When you are selling a company, you naturally want to find a suitable buyer as soon as possible. It is therefore important that your company is as attractive as possible to a potential buyer. Buyers are looking for well-managed companies, with motivated staff, clean administration, tidy business premises and good profit figures. The better you do these things, the easier the sale of your company will go. That is why it is wise to take the time to prepare your company before you are selling it. In this article several points of attention are listed that need to be considered when selling a company.
Adjusting The Business
Know which business activities are working well in the market and which are not working well. It is advisable to keep an eye on acquisitions of similar companies (competitors). What price has been paid for these companies? What is the sales price based on? And what is the difference in activities or business operations with your company? In other words, what could you improve to boost the sales price of your company? You may decide to phase out activities that are not profitable – no matter how difficult that may be – and focus on a few core activities. It helps if you have a clear idea of the potential buyer and have a final price in mind.
For a buyer, it is of course very important that the company simply continues after the sale. As crazy as it may sound, make sure you make yourself as indispensable to the company as possible. After all, the less dependent your company is on you, the easier it can be sold. Are your most important employees staying with the business or does the buyer just have to wait and see what happens? If you inform and commit the employees involved on time, there is less risk that they will still leave after the sale of the company.
Of course, a buyer does not want to find all kinds of misery after he has bought your company. A due diligence or book investigation is therefore also standard for a company takeover. This reveals anything that is happening in the company. Therefore, any problems are resolved before the sale, otherwise they can cause a breach of trust if they are discovered later during the due diligence phase. Ensure that issues are resolved, as well as pending tax claims and customer lawsuits, so there are no reasons to abort the sale.
During the first visit that a potential buyer brings to your business, he forms a first impression. You ensure that everything is clean and tidy, that the building has been recently painted, that the staff is cheerful and helpful and that there are fresh flowers in the meeting room. After the first visit, the buyer leaves your company with an excellent impression and is motivated to continue negotiations.
Nothing is better than a company where all reports are correct. As a good entrepreneur you have your annual reports, analysis and management reports ready. A well-informed management generates trust among buyers. If, on the other hand, you don’t have the answer to questions, it will result in uncertainty and postponement or even cancellation of the negotiations.
Finally, a buyer is going to put your numbers under a magnifying glass. He wants to know whether profit is being made and what the quality of the profit is. Now it is important to show profit. Do you have private matters at your company such as a house or other luxury and unnecessary matters? Get rid of them. Your polished figures and company information will appear in the ‘sales memorandum’ drawn up by you or your advisor. Your homework will translate back into a better deal.