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Selling your business (Part 2)

By: Olivier Barbeau – regular contributor

In the second part of this six-part series on selling your business, we look at managing the business sale rollercoaster

The sale process can be a wild ride but there are ways to smooth out the bumps. As I mentioned in Part 1 of this series, selling your business can come at a high emotional cost. There is a great deal of money at stake and the sale represents the culmination of years of hard work. To add to the stress, selling is a complex process with many ups and downs.

The key to minimising the pain and increasing your chances of success is knowledge and forward planning. Understanding the process and planning ahead puts you in control and makes the journey easier. Yet many sellers avoid or delay seeking advice and making plans. I hear many reasons, from “I had no spare time” to “I don’t know where to start“.

There are always reasons for not being prepared. But if you want to reduce your angst when the pressure is on, consider these tips.

Ask questions
Having answers to key questions will provide clarity and help with upfront decisions. Good questions to ask your advisor include: “How do I find the right buyer?”, “Should we conduct an auction with multiple parties or deal exclusively with a single party?” and “How will confidential information be protected?”

Once you have answers to these and many other questions, you can agree on the best sale process, rules and timetable.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions during the sale too. Are you worried about buyers talking to customers or staff? Ask. Does the preferred buyer have the money? Ask. It doesn’t matter how many questions there are – it’s important that all your questions are answered.

1. Get support
To answer your queries, you need an advisor with insight, patience and experience. To manage and engage with buyers, you need a confident, persuasive advisor who has done this many times before.

The ideal person will understand your business and your industry; have a proven sale process and be able to plan the steps with you; be easily accessible; respond to queries promptly; and keep lines of communications open between everyone involved. They will be so on the ball that they will answer important questions before you’ve even thought of them.

Read the full article on page 47 of the June 2015 issue of RACA Journal.

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Home Training Education Selling your business (Part 2)

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