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Prepare early for business sale

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 Because selling a business is the most important financial transaction of an owner’s life, he should think carefully about his exit strategy before it’s time to leave. 

The choices are many: He can transfer the enterprise to a family member or sell to a strategic partner and retain some involvement. He can take it public or sell and move on. Most exits follow this last path.

To maximize the sales price, owners should begin preparing their company for sale well before the transaction. That requires understanding what buyers look for when acquiring a business and making sure these elements are present.

Management team: Buyers value an experienced, well-rounded management team locked in place with employment contracts. A company that relies too much on the owner will not receive maximum value — especially if the owner is essential to revenue generation. In this case, the buyer will discount the sales price because the business risks losing revenue when the owner leaves. It takes years to recruit, train, integrate and motivate a management team, and this process should begin well before a company is offered for sale.


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