Selling your business? 4 ways to maximize your personal and financial return

We’re intrigued by Tensie Homan’s article, “When Selecting a Buyer for Your Business, Don’t Just Consider Price” in Entrepreneur Magazine. She offers some great insights into considerations when selling a business.  Critical to your long term happiness is considering more than just the transaction.  Looking at a sale in a vaccum is a surefire path to problems later on.

Ms. Homan lays out 4 key considerations for maximizing your return (both personal and financial):

  1. Have a plan for what comes next
  2. Create realistic value expectations
  3. Make the due diligence process easy for a buyer
  4. Go in with eyes open

These are all great points, and I think they all can be boiled down to “have a plan.”  Great advice for most things in life.

Not to be picky, but let’s put a finer point on this:  selling a business is a process, not a single event.  Approaching your sale like a singular event sets you up for losing value in the actual sale, and potentially foregoing some happiness in the golden years.  So let’s revamp Ms. Homan’s points:

Have a Plan for What Comes First.  

Go into the sale knowing 1) what your business is worth, and 2) how much you need to live comfortably post-closing (whether you are retiring to catch fish and play golf, or looking to fund your next startup, this advice still holds).

Have a Team to Facilitate the Sale Process.

Entrepreneurs can do it all.  You can learn how to sell a business.  Don’t be tempted.  Draft the right team: broker / intermediary, attorney / CPA.  Rely on THESE folks to find the right buyer, make diligence easy, and protect your interests while getting to a closing.

Selling a business should be the culmination of your life’s work.  By treating a sale as a process rather than an event, and being proactive throughout, you’re much more likely to experiences a successful exit on your preferred terms.

Dan is the Founder of Quantive and Value Scout. He has two decades of experience in leading M&A transactions. Additionally oversees Quantive's valuation practice and has performed thousands of business valuations.



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