A “red flag” in business exit planning may help when promptly identified and rectified. Identifying these alerts in a timely manner may aid you in building your company’s value.
Exit planning has the power to change your company’s dynamics. It helps build business value and prepare the company for its eventual transfer of ownership. However, selling your company without preparation may harm your company’s value, the buyer’s business, and your market reputation. Therefore, the first step in preparing your company for transition is to conduct thorough due diligence to uncover areas that are not performing optimally.
Due diligence analyzes your essential business assets, legal documents, and financial records. Clean financial records indicate discipline and dedication. However, due diligence commonly reveals legal noncompliance, ongoing litigation, outstanding obligations, and other red flags. Identifying red flags during the process of due diligence helps you resolve any legal issues that may hinder business growth. These red flags must be corrected to save the buyer from going through the same issues.
How to Identify Red Flags
Let’s go over the most common issues that business owners encounter and should be prepared for.
Business Valuation: Verify Your Company’s Value
Business owners have become aware of the benefits of regular valuation. However, even though valuations have become relevant, many business owners do not consider doing regular checks before it’s too late.
Before planning your exit, have a professional valuation of your company and seek advice to identify and work on the issues affecting your business. A valuation also helps you understand ongoing market trends and fluctuations and whether it is the right time to sell your company. Reviewing the current status of your business, an advisor will teach you to manage any unexpected situations that may arise in the future.
Post-valuation, you will know your company’s business value and whether that business value is adequate for a successful exit and can fund your future retirement needs. So, when you identify the red flags that may impact the business, taking the right action promptly will resolve them and aid in the value-building process. On a further note, regular valuations keep you ready for any exit offer that may come your way.
SWOT Analysis: Find Out Your Company’s Strengths & Weaknesses
As all businesses have different operational formats, one standard formula cannot analyze the strengths and weaknesses of all companies. A SWOT analysis helps brainstorm ideas and curate plans to grow the company. If you conduct a SWOT analysis with one objective in mind, you’re more likely to get effective results by focusing on specific problems.
SWOT analysis assists with the following:
- Making the most of new business opportunities
- Identifying and engaging with new trends
- Advancing in the technological sphere
- Staying ahead in the competitive market
- Building a performance-based incentive systemÂ to motivate employees and retain them.
Finding weaknesses in your company is not exciting, but it is beneficial. This exercise will help eliminate those risks and strengthen weaknesses to turn them into value drivers.
With a SWOT analysis, you can focus on critical challenges and resolve red flags before it’s too late. Even the most prominent businesses worldwide are on the lookout for growth options, and they, too, are vulnerable to risks. So, look at red flags as an opportunity to work on the weaker points of your company and make them value drivers by building them block by block.
Benchmarks: Keep Track of Procedures and Processes
Clutter is a red flag.
Undocumented records and unkempt financial records are red flags that make a company look unprofessional. Clean, organized records help your company present itself better. They demonstrate discipline and show legal compliance. A buyer wants to know your company’s history, and updated records play an important role in a successful exit.
Tidy documents establishing metrics for progress facilitate setting new goals, forecasting results, and working with greater forethought after a business value has been established. A routine annual business valuation tracks growth, profit, and losses and identifies areas for improvement. Keeping tabs on previous valuations and other essential documents also helps owners be ready for the next step.
Buyers are interested in documents like employee handbooks, insurance records, legal documents, and financial statements from the past three to five years. They will examine these documents before going forward with the sale. Staying organized and keeping a record of documents helpsÂ owners sell their businesses at the right time to the right buyers.
Are You Ready?
Quantive has over 15 years of experience assisting business owners in planning for a business exit. So, connect today to save time and embark on a profitable journey!