We often talk to business owners approaching the prospect of selling their company and, in most cases, it is the first time they have reached this particular point in their working life. Often they will sell just the once, and then move on to an entirely new future.
It is rare, therefore, for a business owner to be truly ready for what’s in store for them. The journey they are about to embark on is not simple, it is complicated, convoluted and fraught with stress, decisions, distractions and unexpected challenges.
So, to help business owners along the way, we’ve mapped out the process that most businesses go through. Highlighting the key decision points where they need help and, ultimately giving a navigable route to the desired successful conclusion.
A business sale is rarely simple or straightforward and, generally speaking, the larger the business the more complicated the process. We offer up these three recommendations:
1. Use Expertise, Don’t Lean On Your Own Understanding
The easiest mistake to make is to try to do all this yourself. Trust us, that’s a one-way journey down which normally ends in frustration and failure. There are a number of ways in which you can develop the right strategy, but we believe you need to consider the right exit strategy and whether you need a broker or agent to support you. And you definitely need solicitors and accountants who are experienced in the process. It can make the difference in the sale.
2. Be Patient, Haste Wastes Both Money & Time
Unless you have to, don’t set a deadline. Buyers don’t like them and they can not only inhibit the negotiation process, but also the opportunity to find more than one potential bidder. Be patient, you’ve worked too hard to let yourself down. Time is not the main influencing factor in this particular process.
3. Understand Others’ Motivations and Use Them To Your Advantage
When it comes to every decision along the way, you must remain in full control of the choices in front of you. When considering a broker, understand that they will be motivated by fees. When negotiating with a buyer, they’ll be focusing on the best deal. When working with colleagues and business partners – ask yourself ‘what is in it for him or her?’
Do everything in your power to make sure that you create advantageous situations, which rarely comes down to cash. If the buyer wants you to hang around for some time, make sure that they pay you well. If your accountant is slowing things down, it could be that she’s concerned about losing you, the client.
Whatever you do, go into the process with your eyes fully open. Only then will you be able to achieve the most profitable business sale.
Download an Infographic
Download File – for an infographic laying out the process you will go through.