Owning a business is a dream for many. Still, even if running your own company has indeed been a dream come true, the day may come when you want to sell your business. If so, you should hear what Douglas Greenberg has to say. Serving as a fiduciary at Pacific Northwest Advisory, Douglas Greenberg has helped countless business owners and managers over the years. Among other services rendered, Mr. Greenberg has helped companies prepare for the sale.
“Selling your company is a complex process,” Douglas Greenberg says. “My first bit of advice is to take a deep breath. You may feel stressed in the days and weeks ahead, but a clear, calm mind may prove invaluable and may prevent you from making mistakes.”
Have you taken a deep breath? Feel relaxed? Good, now it’s time to start prepping your business for sale. Douglas Greenberg advises you to start by gathering information.
“First, you’re going to want to gather paperwork and get your business documentation ready. If possible, it’s often smart to establish long-term contracts with your profitable, stable clients as this may make your business more attractive for potential buyers,” Douglas Greenberg says. “Then, you need to get your financial statements in order. Double-check them, make sure everything is correct. Prospective buyers will probably spend a lot of time pouring over your finances.”
Once the basic preparation phase is complete, you need to prepare your business strategy to show potential buyers. This is easier said than done, but Douglas Greenberg argues that proper strategizing now may pave the way for a more lucrative sale in the future.
“You should put together a concrete strategic plan for your business,” Douglas Greenberg says. “You want to show buyers that there is already a plan they can enact right now to increase sales and enter new markets. Also, do market research and identify new lucrative opportunities for your business’s products and services. Many buyers will put together their own strategy, but you might help them see things they don’t currently see.”
Putting together long-term strategies may seem odd if your goal is to sell now. Yet Douglas Greenberg argues that it could help increase your sale price.
“Buyers will have their own concerns and may lack your expertise. If you can show clear strategies to increase profits, it may soothe fears and you may be able to secure a higher selling price,” Douglas Greenberg claims.
Another important step is preparing your company’s leadership. As you exit the company, both your current employees and acquirers should know that it’s in good hands and a leadership team is ready to step in and lead.
“Identify your best on-staff leaders and prep them for the sale and for life after you exit,” Douglas Greenberg says. “This will help ensure a smooth transition.”
One last piece of advice: Douglas Greenberg says you should approach multiple buyers. The more competition you can drum up to buy your company, the better (generally speaking). If multiple parties or companies bid on your company, it could increase the sale price.