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Selling your Business Requires Planning

If you want to sell your business, you need to understand what is needed to get it ready for sale. The goal of a sale is to receive the most value (money) from the perspective buyer and therefore, the seller needs to make sure there is VALUE to purchase. Value is more than net income or cash flow. Value is the FUTURE. The buyer is buying the FUTURE. Listed below are the readiness issues in preparation to sell a business. Steady and predictable growth is the plan. The goal is to increase the transferability of the business.

  • Develop a mindset that you are going to prepare to sell. This needs to begin 2-3 years prior to putting the business on the market.

  • Continue to do business, as usual, and continue to increase business, develop new markets and new products/services. You will want to show that value is increasing, and the business is viable. Those that become complacent will reduce their value

Financial Readiness

Improve your income

  • Clean up your financial statements (P&L, Balance Sheet, Cash Flow Statements)-Make sure they are accurate, reliable and readable with no errors.

  • Increase sales and net income-show consistent growth.

Improve your assets

  • Dispose of unproductive assets and unsalable inventory

Clean up potential liabilities

  • A new owner doesn’t want your old problems or any hidden debt

Show several different revenue streams

Separate owners’ expenses on the financials

Have your bookkeeping current and up to date

Operations Readiness
  • Develop an organizational plan that has a sustainable team to operate the business and make decisions-If you are doing all the work, there will be no value when you sell. You need to have a good team and an operational system that is working smoothly

  • Have an employee manual

  • Have an operating manual with documented policies and procedures

  • Supplier diversification

  • Have a solid long-term management team

  • Clean and orderly facilities with employees that are effective and productive

  • Current and effective technology

  • High and documented customer satisfaction

Markets Readiness
  • Understand your competition/niche and your strengths and weakness and recognize them

  • Diversify your customer base

  • Show a high customer retention and repeat business

  • Evaluate the barriers to entry, market, finances and vendors

  • Show there is VALUED future growth and it is accessible and profitable

  • Diversify your product/service offerings

Summary- Drivers to add value to a company for sale
  • Long-term employees with a motivated management team

  • Operating systems that work to improve profits and cash flow

  • Diversified customer base

  • Diversified product line

  • A distinct competitive advantage

  • Documented procedures, processes that are sustainable and scalable

  • Improving cash flow

Value reducers-Distractions

The ones who lose are those that let their business go downhill. They decrease cash flow, customers, employee turnover and overall operational effectiveness. They lose interest, get tired or start to drain the company from its cash and other assets.

5 key Points
  1. Develop a mindset

  2. Keep your company growing and moving forward

  3. Keep your financials in good order showing positive cash flow and profits

  4. Show a diversification of revenue

  5. Move yourself away from the operations


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