Selling Your Business is a Team Activity
Growing up, I learned a lot about home improvement from my dad, and today I am an avid “do-it-yourselfer.” The primary reason I am able to be successful in my home projects is that I know my limits. My dad always said, “If it’s behind the walls, I don’t touch it.” Meaning, he knew when to call the plumber or the electrician, and I have learned to do that as well.
The same can be said about the process of selling your business. To maximize the value of your business, make the process smooth, and keep the business healthy until it is handed over, you must draw in your team of experts. You have grown your business by being an expert in your field, and have likely relied on a team of experts. When you are beginning to sell your company, it is time to draw them in even closer.
Here are the more critical team members you will want to include as you sell your business. Keep in mind the team will function best with one quarterback or captain. It doesn’t necessarily matter who, and it could even be you, but make sure it is known who is leading the team.
- Business Broker/M&A Advisor: This is often the team member who gets the ball rolling. They will be the one who brings the business to the marketplace in a presentable fashion, beginning the search for a buyer. They are matchmakers and can be a good quarterback choice to guide the deal through to a successful closing.
- Accountant: Most likely you have been working with this person for years, and they will continue to be instrumental in successfully selling your business. Clean and organized financial statements both maximize the value of your business and earn the trust of potential buyers. Buyers want to know that “the house is in order.”
- Attorney: A good transaction attorney will be able to analyze documents on your behalf, looking out for your best interests. Make sure they have experience in business transactions.
- Financial Advisor: Hopefully you have built your business well and upon closing the transaction, you will have a sizable amount of money you need to put somewhere. A good financial planner can help you come up with the plan best suited for you and your family.
Something to remember regarding all members of your team - make sure they are deal-makers, not deal-killers. You are the boss and you have decided to sell your business. Make sure each is aligned with your mission. Help yourself by asking for help from your team. Recognize your limits when you are entering the “behind the walls” phase. It will lead you to a successful transaction.
- Know when to rely on your team of experts.
- Make sure everyone knows who is leading the team.
- Ensure everyone is on the same page and has the same goal in mind.