The forthcoming Christmas break is, for many business people, the one time of year they can enjoy a proper break, away from the constant interruptions of emails and deadlines, and spend some quality time with friends and family, reflecting on the year just passed and the challenges that lie ahead.
This period of reflection is often the catalyst for change and we frequently find ourselves spending much of January meeting prospective clients who have expressed a desire to sell their business.
There are a number of valid reasons why someone may come to this decision including:
A key part of our process is to look beyond the headline reason for the decision and understand the underlying motivation.
We have bad days, or weeks, when work isn’t going well, the pressure is building and it just isn’t enjoyable.
However, for most business owners the decision to sell is a once or twice in a lifetime moment, so it is crucially important that proper consideration is given to the following thoughts:
It may sound counter-intuitive coming from a firm that ultimately gets paid when people sell their business, but we would much rather potential clients wait and sell for the right reasons, at the right time, rather than rush into a process which can be time-consuming, emotionally draining and indeed costly.
There is a high correlation between poor planning and aborted transactions; a failed process can linger over a business for years, putting doubt in the minds of employees, investors and potential acquirers.
Once the underlying reasons for wanting to sell are understood, only then should you look at the options, which may include:
We will address these options in the weeks ahead.