In my March 24, 2011 post I wrote about goals and business buying. Now let’s discuss goals and exit planning. I just read that a Big 4 CPA firm predicts that two-thirds of closely held business with sales of $5-50,000,000 will change hands in the next 10 years. This may be a sale to outsiders, management or family (or a gift to family). That’s a lot of competition if you’re thinking of selling.
So what’s an owner (seller) to do? Create an exit plan, which includes thinking through your succession goals, implement the plan and make the business what a buyer wants. Here are 10 areas to concentrate on.
An ACTION plan to sell your business (listen to my January 26, 2011 podcast)
Grow and then sell as bigger companies sell for more money (all other things being equal)
What are your life considerations? Know these and it becomes easier
Look at your business as if you were buying your company
It’s the people that matter so pay attention to your management team, customers, vendors and others
Financial systems and statements as they are probably one of the largest speed bumps to getting a higher price
Manage the non-financial factors
Have a plan for your marketing, sales and the business (and your exit)
Know what it’s worth and how to increase that value
How are you going to sell it?
Get an experienced guide to help you plan the above, follow the plan, pay attention to the details and you’ll sell your business with style, grace and for more money.