Written by Neil Ackroyd
So, you have been approached by someone wanting to talk about buying your business. This can be an exciting time but it can also be very stressful and confusing. As owner managers we are often experts in our own field and to a certain extent we can be jacks of all trades. However, in my 16 years in lead advisory I have very rarely seen a fellow owner manager who has experience and skill in selling businesses. It is a very specialist and subtle area and there is a lot that one can do wrong and those mistakes can be the most expensive mistakes of your entire career.
- Take a long hard look inside you and decide whether you really are interested in selling.
- Retirement/completing a plan
- Fundamental shift in your life priorities
- The business not being fun any more/outgrowing your skill set
- An exceptional cash offer or exit opportunity
- Has the company made previous acquisitions?
- What companies has it bought and are they comparable to yours?
- What deal structures in terms of up front money and earn outs did they employ (would this type of structure be good for you)?
- Where does their funding come from for further deals?
- What level of individual in the company is aware of and has signed off the approach to you?