A smooth transition might be the most pressing concern for business owners looking to sell up.
Takeovers that create a huge overhaul tend to disrupt employees and clients, make them unhappy, and typically result in businesses losing a lot of both.
Although this won’t affect the departing owner financially, many develop strong relationships with their employees and clients are desperate to do right by them.
With this in mind, we’ve created a list of tips to help create a seamless business sale.
Your Choice of Successor
Your choice of successor is arguably the most important factor.
No doubt your buyer will want to a complete lengthy due diligence over your business, and it will be helpful to have all your books in order in preparation for this.
But, it’s arguably even more important to do your own due diligence over the buyer.
You need an individual who is easy to communicate with, and is open to ensuring that the company culture you’ve created remains in place. If they’re rigidly stuck to their own ideas with how the takeover should take place and how the business should run, it’s inevitable you’ll experience a bumpy road to agreeing the terms of the sale.
Succession Link can help you choose the best individual to succeed you as a business owner, via its extensive database of experienced individuals looking to complete a merger or takeover.
Hire a Good Legal Team
The takeover of a business is a complicated process which can take months to complete. It’ll take even longer if your solicitors or the buyer’s legal team are prone to making mistakes.
If you’re keen to ensure a smooth sale, you don’t want to cheap out when hiring a business lawyer. Get the individual who is the most experienced with business sales that you can afford.
Remaining With the Business in an Advisory Role
Your buyer will as eager to ensure a seamless transition as you are, and it’s likely they’ll want to determine some sort of after-sale advisory role for you once the deal is complete. Often, this will be a condition of the sale.
It’s common that the buyer will want you to maintain access to your advisory services for at least the first year of their ownership.
Most likely, this will either be arranged so that the new business owner is an employer of yours, or a client of a business consulting service you set up.
Either way, it is important that you decide what role you’d be most comfortable with and discuss this early in negotiations. Your future plans can often be a stumbling block for buyers, so it’s best to address them as early as possible.
With a sensible choice of successor, an experienced legal team by your side, and a decent helping of patience, there's no reason you can't create a smooth sale that keeps the buyer, your employees, and your clients satisfied.
Click the link to see how Succession Link can help you find the perfect buyer for a smooth business transition.