Entrepreneurs start businesses with the intention to build them into profitable corporations over time, for some, selling is at the back of their minds and so from the get-go, they will run a clean ship to make it easy when they finally decide to put it on the market.
Before you sell your company, you want to make sure you understand the full implication of the transaction. You will be relinquishing the control of the organization and may never be a part of it any more. Set a goal so you have a clear understanding of what you hope to achieve with the sale and then do your homework to get the best value possible.
Whether you start your business with the aim to sell it or selling becomes the only viable option along the way, these factors will be handy during sale or any form of acquisition.
- Get your House in Order
Finances are a crucial part of the business and so any prospective buyer will be looking at that before they make a sound decision. You want to have a qualified and certified CPA prepare all the necessary books of accounts including the balance sheet, statement of comprehensive incomes, and the cash flow statements. They will also want to look at the sales for the company and justified projections for the future would be great too. You will also need an independent auditor giving the books an even closer look because a prospective buyer will insist on this.
- Involve Experts and Engage Openly
Your decision is made and the process is in motion, so now is the time to involve experts. Tax advisors – such as CRA tax auditors in Ottawa, attorneys, and investment bankers will all play a crucial role in the success of the acquisition. They will be handy in positioning the company for your exit so that nothing gets disrupted. Your existing management team will probably be retained by the new buyers, and so you want to openly let them know of the proceedings so that they are ready to assist the new leaders in running the business after your exit.
Key stakeholders such as suppliers and the board also need to be informed so that they align with your plans. Failure to prepare them for the future could lead in last minute snuffles that could delay the process. Disclosure is paramount when making a decision of this magnitude.
- Disclose to Valued Customers
Those customers who have been with you for the longest deserve to know of changes in ownership. They could want to take their business elsewhere, leading to a slump in profits, and so you want to assure them that things will run as smoothly in your absence as before. You want to hold a meeting for loyal customers along with the incoming owners to assure them on what to expect – but only if the buyer wants to retain them.
Selling a business is a gruesome process to most, but the rewards are worth it. When the process is done properly, then you will reap handsomely.