1991, Athletics World Championships, the Long Jump final. An epic duel, which not only culminated in the besting of one of the longest standing world records (Bob Beamon from 1968), but which also was arguably one of the finest athletic battles ever recorded as first Carl Lewis broke the world record, and Mike Powell then beat Lewis by jumping 8.95m, a record that still stands to this day.
The irony was that Mike Powell had, until that day, always played second-fiddle to Lewis. He was in the middle of a ten-year losing streak and, after that moment of extreme over-performance, was mainly beaten into second place after this contest.
However, in that moment, knowing that he would need to do something special, Powell leaped a full 30 centimetres further than he had ever done before, so that he could gain that which he so desperately wanted.
Which is precisely why competition is the number one key to getting the best price for your company.
The first aim must be to secure competition for your business sale. This is not as easy as it sounds as there is a law of diminishing returns: for every potential buyer at the beginning of the sale process, the vast majority will not convert into a serious buyer, whether a lack of resources, or an unwillingness to commit, or even just a change of heart.
You cannot, must not, rely on just one or two serious prospects as your chances of sale will be vastly reduced. To end up with a truly competitive auction, you need to cast a wider net because this is a marathon, not a sprint.
Most business brokers or transfer agents will rely on this same pitch to give the impression of size and scale: they may talk about ‘a database of 10,000 business buyers’ or ‘approach 150 or more profiled leads’ or even ’50 serious buyers’. All these types of approach can work, but what you need in the end is at least 10 or more serious buyers who have the resources, capacity and desire to buy your business.
If securing such competition is the right means of achieving the best possible result for your business, the method will be different. All you can be sure of is that it won’t happen accidentally, or just through your own steam.
You will need to find a partner who can help. The right partner.
What do you need to look for in your business sale partner? Perhaps the best place to start is to take a good look at your business:
The chances are there may be one or two brokers who specialise in your market, or who have direct experience of selling companies similar to yours.
Once you’ve considered your business, you next need to do your homework on your potential partner:
Of course, this is more difficult than it sounds, which is why we created Firm Gains. Our knowledgeable team will listen to your requirements and recommend the right match for you. Simply call us on 0333 050 8225 or, alternatively, read more about how we can help match you to the right broker.
This is the most important decision you will make in your business sale and, as fellow business entrepreneurs, we want to help you get it right.
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