Selling your company is a difficult process, but if you've made the decision to let your business go, it's important to do so in the best way possible. Unfortunately, many business owners make mistakes during the selling process, which can cost them money in the long run. Therefore, to help you get the best price possible for your company, below are three common mistakes business owners make when selling their company and how to avoid them:
Not Creating Enough Interest
When it comes to selling your company, it's vitally important to have a number of potential bidders involved in the sales process. This helps to create an air of competition between bidders and helps to generate additional interest as other potential buyers won't want to miss on out a great purchase. Having multiple bidders also helps to drive up the price of your business; if you have to negotiate the price with one potential buyer, you will be at a major disadvantage. Not only will they be able to haggle the price lower and lower, but they may also demand exclusivity if they sense that they are the only buyer interested in taking over your company.
Therefore, it's important to generate interest in your company by setting up an auction or other competitive bidding process. This will give your business maximum exposure and will help ensure that the business is sold for a fair price. Make sure you leverage the interest of multiple bidders by playing them off against one another. Even if you only have one or two bids on the table, making it appear like there are many companies involved in the buying process will help drive the final selling price up, getting you the best deal possible.
Not Giving Your Team Enough Credit
If you've grown your business from the bottom up, it's understandable that you'll take a lot of pride in your achievements. Particularly if you are the sole owner of the business, you may feel like you are indispensable to the company and that the company rides on your leadership. But whilst this may indeed be true, placing too much emphasis on this during the selling process can actually hinder the process itself.
This is because when investors are looking to take over a company, they want the company to be able to run itself. If you place too much emphasis on your leadership, what use will the business be when you're gone? This is something that investors will ask, so it's important to emphasize the team-oriented nature of your business and give investors reassurance that the success of the company doesn't rely on you alone.
The best way to emphasize this is to fill your company's managerial positions with competent, experienced individuals who understand your business philosophy and are able to carry this forward. Of course, investors may reshuffle the boardroom to fit their needs; however, ensuring investors that you have a great team ready to continue driving the business forward will alleviate any concerns they have about how the company will fare in your absence.
Not Hiring an Experienced Team to Handle the Process
Unless you're well-versed in building up businesses and selling them to investors, the acquisitions process can be extremely difficult to navigate. There is a long list of legal loopholes you have to jump through, and you have to ensure your company's finances are properly recorded and filed for tax purposes.
Therefore, it's important to hire an experienced corporate lawyer to help you find your feet during the selling process. Corporate law has a wide range of specialisms, which includes mergers and acquisitions. Hiring a fully qualified and experienced M&A lawyer will ensure you don't make any costly mistakes during the selling of your business. After putting so much blood, sweat, and tears into building your company up, you shouldn't do yourself out of a great sale by falling at the last hurdle.