Considering Selling Your Business?[[MORE]]Selling a business can be a complex and new process for both vendors and purchasers. Many business owners may not know where or when to begin when putting their business on the market.
The reasons for selling...

Considering Selling Your Business?

Selling a business can be a complex and new process for both vendors and purchasers. Many business owners may not know where or when to begin when putting their business on the market.

The reasons for selling may be diverse however simply putting up a for-sale sign is not enough in the increasingly competitive business world.

The following areas are critical when undertaking the sales process and beginning the next phase of your business cycle.

PREPARING YOUR BUSINESS FOR SALE

If selling your business is on the horizon, it may be worth considering what is needed in preparation not only for a potential sale, but to achieve the highest possible value.

Getting your house in order.

The key to being ready to sell is to have your business running at its optimal level of efficiency, effectiveness and most importantly - at its most profitable.

Essential ways to achieve your business running at its highest possible level include:

·         Improve cost efficiencies - Are all costs incurred through operating necessary and at the best price? Can an alternative be sought to control and potentially reduce overall expenses?

·         Evaluate internal financial processes and controls - Ensuring your business can prepare accurate and informative Financial Statements along with the ability to produce timely reporting when needed will assist with attracting prospective buyers.

·         Assess your business through the eyes of a potential buyer - This can be done by running an internal diagnostic check for your business. What improvements can you make now to avoid corrective action in the future which could lower your sale price?

Can my business run without me?

An important aspect a potential buyer will consider is the ability of your business to operate without your presence or influence. It is essential your business has a management structure and stakeholder network which allows for a new owner to step in and run the business seamlessly. Consider the following steps to prepare your business for life without you.

Formalise systems and day-to-day processes - Written instructions can be put in place to ensure potential new management could step in with ease.

Diversify your customer and supplier base - Ensure your business is not reliant on a narrow customer network or supply-chain. Expanding your market share can make your business more attractive.

Take the opportunity to formalise and review employee agreements and contracts - The people within your business are important assets which could increase the perceived value of your business.

Implementing these steps ensures your business is always ready for sale when the opportunity arises.


SEEK PROFESSIONAL ACCOUNTING & LEGAL ADVICE

Potential buyers will seek to examine the previous, current and future financial performance of the business. Drilling down on the details of gross profit margins, trends and forecast cashflows are areas your trusted business advisor can assist in preparing your business for sale.

There will always be an element of uncertainty when purchasing the future cash flows of a business, however any buyer will be looking to minimise their risk exposure. Providing forecasts that are achievable and realistic, which are based on past trends and current market considerations will ensure buyer confidence in the value of your business.

Working Capital, why is it important?

Upon the sale of your business the buyer will require a level of working capital to fund the day-to-day business operations. Poorly managed working capital levels can impact the final sale proceeds you ultimately receive. Taking the time and seeking the guidance to manage cashflows and lower liabilities can reduce the expected working capital level required in your favour.

BWA Accountants + Business Advisors along with your legal advisors can provide value by offering their expertise and working together to achieve the best outcome for you.


NEGOTIATE & CLOSE THE DEAL

The negotiation process is usually associated with conflict, rather than two parties working together towards a mutually beneficial gain. Planning for the negotiation and being clear about the outcome can make the whole process less complicated, ultimately making the process straightforward for you and your buyer.

Enter into negotiations with a figure you would be prepared to accept, however always have a plan B. Price is not the only aspect of an offer. If you are not able to meet the terms and conditions associated with the highest priced offer, a lower offer with more achievable terms and conditions might be more favourable.

Don’t be afraid to walk away, deals are about compromise! If negotiations have halted it might be time for both parties to reassess what they are looking to achieve. Reflecting on what could have been accomplished may prove helpful which could lead to fresh negotiations.  

BWA has assisted with the sales of numerous businesses including sales to ASX listed companies. Please click here to find out more.

If you are considering selling your business or would like to discuss preparing your business for sale, please do not hesitate to contact our friendly team.