When you’ve built the business up and are ready to sell, exciting times lie ahead. Everyone’s giving you advice on your next move, but are they qualified to advise you? You’ve come this far by yourself after all, and nobody knows the business better than you.
You may also know people who want to buy your business, but what’s the best approach?
Firstly, ‘get your house in order’. Ensure your company is in the best shape to attract buyers and maximise the price – there are some great tips available in some of our other blogs and articles.
Secondly, have someone be your buffer so you are not in the direct line of fire of questioning. A business broker can protect and guide you throughout the whole process of the sale.
Let the market dictate the value
We don’t have to quote pricing (if a full marketing campaign is carried out) and all things being equal – you will maximise the full value for the business. Ask for rationale on pricing as some brokers will tell you what you want to hear; be cautious as some firms may well over-value your business thus making it so much more difficult to sell. At every stage of the sale process honesty and transparency is key.
Carry on as if a sale is not happening
In most cases it is the company’s profit on which your business will be purchased, make sure you keep the business on track or preferably on the up and it will maximise your price.
Undertake a full and comprehensive marketing campaign to the same sector as your business as well as related sectors and most importantly, have a ‘hot list’ closely targeted to ensure your campaign has had full coverage. Again, with full exposure, you will maximise your price.
It needs to be stress-free… well as much as possible!
If you’ve been a business success, you’ll appreciate the art of delegation; letting the right people get on with tasks that match their skill set. By effectively outsourcing the sale, you’ll be free to focus on maintaining the day-to-day operations, ensuring everything runs smoothly and the business remains in good shape for whoever takes over.
We’d suggest you enlist a business broker to do the ‘leg work’:
- Present the business in its best possible light
- Compile and deliver a full marketing campaign
- Negotiate on your behalf
- Closely communicate with, and monitor prospects, as the deals start to gain momentum
- Advise on the best possible suitors who are likely to complete a deal
- Then to become good friends; after such close and regular communication for generally what is at least a 9 to 12-month journey.
Correcting these mistakes before putting your business on the market will ensure a higher valuation and a much smoother, more timely transaction.
If you need any advice or further information on making a business acquisition, selling your own business, or indeed financing an acquisition, feel free to give us a call on 0118 338 1444 to speak to one of our consultants.
We look forward to speaking with you.