Dear Aunty B,
I have been approached to sell my business to a big business in our industry. It is a great opportunity to realise some value after years of having all my eggs in one basket.
But there are a number of changes we are planning to make to the business (including a major issue that we have just worked out how to address.)
Should I ask them to wait? Will that be detrimental to the sales process? Also should I get an adviser in?
Remember, that they have approached you, so the ball is in your court.
Don’t be frightened to ask them to wait a few months. Make the changes and stay in contact through the process. As for the adviser, unless your business is sprucing businesses up for sale, then absolutely get in an adviser. This is a time that you and your key right hand person spends half your working hours on preparing the business for sale. That way you capture the most value in the sales process.
The adviser also makes sure you are not too distracted by the sales process and take your eye of the business. So take your time and use those few months to get to know the purchasers better on a personal level.
Your Aunty B.
Paul D Hauck writes: Good advice. The one other thing I would add that an adviser can do is talk to other potential purchasers and confirm the appropriateness of the existing offer against real benchmarks. Even if your suitor turns out to be the best, it’s a more comfortable negotiating position to have a plan B up your sleeve (and C, D, E…). Clients are often surprised at the range of valuations that can be achieved in even a mildly competitive environment.