Top 7 Things To Do While You're Selling Your Business
By Christopher M. Knight
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- Make sure that you have your documentation and instrumention 100% correct and up to date. During the heat of negotiation, information at your fingertips is power. I could also have shaved many days off my time by being better organized.
- Choose your successor many months or years before you look to sell. (btw, I didn't look for a buyer, but rather they found me) I didn't think that was a coincidence, as I expected it to happen, but didn't know when it was going to happen or by whom.
- Model your business after the culture of the firm you wish to be bought by..... better yet: work to be a higher step up, quality wise, than the culture of the firm you wish to be bought by, so that your very presence adds value to them once acquired.
- Depending on the size of the deal, there sometimes can be power to your advantage to having your legal team or lawyer or general counsel to do all of the negotiating for you or at least have a pivotal role, to make sure not only your best interests are considered, but you understand the impact of the words in the contract as they affect you long term.
- Make sure if you are a 'A' player, that you sell to a 'A' player. There would be nothing worse than your reputation being shot down the drain if you were to sell to a 'B' player, and they were to mess up the business you put so much sweat equity in to build.
- Negotiate for win win and never underestimate or forget to cover everything that is going on around you. You may find out that you have other assets or relationships or expertise that may be of benefit to your new employer or buyer, that the both of you should at least explore before signing a deal.
- Timing. Success happens when preparedness meets with opportunity. If you know you're building your business to sell, be prepared to discuss it or at least make the decision as to what size you are prepared to even begin discussing a possible sale.
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Article Submitted On: October 31, 1998