Why you need a team to successfully sell your business

Why you need a team to successfully sell your business

Okay, so you’ve decided to sell your business.

If you’re always been a “hand’s on” type of business owner you might be tempted to sell it yourself, but do you really have the necessary skills to do so?

Think about this.

Selling a business, regardless of its size, is time-consuming and complicated, and really a full-time job.

And if you’re investing all of your time and energy into trying to sell your business, you’re not going to have any time left over to properly run your business…

… at the very same time your business needs to be running as smoothly and successfully as possible.

The secret to a successful sale?

The secret to a successful sale?

Knowing how to run your business and understanding how to sell your business are actually totally different skill sets. And unfortunately, there’s no way of rehearsing how to sell your business.

Just as you wouldn’t leave the running of your accounts to your sales team, or your staff recruitment to your accountant, you simply shouldn’t consider trying to sell your business yourself …

…especially when your business is most likely your biggest financial asset.

To achieve the optimum result when you sell your business you need to bring together a team of specialists to help you on this complex journey.

Apple CEO, Steve Jobs, really understood the importance of surrounding himself with a winning team when he said: “The secret of my success is that we have gone to exceptional lengths to hire the best people in the world.”

And it’s exactly the same when it comes to selling your business… the secret to a successful sale is using the best people possible for the job. Your winning team!

So, who’s on your winning team?

So, who’s on your winning team?

To achieve the highest price in the shortest time possible for your business sale you you’ll need:

  • objective advice,
  • an understanding of the true market value of your business,
  • an outsider to look at your business from a fresh perspective,
  • comprehensive legal advice to ensure your interests are properly protected
  • sound financial advice so you maximise your sale proceeds and minimise the tax paid
  • an understanding of how to best market your business for sale, and
  • experience in getting the deal over the line.

It’s simply not possible for just one person to have this unique intersection of skills, which is why you need a team of specialists who are all experts in their relevant disciplines.

Together, your expert team can deliver the winning combination of expertise, time, teamwork, research, planning, strategy, preparation, networking and commitment…

…while you keep your focus on ensuring your business is running smoothly and successfully, to make it as attractive as possible for any potential buyers.

Begin with your accountant

Begin with your accountant

Besides yourself, your accountant will have the best understanding of the intricacies of your business and the true state of its financial affairs.

Before you go to market, ensure your accountant has your company accounts in order because this will be the first thing any buyer will want to see.

Your accountant also needs to be fully on board to verify figures and answer the inevitable questions a prospect will need answers to once they progress to Due Diligence.

Get a good lawyer

Get a good lawyer

Regardless of the size of your business, you’ll need a lawyer to draw up a contract to sell it and to help get the deal over the line.

Yes, you can buy a standard “buy-sell agreement template” online, however, these very basic templates are written to suit a range of businesses and therefore end up being somewhat simplistic and generic. Do you really want to run the risk of your agreement being unenforceable?

Your lawyer’s job is to make sure no detail gets overlooked and your contract is legally binding.

They are also on your team to ensure you agree to terms with your buyer that work for you, not just for your buyer.

Although all lawyers are legally qualified to prepare your business for sale contract, your family lawyer who prepared your wills or did your conveyancing when you bought your family home is probably not going to best suited to selling your business if they’ve never prepareded a business sale contract before.

It’s a specialist task,. so if your lawyer doesn’t have experience in in commercial contracts and business deals ask them to recommend one who does have the skills needed to maximise your chance of the best possible outcome.

Do you also need a business broker?

Do you also need a business broker?

While your accountant will have the necessary tax knowledge and understanding of the financial value of your business, and your lawyer can ensure your contract is legally binding, an experienced business broker is an expert for actually getting a deal over the line.

There’s no legal obligation for you to use a business broker but a good broker with a sound knowledge for your industry will most likely do a much better job than you can of communicating the value of your business, especially if you use a broker who delivers a complete business sale solution.

This is because the sale price you can achieve for your business depends largely on any potential buyer’s excitement for the future of owning your business.

A good business broker will use innovative marketing and digital storytelling to paint a picture that allows prospects to visualise running your business themselves, and the lifestyle they can achieve.

And by using innovative digital marketing to sell your business, a smart business broker will be proactive, reaching thousands more potential buyers than the traditional way of selling a business attracts.

More deals are finalised with a business broker than without.

More deals are finalised with a business broker than without.

Your business is only worth what someone is prepared to pay for it, and your business broker’s job is to bring you and your prospect together…

…and get the deal done.

Because you are understandably emotionally invested in the business you will base your valuation on how much you have personally invested in your company, as well as the figure you need to achieve to move on to the next stage of your life.

But your buyers will be looking for the return on investment they think your business will deliver to them, so their perceived value of your business will come from their independent advisors, the risks they perceive, and comparisons to other industries or investment options available to them.

Why your business broker should lead your team

Why your business broker should lead your team

Unlike your other professional advisors, your broker is the person who talks to every member of your team on a regular basis, as well as any prospects.

They not only function as the mediator between you and any potential buyers…

…they also act as catalyst to keep everything on track with a variety of skills. In other words, your business broker is the ideal leader of your winning team.

Firstly, your broker works closely with you to gain an in depth understanding of your business, so they can provide you with a realistic market valuation of your business, acquire the knowledge to promote it with accuracy and enthusiasm, and convey the opportunity with a passion and knowledge that’s similar to yours.

Choose a broker who's an innovative marketer, a great communicator, and a firm negotiator too

Choose a broker who's an innovative marketer, a great communicator, and a firm negotiator too

On trend, digital marketing is crucial to target potential buyers as they use the internet to seek out opportunities.

Choose a broker who has experience in using innovative digital marketing techniques to tell your story on line and market in a way that emotionally engages with your target buyers.

Your broker also needs to work with your accountant to acquire a thorough understanding of your financial position and the market in which you operate, and prepare a business overview.

This business overview will help reassure any prospects that there is a third party with a detailed knowledge of the business, provide them with a sufficiently detailed summary for an initial assessment to be made without giving away everything too early, and encourage any serious prospects to ask for more detail.

But of course, your broker’s primary role is to keep the sales process running smoothly and achieve the best possible financial outcome for you, in the shortest time. To do this they must be in contact with your lawyer and meticulously organised with systems in place, ensuring that all legal documents are updated, in place and easily accessible.

Your business broker also needs to be a great communicator with any potential buyers and their own teams, always available to answer any questions, reassuring them that your business is worth the money…

…and a firm negotiator too, cool under pressure, firm but fair, and ultimately giving you the best chance of a great outcome.

Ready, set, go!

Ready, set, go!

You only get one chance to sell your own business, so make sure both you and those close to you are mentally and physically prepared.

Even with a great team around you, there will be an extra workload on you and you’ll need the reassurance and support from those that know you best to keep you motivated and on track.

If your marketing is right, you will have multiple prospects to liaise with, so make sure you’re fit, focussed and healthy before you begin…with the right team of experts in place.

With a strong business broker heading up your winning team, you’re well on your way to giving your business sale the very best chance of a great outcome.