July 7, 2008 | Joe Kerr

Are You Ready?

Are you ready to exit your business? Have you given it any thought? Think you may want to sell or retire within 5 years? It is not an easy task and if you are unprepared, it can not only be difficult, but costly and it may not bring the kind of rewards you anticipated.

You need to consider several factors including: family, your employees, the emotional attachment, the market, taxes, and your wants and needs among other things. You even have to think about what you will do the day after you exit.

You need to overcome the obvious obstacles to selling your business, determine where you want to be post sale, decide how best to get there and execute the plan.

How many family members are in the business and what are their expectations? How will your management team react and what are their needs and expectations?

Are there shareholders in the company and how do you handle them in the course of a sale?

Can you identify the key employees and mangers that would ensure continued success for a new owner? Will they stay or feel betrayed and leave?

Is your management team strong enough to run the company without you? This is critical if an investor or Private Equity Group is going to consider your company for acquisition.

There is a true balancing act in exiting a privately held business and many issues need to be addressed. There is a need for Attorneys, Accountants, Financial Planners and a qualified intermediary or broker who understands all the aspects of business transfers and succession planning. The last professional is one of the most often ignored people, but with the right individual selected, the one who usually leads the team and manages the eventual transaction to a successful conclusion. Your intermediary is the one who has the skill set to maximize the value of a sale for the benefit of the business owners.

Still don’t understand why certified and qualified intermediaries make a world of difference in a business sale? You are not alone. Contact us to learn more about how to make any planned sale a profitable one.