When is the right time to sell my business?

Published 19th October 2021

Deciding to sell your business can be one of the hardest decisions you will make as a business owner. Whether your motivation is to embrace a new challenge, capitalise on business growth, relocate, or respond to a change in life circumstances, it is vital you have a comprehensive exit strategy prepared.

To help you define who your ideal buyer for your business would be and to make sure your business is as attractive as possible to these buyers, it is recommended that you prepare an exit strategy as early as several years before you wish to sell.

Failing to plan ahead can lead to a rushed quick sale, and business owners often make this mistake, resulting in a large number of sellers not being actually prepared for a sale at all.

This is a question we are asked often, and from a business owner’s perspective we understand this can be hard to predict. The decision may be made on the fact you are close to retirement age or found a new person to take over your role.

Without a doubt, these are important factors to consider, however, the most important factors to selling your business are its current financial state, how it appears to your ideal buyer, making sure it is sale-ready, and the market atmosphere.

Selling at the right time can have a significant impact on the price you get for your business, therefore before you can sell your business, you need to spend a lot of time planning and making sure your business is actually sale-ready.

Once you are satisfied that you’re ready to part with your company, there are several steps to follow to ensure you get the most out of your business sale:

How long before I am ready to sell my business should I be preparing for sale?

The simple answer to this is the earlier the better. By preparing an exit strategy and thinking strategically about selling your business you can open opportunities to increase it’s worth. We recommend preparing at least a minimum of three-five years before you wish to sell.

Advantages of early sale-planning

What can happen if I rush my business sale?

How do I make my company appealing to buyers?

It is important to remember that businesses that can show buyers a strong return on their investment sell. To demonstrate a strong return on investment we recommend focusing on the following areas within your preparing to sell strategy

How do I start planning the sale of my business?

It is important to explore all the options on how to sell your business with a professional. You should work towards building a mid-long term business strategy as although you want to exit your buyer is always interested in a viable future.

Take our “How sales-ready is your business?” free report?

We have a free and instant scorecard tool available on our website. All you need to do is answer 12 simple questions to reveal currently how sale-ready your business is. You will instantly receive your results via email and this will give you an up to date and clear picture of how ready you are. This report will also show how you can improve and make your business more “sales-ready”.

Speak to a team of professionals

Ensuring that you have the right team behind you providing the correct financial and tax advice and the benefit of their expertise is imperative. We have the experience, track record and expertise that you need for a successful properly structured sale of your company.

Get your business valued

Having assessed the value of the business from both the earnings and net assets perspective professionals can then provide the vendors with a sensible starting position for valuation from which they can evaluate any offers received.

Make sure all your accounts are up to date

Before the business reaches sale time all accounts and business plans including cash flows should be up to date.

Thorough preparation for a sale in advance of sale time improves management focus and will increase the final valuation. Business planning will enable achievable milestones to be set and the monitoring of performance against budget. Businesses are bought on the basis of the past, present and most importantly the future and an investor will analyse achievability based on performance against the plan.

A robust business plan showing a proven track record will always encourage investment. We have seen this evidenced (first hand) and have achieved high-value business sales through robust business planning.

Contact our team of professionals today and let’s make your business sale-ready.

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