Selling your business is
one of the biggest moves many people will take in their business lives. A lot of the time it is the basis of the retirement fund. Therefore it makes sense to get as much as possible when it’s time to sell the business.
A business plan definitely helps in this regard. As I’ve mentioned in other articles, business plans are a tool at your disposal for you to use in whatever way you see fit. You can develop a business plan to start a business, to grow a business, to increase profits in a business, to merge a business, to attract an investor in the business, the list goes on and on. In this case we want to develop a business plan to sell the business.
In achieving the business plan objective of selling the business we are really saying we want to:
- Making the business more attractive to potential buyers, and;
- Increasing the value of the business.
These two points are linked, by achieving the first the second occurs.
So how does the business plan assist in these areas? Well first of all we need to understand what makes a business attractive to a buyer. This will differ from industry to industry, however if we consider basic business principles there are a number of elements that every business can work on. Some of these include:
- Latest technology
- Strong customer base
- Documented systems and processes
- Documented policies
- Business and marketing plan
- Many more…
The business plan in this instance performs an audit on the business operations. It assess not only the financial performance, but the performance of the marketing and sales, operations, personnel and other areas. It essentially does the due diligence exercise that any potential buyer will perform.
Conducting this exercise first gives you the opportunity to identify areas that can be improved and rectified before putting the business on the market. The most important thing is to be completely honest in this process as it will only cost you money at the end of the day.
We liken this process to the home improvement TV shows where a family is having trouble selling their home and they get a team of experts to come in and overhaul the home inside and out and places it back on the market. The home-owners are invariable amazed at transformation and the home sells for what they wanted.
This type of business plan is all about increasing the value of a hopefully sizeable asset. This being the case there are a few of things to keep in mind:
- Be completely honest about your business
- Consider getting a professional to assist in assessing the business and suggesting improvements
- If performed correctly this process may increase the business value substantially
Once you have completed this process the business will be much more attractive proposition to buyers. The business plan can then be tweaked and turned into a great selling tool to assist your business broker in the sale of your business.
Please let me know if you would like further information in regards to this.