Thinking of selling your business?
And, as with most things in life - the quality of preparation will determine the quality of the result.
Whatever your reason for selling - it's time to retire, allow an MBO or constructive merger, or simply turn your hard work into hard cash - the typical lead-time before a successful deal completion is likely to be 3 to 5 years.
Preparation involves many factors - not just financial - that are often overlooked but will be obvious to prospective buyers.
Preparing for sale isn't about window-dressing the financial statements and having a quick tidy up around the premises. Such a façade will stick out like a sore thumb. Sales can be quickly lost if a vendor's integrity is in doubt.
It is about making sure your business is underpinned by strong, attractive and basic business fundamentals. The perceived values of these fundamentals to prospective buyers is what encourages them to offer their best price.
There are four key preparation areas to focus on for a business sale:
- Your business must demonstrate solid financial performance
- Physical assets should be in good order and intellectual property protected
- Uncertainties and risks faced by the business should be reduced
- The business should not be reliant on your personal day-to-day involvement
Preparing a business for sale often involves a wide range of issues - financial, tax, legal, property, employees etc – and without specialist help the task can be complex.
Selecting and retaining a competent team of professional advisers well in advance of your planned exit is a critical step in the sales process.
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