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:
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.
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.
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 File – for an infographic laying out the process you will go through.
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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