Selling your business – start now to maximise value

2nd July 2013

When running your own business with your nose to the grindstone, you may often find that there are not enough hours in the day. There are few opportunities to set aside time to think strategically about the bigger picture, such as your long term aims and succession planning.

At some point in the future, one day you are going to wake up and decide it is time to call it a day and wish to sell the business. Hopefully, you have made enough money to plan a comfortable retirement.

As a lawyer specialising in company sales, Neil Jones of Ansons Solicitors comments, “We often find that at this stage, when a director looks over the enterprise that they have sweated and toiled over with pride, they can be disappointed in its initial business valuation. They realise that they have been too busy on the day job to stop and think about how a prospective buyer may view their business.”

You will proud of all the hats that you have worn within the business and all the roles that you have juggled, but a buyer will worry about lack of business succession planning.

In particular, whilst you may take pride in the central role that you have had in developing the business, a potential buyer will be concerned if nobody else in the business knows the customers.

You might be proud of the way you have done business, based on a handshake and trust, but a buyer will be concerned by a lack of commercial contract documentation and commitment from customers.

So, if time has not run out for you yet and you are some way off selling your business, now is a good time to think about how to make your business attractive to a potential buyer. Consider developing a management team to succeed you, sharing key client contacts with your team, seeking contractual commitments from customers and building a team of transaction focussed professional advisers.

Neil Jones has extensive experience of selling owner managed businesses. For an informal and confidential discussion regarding your long term plans for your business email or telephone 01543 431184.