Far too many owner-managers of small and medium sized companies fail to prepare properly before appointing a broker to sell their business for them.
Worse still, too many sale brokers will push to get the sale through as quickly as possible.
If you are an owner-manager, when you exit the business the value (your expertise and experience) potentially leaves with you. What remains is what is really being sold (unless you are selling assets rather than the business).
Good sale brokers will tend to give you good advice on what you should do to prepare for a sale, but not usually how to do it and they certainly don’t do it for you.
So it is left to you to re-structure the business ready for exit, get all the numbers and reporting looking good and remove any legal and contractual uglies.
Once professional advisors are appointed to handle the sale (the broker), the legals (the solicitor) and the valuation (the accountant), costs can escalate at an alarming rate. The jargon and complexity can quickly leave you feeling you are no longer in control of the process and you lose sight of the outcome.
Typically the advisors will not give you a joined-up assessment of where the battles will take place through the sale process.
That’s a scary and lonely position to be in at a very stressful time. So it is important to choose your advisors carefully. As you only sell your business once you can’t afford to get it wrong. One option is to appoint an independent advisor who can help you get the business in good shape before going to market, help you appoint the most suitable advisors for your business and help you through the process and beyond to deliver maximum value. It need not be expensive and could save a great deal of time, money and anguish.