Guidance for business owners…
If you are obviously close to retirement, a potential buyer for your business will sense your ‘deadline’ and their offer price will be lower to reflect this. So sell when you want to, not when you need to.
It takes time to find the right buyer for your business, and when the sale is complete you may need to work as an advisor or on an earn-out for 1, 2 or 3 years. So factor that into your exit timing plan.
Sell your business while it is growing – a buyer is more interested in future potential than your past performance.
If you are losing interest, enthusiasm or commitment to your business, your management team and employees will too, and that sets the tone for your future prospects. So plan your exit when selling is an option not a necessity.
Early preparation of your business is crucial. The changes necessary to take the business to the stage where you, as owner-manager, are not key to the day to day running and success of the business can’t be done whilst the business is up for sale. It can take time and you will need good hands-on help and support.
That support needn’t cost much but will save you a huge amount of time and stress, will help make your business more attractive, more valuable and dramatically increase the chances of a good deal succeeding.
A business that is in good shape strategically, financially and legally will also attract a better offer from any unexpected approach from a potential buyer. So prepare now, whether you plan to sell or not.
Finally, any business that has addressed these issues is likely to have owner-managers who have a better work/life balance, less stress, and can see ahead to the best opportunities to grow, to sell, or maybe to buy!
Email Richard at preparetosell.co.uk