We have provided below answers to a few of the key questions many business owners frequently ask us. If you have a specific question that is not listed here, please do not hesitate to contact us directly.
I’M NOT READY TO SELL – WHY SHOULD I START PLANNING NOW?
Thoughtful preparation is a distinguishing factor in any successful sale transaction. The better prepared a business owner is for the intensive scrutiny of potential buyers that is an inevitable part of the sale process (in terms of accounting records, financial statements, systems and controls, tax records, employment records, etc.) the greater the confidence you will engender in the buyer regarding the management of the business, which should deliver a higher valuation and a smoother process.
We have clients who have successfully completed a sale of their business with BCMS many years after first discussing their objectives with us. These clients have benefited from the time to undertake advance preparation and, following our advice, to implement concrete actions (with respect to the financial statements, the management team, growth initiatives, etc.) to improve how their business will be positioned with potential buyers.
Get a new perspective on your business at the BCMS seminar.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO SELL MY BUSINESS?
Selling a business is a time intensive process, which is not completely in the control of the seller. In particular, in the current environment in which overall unease is prevalent as global financial markets are highly volatile, buyers are likely to be more risk averse. Accordingly, buyers and investors are likely to scrutinize potential acquisitions more closely and understandably will undertake extensive due diligence and checks to ensure they have fully protected for the downside risks of an investment, all of which could prolong deal timelines. Other variables beyond your control related to potential buyers include changes in their own business performance or changes in financing markets.
In addition, a seller is vulnerable to changes in its own performance, to its customer base, management team or wider changes in the market. Accordingly, we advise our clients that there best tool for driving the process is thoroughly investigating their own business, identifying areas of possible risk and preparing for the inevitable information requests in advance. This latter process is the component of the transaction timetable that can cause the greatest delays.
This is why we recommend you allow at least 9 to 12 months for the entire sale process, commencing with the time you engage a financial advisor through the execution of definitive agreements and completion. Although BCMS has completed deals in a matter of months, this is not the typical timetable under most circumstances.
Talk to us about what you can do today to accelerate the timetable once you commence a sale process.