When business owners make the decision to sell, they are taking a giant step that involves emotions as well as the marketplace, each with its own set of complexities. Those sellers who are tempted to undertake the transaction on their own should understand both the process and the emotional environment this process exists within.
The steps outlined below are just some of those required for a successful sale. While they may seem daunting to the do-it-yourselfer, by engaging the help of a business intermediary the seller can feel confident about what is often one the major decisions of a lifetime.
- Set the stage.
What kind of impression will the business make on prospective buyers? The seller may be happy with a weathered sign (the rustic look) or weeds poking up through the pavement (the natural look), but the buyer might only think, “What a mess!” Equally problematic can be improvements planned by the seller that appeal to the seller’s personal sense of aesthetics, but that will do nothing to benefit the sale. Instead of guessing what might make a difference and what might not, sellers would be wise to seek the advice of a merger and acquisitions advisor–a professional with experience in dealing regularly with buyers and with experience in properly setting the business scene.
- Get the record(s) straight.
Although outward appearance does count, what’s inside the books is even more important. Ultimately, a business will sell according to the numbers. The M&A advisor can offer the seller invaluable assistance in the presentation of the financials.