Posted: 14.10.2019

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The second in our popular series of articles crystallising the complex transaction of selling your business into ten golden rules




You have worked extremely hard to build your business and are quite rightly proud of your achievements

Even those owners who do not have egos, find it hard to resist telling buyers what “I” have done but in a sale process this, at best is likely to result in a price reduction or deferred payments or in some cases put a buyer off entirely

Whether real or perceived, seller dependency is a common issue and therefore it is important to emphasise what the company and management team have achieved – more “we” or “they” and less “I”!

Management succession does come under the spotlight through a sale process and it is helpful to demonstrate that individuals are rapidly becoming capable of fulfilling the major roles – ideally, this would involve you working part-time largely in a non-executive capacity


“Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough, so they do not want to”

Richard Branson

Many business owners face practical challenges in building that management succession – there is a significant investment in terms of cost and time and many owners are concerned that by opening up their business relationships, the business becomes vulnerable to individuals leaving. These are understandable concerns and need to be addressed as part of the succession plan but to quote Richard Branson…”Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough, so they do not want to” – in practical terms, this could mean share options, loyalty bonuses or other drivers important to those individuals

Like so many things in business, knowing what to do is one thing, actually doing it is another so early consultation with other owners or advisers can be invaluable in implementing a succession plan

Thinking of selling in the next five years or simply want an informal chat over a coffee then the team at Provantage Corporate Finance would love to hear from you

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