If you are like most business owners, you have never sold a business before and might not have a clear idea of what the process is like. We recommend preparing your business in a way that makes the sale and transition process as easy for your buyer as possible. It should come as no surprise that buyers will like the idea of an easy transition.
It will be worth your while if you take the time in advance to evaluate the steps and think about what you can do on your end to benefit your buyer. Since you’re the expert on your business, you have unique insights into what would make the transition the most seamless for the other party. When you prepare for the sale with your buyer’s experience in mind, you will likely not only speed up the sales process, but also increase the selling price.
1. Automate Processes
Just like you may have never sold a business before, your buyer may have never bought a business before. If you can figure out how to automate as many processes as you can, it will help with their workflow and reduce the level of intimidation your buyer may feel about taking over.
2. Establish a Second in Command
One thing you can do is have a second in command on your staff. If there is a competent employee that your buyer can depend upon for assistance and support, that fact alone will be tremendously attractive. If you do not yet have that person in place, you might consider choosing a person and preparing them for this role. Speaking of staff, you will want to make sure your entire staff is well trained, and any HR issues are resolved in advance.
Is your business exit ready?
If you’re planning to exit your company in the near future, you may find EastWind’s Exit Strategy Playbook helpful in developing your own exit strategy, making your company more sellable.
3. Keep Things Consistent
As you get closer to the time you will put your business up for sale, you will want to begin to work with vendors and key customers – to ensure that the supply chain and significant customers are consistent. Otherwise, this could cause major disruptions for your buyer and impede their success. Of course, it goes without saying that you’ll want to keep the potential sale of your business completely confidential. If customers, vendors, and even employees learn about an upcoming sale, this fact alone can lead to a chain reaction of disruptions and problems.
A merger and acquisition advisor can help in a variety of ways when you are getting ready to sell. They are experts in maintaining confidentiality while taking you through the sales process from start to finish. M&A professionals will also assess your business and inform you of any areas that could be improved to make your business more attractive to buyers.