The process of selling a business normally starts with you: no, not the business, you! Your ambitions, your plans, your aims and your future are the most important drivers of the process.
Mistakes can happen even before you start the actual process. Consider carefully these five critical issues that crop up almost every time we discuss a possible sale with a business owner.
Selling your business is not a short and simple process. It is a long-term commitment to a goal you have set your heart on. At times, it may feel like open-heart surgery as both your business and your personal integrity are subjected to intense scrutiny.
One thing is sure, it is not going to be smooth sailing; you will need to have ‘intestinal fortitude’ as one solicitor eloquently put it.
Even if you choose to remain within the business initially, you aren’t likely to stay more than a year or two, just long enough to give the new owners time to put their plans in place.
Most owners seek a clean break as early as possible, but few devote much time to thinking about what they will do next. Yet, the earlier you start thinking about life after the sale, the more you can be ready for it.
There is nothing more tragic after a gruelling and expensive sales process than an unsold business.
Yet buyers aren’t concerned about your situation. They focus on the viability of the opportunity from their standpoint and will walk away without a qualm if the numbers don’t stack up. Here are some common ‘black flags’ for potential buyers:
If you face some of these problems, don’t be discouraged. We can put you in touch with experts who can help prepare you for sale.
Few entrepreneurs develop successful businesses entirely on their own; your management team and staff are key elements that buyers may find attractive. Yet you should be very cautious about sharing any details of a possible sale with any staff during the process as this can destabilise the operation of the business.
However, when it comes to the sale, we know that most business owners are as concerned about the future for their staff as for the business itself. Make sure you leave a legacy you can be proud of and ensure that all your people are well catered for.
Managing the sale process will be very time consuming, even if you get help with it. Yet the biggest mistake you can make is to neglect what made your business successful in the first place – your attention and direction.
If you can show more growth and profit, your business’s value will increase, but if you allow yourself to get distracted and, as a result, your business suffers, you won’t achieve the sale price you hoped for.
As the famous Spanish novelist Miguel de Cervantes said:
“To be prepared is half the victory”
We established Firm Gains to help you to prepare as well as you possibly can for the challenges ahead. We hope that our advice will guide you along every step of the way. If you can’t find the advice on our website, why not call us instead?
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