Exit Strategy – 5 Things You Must Do To Sell Your Business?

Strategy

You have spent years building up your business, you have spent many a long hour slaving away ensuring that it is going to be a success.  At times your family have not seen you for days, you can’t remember the last time you didn’t feel tired, but it’s going to be all right because you are going to sell your business for a large sum of money and retire – right?

Maybe?  The problem is at the point you decide to sell everything changes, the business is no longer about you it’s all about the buyer!!  What do I mean buy that?  When it comes to the “worth” of your business, do you think your opinion counts?  I’ll tell you right now, it doesn’t and the sooner you get your head around that concept the better!!

It’s all about generating value, the more value you can generate to a potential buyer, the more they are likely spend.  So what do you need to think about now to help increase that value.  Here are the top 5 things you need to do:

  1. Strategy: Ensure you have a solid vision for your business, put a plan in place as if you were never going to sell it.  If you have a strategy in place that focuses on longer term growth that takes the company past the time you intend to sell, how much potential value will that give a potential buyer?
  2. People: Employ staff as if they are going to stay with the business until they retire, ensure they are well skilled, motivated, feel like they are an important  part of the business but above all they perform well.  There is an immense amount of value to a potential buyer if they know that the staff on board have all the skills and knowledge they need to keep the business performing well.
  3. Governance: Do things right!!  Make sure that your business has its policies & procedures in place and they are adhered to.  Ensure all your compliance requirements are up to date.  If you can show this is the case, you will be adding more value to the buyer.
  4. Research: Understand where likely buyers will come from and anticipate how your business can add value to the buyer, especially if that buyer is another business.  What value would there be to their existing company if they could:
    • Have access to your current market place.
    • Sell your product / service in their market space.
    • Develop new products or services jointly for both existing or entirely new markets.
  5. Seek Professional Help: This is a major undertaking, do not do it on your own, ensure you have at least a good business broker on board.  When you do, make sure they are fully aware of the research you have done and the potential value your business may be to others.  Make sure their focus is on selling the value not just the assets and profit!
If you can run your business as if you are going to stay there forever, run it well and understand the VALUE that your business may present to your potential buyer, you will be able to leverage off that understanding and maximise your returns.
Of course this is only have the story, once you have increased the perceived value of the company, you also need to reduce the risk to the buyer, check out how to do this later in March.