1. Plan aheadRarely is a business sale ready without any prior planning. The earlier this is considered the better. I would suggest that you should start planning at least two years in advance, giving you the opportunity to address any issues a buyer may have and implement any tax planning measures that ultimately may improve your net proceeds.
2. Get adviceEnsure you appoint professional advisers that are experienced in transactions with companies similar to yours in terms of size and sector. The earlier you do this the more value they will be able to add.
3. Put your house in orderPreparation is everything, if you can’t answer questions or provide important information to potential buyers, it can create uncertainty in their eyes and, at best, results in a difficult sale process and, at worst, break the potential sale.
4. Be transparentThere is little point trying to hide issues, the later these are disclosed the more damage they can do. Be open from the outset but only after you have worked with your advisers to address these issues or put a plan in place to mitigate their impact.
5. Plan for successionHaving a strong management team capable of running the business in your absence will be highly attractive to prospective buyers and gives you alternative options in the event a sale is not concluded. In order to get the best value for your business, it is essential to understand you’re your value drivers are throughout your business journey, by working with an external provider who can help both support and challenge you in your decision making. At Grant Thornton, we use tools such as our CEO room – a dedicated space for a one-to-one discussion where business leaders can speak to us about their issues and ambitions – to provide in-depth, bespoke consultancy to the businesses that we work with, advising them on how they can add real value to their business. We’re lucky enough to work with some of the Thames Valley’s most dynamic, fast growth businesses. Sometimes, they’re dynamic and ambitious by their nature and that’s why they know we can help them. Other times, we challenge and help clients to become more dynamic in their approach, realising where the value can best be maximised and the path to get there. Preparing a business for sale is an incredibly rewarding job and I’ve been proud to help so many owners on their journey.
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