Planning and Managing Your Time: Diarise Your Sale

The Bigger Picture In Selling Your Business

The main effect of selling your business will be the additional load on your time. It is unavoidable, even with help from professional services firms and business sale advisors. You will be needed for conference calls, meetings, discussions and external appointments, much of which will need to be done confidentially in addition to your ‘day job’.

When a process like a business sale can take twelve to eighteen months to conclude, bear in mind that your eventual sale will almost certainly be after the current trading period is closed.

Don’t Let Your Business Suffer

For most entrepreneurs, like you, the biggest danger is that you end up taking your eye off the ball. This can result in a slowdown in business performance and can ultimately affect the overall business sale price. It is going to be hard work, but with a strong level of commitment required, the sale process is something you cannot delegate.

The danger is, therefore, if you don’t pay enough attention to the sale process, you may end up adversely affecting your chances of a sale.

Recognise the Unique Circumstances

Rather than fighting against this situation, it is best to be prepared for it. It is one moment in time where you will be multi-tasking, but then if you run a business you are probably already familiar with that too.

There will be peaks and troughs too: weeks can go by with little activity, but there will be moments too where it all will get on top of you.

Here are some of the ways in which you can ensure that your business sale has less impact:

  1. Prioritise your time, clear your desk early, delegate as far as you can. Make sure that, though you are the one in demand, you aren’t overstretched or distracted from your main objectives.
  2. Ring-fence the sales process. Setup a separate email account and even a phone number where you can be accessed. Keep your key documentation on a USB drive or in a secure Dropbox. Make sure that you have access to these materials when you need them, but avoid blending them with your daily communications channels.
  3. Choose a suitable time to check your email or phone, make it a maximum of 30 mins a day. If you need to have catch-up calls with a Broker, make them regular but brief. If you are concerned with privacy then wait until evenings when at home to email and read any business documents.
  4. Schedule all calls with brokers, advisors, buyers and professional services firms. By avoid taking unexpected calls, and in being prepared for the calls when they happen, you will make the most out of your time

Use a diary or calendar and make sure you are aware of your specific stage in the business selling journey.  It is a marathon, not a sprint, but as with a long-distance race, you need to pace yourself. Check your distance and time, keep an eye on your progress. It is only by working out how far you’ve come and what distance is left to travel that you will remain confident in a successful crossing of the finishing line.

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