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.
Explore the options available to you, improve your chances of successful sale.
If you’re seeking a business to buy, then we can increase your deal flow.
In the early stages of such an important undertaking, it can be a bit of a moral maze: who do you trust?
Firm Gains gave me confidence with detailed advice and support. I would recommend their services to other entrepreneurs seeking to buy a business.Mr T Washington , Founder
I found it much easier to get my head around a business sale this way than talking to my accountant. You speak a language I understand!
Even though the whole process of selling seems daunting, I’ve got more confidence that I’m heading in the right direction.Mrs T Boothe , Founder
Thank you for your email and the excellent advice provided earlier this week. It was immensely helpful and has helped me to plan my future direction for the practice.
I would have no problem whatsoever in recommending your services in the future.Mr & Mrs Halldron , Co-Owners
Firm Gains were recommended to me and I was not disappointed. They were efficient, helpful and effective responding quickly to my request with all the facts that were needed to ensure a stress-free dialogue with our buyer.
What really helped was the advice over and above the valuation, which was immensely valuable and gave me the confidence to proceed. I would not hesitate in recommending them.Mr C Waite , Founder
We found the advice invaluable, which was clear and concise and felt your firm had a good handle on market trends and business sectors.
With also the backup of the secondary services, there was a feeling you had all bases covered if we wanted to proceed with our exit via Management Buy Out (‘MBO’).Mr D Wills , Director
Thank you for your advice. I was just about to sign up to the wrong kind of business agent for a company of our size, but read your post just in time.
I found a more serious partner, with experience in our industry and we’re already using the same language.Mr F Summerscale , Managing Director
We have been greatly impressed by the clear and impartial advice given to us by Firm Gains. After just an initial phone call we felt much better informed, with a new awareness of the many options available to us.
Firm gains understood our situation quickly and clearly and were anything but ‘pushy’. Refreshing compared to what we’d experienced before.Mr C Hutcheson , Managing Director