Posted: 09.11.2018

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The sale of your business is often the most important financial transaction of your life, involving what is often your most valuable asset – you will only dispose of your company once and only have one chance to get it right

For many owners, growing your business has been a life’s work and many sacrifices will have been made along the way so you owe it to yourself to explore and understand the various options and issues surrounding a sale

This is the first in a series of articles crystallising a complex transaction into ten golden rules of selling your business


# Ten

There are numerous factors impacting when you sell your company, related to both business and personal considerations – getting the timing right is critical to the outcome and each individual situation must be considered on it’s own merits

Selling your business when you do not have to is just one but an important driver to achieving the best possible outcome

One determinant of price and deal structure is “how much a buyer wants to buy and how much a seller wants to sell”. A business owner can, to some extent, control the second part of that statement and therefore contribute to driving a better result

Many business owners understandably wait as “the business will be worth a lot more in a few years’ time” (and of course, that may very well turn out to be the case) – but some are also put in a position of needing to sell, often for reasons totally beyond their control such as changing market conditions, technology, ill health, succession issues, business dynamics and regulation

Some personal factors can also emerge surprisingly quickly such as just “wanting out”, not enjoying work, wanting more family / leisure time or being plain tired

A buyer can often “smell” the need to sell

Apart from the risks outlined above, a more controlled rationale to sell before you have to is the philosophy of banking some or all of the value you have generated while you can and provided you secure enough that you do not have to work again, you can “go again” with another business if you choose to do so without the risk of all your value being in one basket

Anecdotal experience is that there are many people who wished they sold when they had the chance but only a few who regret selling when they did (all having sold at a price which met their future needs) – the worse comment from one client who sold is that every so often he thinks “I could have got more” but that soon goes away when he sits in the sunshine at his large villa in Portugal overlooking a golf course and the sea!

Timing is everything and you owe it to yourself to get it right

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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