Before moving to the operational phase, it is essential to look at the motivations for and objectives of the operation. There can be many motivations and any opacity could deter buyers from seeing your file. Furthermore, an asset and liability or even personal diagnosis is also an essential part of the process in order to prepare for its consequences.
Be careful of hazards that could make you rush. In this business, if you rush, it can lead to suspicions from buyers and advisors.
Confidentiality is not assured if you sell your business on your own, particularly if you put an advert in the press. In addition, never put yourself in the firing line with a buyer and their advisors. Only an intermediary can assure your representation and advise you about the negotiation phase, which is today very technical. It is preferable that a firm filters the buyers and verifies their professional and financial qualities.
Often, company managers refer to the housing market and consider it necessary to have many firms handling the case. A company is sold using an extremely rigorous method; the direct and indirect approach on the basis of a well defined specification. The direct approach of buyers can be handled by only one firm. Furthermore, you will have to choose a firm with a European dimension, which alone can benefit from a powerful network allowing you to share your file on a national or even international level. This is definitely the case with our firm.
Of course, a family takeover is the most logical option when the business has been in the family for many generations. Are you sure that it’s the right solution? Are your children capable of taking the business over? Is this project part of their aspirations?
Would it not be preferable to sell for a better price to a third party?
Donation is not always the best way to transfer your business. There are other, more advantageous solutions for the vendor.
Of course the subject of a sale is a taboo subject, particularly in the case of a family business.
A sale will be a success if your second in command agrees with the project and helps the new manager.
Also, even though your age remains a secret, the staff is aware that you are no longer so young and that the problem would arise one day or another…
Imagine if a competitor, a supplier or an employee knows about your intention to sell. This is a risk that you cannot afford to take.
In addition, so long as the price has not been paid, the transaction is not complete. Beware of announcing early.
Any operation made public that is not yet completed could lead to doubts about the quality of your company and will make any subsequent transaction difficult.
Of course, you want to sell your business for the best price. However do not forget that the what matters is the net sum that you receive after taxes and after warranty deductions…
Moreover, the guarantees asked for by buyers are in general, proportionate to the price.
The majority of buyers ask that you be present during the transitional period in order to ensure a smooth changeover in management.
The transition is important to reassure employees, executives, clients and suppliers.
However, beware not to forget the financial terms; if not, there could be nasty surprises after the sale.
Be aware that your status changes when you sell your business.
You are no longer the company director; you have become an everyday person again!
Prepare for the change: whether it be retirement or a change of activity.