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How do I sell my company?

Five key things you may not have thought of if you are considering selling your company.

There is no easy way but it can be done.

I was told once by a Financial Advisor, with hundreds of clients, that he had heard dozens of people say they want to sell their company, but he could count the ones who had done it on the fingers on one hand. However, it can be done if you approach it like any other sale. Methodically, carefully, relentlessly, fully prepared, and professionally.

5 top tips to remember when selling your company:

1. If it seems too good to be true...

There are many companies out there that will offer to sell your company or prepare your company for sale. You can find them in seconds on the internet. They will talk up the value of your company, increasing your expectations and make promises to present your company to the market with a well-prepared brochure or offer on a website. They will talk about “creating competitive tension” as potential buyer jockey for position to be able to buy your company. Then they will ask for fees to do this. And they will expect the fee upfront. They are playing a numbers game, signing up company after company. Of course, some will sell. Many will not. And those that do will not be for the figures that were discussed. Ask them to be paid when the company is successfully sold, and they will become much less interested.

2. The best person to sell is you.

You know your company and its market better than anyone. Who better to sell the company? Do some research. Talk to trusted suppliers and search for interested parties. It’s the same as selling your products and takes the same level of preparation and effort. You do not need a specialist company to sell your company for you.

3. Housework

Get your house in order. Literally and metaphorically. Make sure every aspect of your company is in perfect order. Ensure the place is clean and organised. Walk round your company with a buyer’s eyes and tidy up anything that you do not like. Make sure the company could be presented to a buyer in an open and transparent way physically and on paper. For example, make sure your stock figure is robust and defendable and regularly updated. Ensure any disputes with customers, suppliers or staff are resolved. Be able to break down your sales by product, region, market. Understand the lifecycle of your products. And be able to split your costs in detail and explain the reasoning for spending each penny. If you have any trademarks or IP make sure it is up to date and protected. Make sure your accounts are never more than a month behind and you are running a budget and cash flow forecast and comparing the reality with predictions and updating accordingly.

4. Confidentiality

You will be inviting potential buyers into your business, and potentially exposing key information. Do this gradually and carefully. And ensure that everyone signs an NDA (Non-disclosure Agreement) that has been drawn up professionally to protect you from any information leaks.

5. Prepare Your Staff

You will need to inform your staff at some point that the company is for sale. This does not need to be immediately, and the timing will depend on your relationship with your staff. You need them to remain positive and supportive and so the process of selling needs to be sold to them as a positive move.

If you are considering selling your company or want to discuss your situation in more detail please do not hesitate to speak to our expert on 07860 607815 or email keithclarke01@outlook.com.

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