances. However, it is always possible that the buyer changes their mind in the initial process and then we have to go back a step. Sometimes it is a bit like snakes and ladders!

Where can I find the right partner?

There are various Mergers and Acquistions (M&A) partners that could be considered. Here’s what our Succession Planning Ltd team specialize in:

Why Should I Sell My Business Now?

M&A Stats 22 Infographic

Click for full size

All the stats point to 2022 being a strong year for M&A. This is in part due to a requirement for transactions as businesses address factors such as decarbonisation and digital transformation.

More significantly, the ramifications of COVID gave SME business owners the chance to reflect, whilst the continued challenges of rising energy costs, labour and supply chain issues (coupled with inflation and interest rate rises) have led to many business owners re-considering their position.

Whatever your reason for selling the company, we want you to get the most out of it. Please give us a call and we will be happy to discuss your best options and what else is required to maximise the price you achieve for your business.

We ensure that all our efforts are intrinsically focused on helping our clients to achieve their aims. We work in partnership to understand and fulfil our client’s commercial objectives. Whether it is a cash injection, a part equity sale, or a complete company/trade and asset sale.

More Info: What Makes A Business Sell