1. Be Decisive
Once you decide to sell or retire, don’t look back. Plan what you want or need from a sale and get on with it. I am a big believer that a wrong decision is better than indecision.
2. Due Diligence or lack thereof!
This applies more to the buy side (i.e. Know what you’re buying), but sellers need to do their homework too on the buyer, their funding, whether you can trust them? Find out about the sales process and research your professionals, their experience / track record.
3. The Price Is Right… Or is it?
This is the starting point is your “ideal world” scenario. However, a business is only worth what someone will pay for it, so be prepared to justify when challenged. Don’t price yourself out of the market!
4. Timing is everything
Timing of a sale is key. Think market factors. Have you had any approaches? Retirement plans??
Also important is to agree on a roadmap once a deal has been reached in principal. Deals need planning from contracts to completion. There is always a risk that with no timeframe, a deal can go cold. A proactive lawyer will drive the deal.
5. Negotiation is an art, not a science
Every business owner has a different idea of what is important to them and the goalposts should be positioned accordingly. Choose your battles wisely and win the war. What is your bargaining power? You need your deal-breakers and your deal-makers, to offer as concessions to get the job done.
6. If you pay peanuts…
Don’t skimp on professional advice. Use the experience and expertise of your specialist accountants, lawyers, corporate financiers, surveyors… If you are on a budget, highlight this at the start, agree a fixed or capped fee and extract as much value as you can!
Jonathan Abrams is a Corporate Partner at Gregory Abrams Davidson LLP. Contact Jonathan about their Fixed Fee Mergers and Acquisitions legal services at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0151 236 5000