The sale of a company, whether a small or medium sized business, or a collection of assets is a major event for its owners to undertake. This process will greatly affect not just the owners but also the existing management, employees and other stakeholders in the business. In such a transaction there are certain key objectives that need to be met for a successful sale of the business to occur. Each business owner can have a variety of reasons as to why they want to sell their business, these can include, retirement, succession planning, change of life event, wanting to explore new opportunities, recapitalization of the business or even a distressed situation and wanting to salvage the business. These are just some of the reasons an existing owner may want to sell their business.
For many business owners, selling represents the culmination of years of personal effort and commitment, rewarded by the freedom that financial gains can yield. For others, it’s a time when opportunities have been maximized in one area and new challenges beckon. Whatever your intentions, we can help you along the way and assist you in understanding how Pinnacle Finance will be managing the process.
Selling a business has become a complex transaction that is subject to many legal and financial conditions, several which have come into force in recent years. The commercial environment is also more competitive than ever before, and sensitive commercial information or intellectual property must be carefully protected.
Many businesses change hands every month in a planned, orderly way with owners realizing excellent value. Others are sold in a less rigorous do-it-yourself fashion. This often leads to poor results which are compounded by frustrating delays and ongoing uncertainty. Pinnacle Finance deploys a disciplined approach to selling your business and we are committed to getting results.
At this stage there are two issues that you must consider:
Many issues can affect the sale price of your business and several of them are commonly overlooked. For instance, confidentiality is critical to maintaining ongoing positive relationships with customers, suppliers and staff. Should staff discover your intentions to sell prematurely, they may react in unexpected ways and jeopardize the performance of your business at the very time when it matters most. Similarly, customers and suppliers may become unsettled and start questioning their long-standing relationships with your company.
It is also important that you are not distracted during the sale process from the day-to-day running of your business. If it suffers a downturn during this period, the final sale price could be seriously reduced. Therefore, having the right team in place to manage the sale process is crucial. Our goal is to relieve you of the stresses of the sale process so you can keep your focus on what matters most…Your business.
When selling your business, you want to focus on key value drivers to maximize the value of your business and what you can sell it for. The primary drivers of company value and how a buyer would perceive that value are listed below:
Size of revenue
Historical and Projected EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest Taxes Depreciation and Amortization)
Free Cash Flow
Sticky customer base
Key margin percentages
Return on assets
Return on equity
Growth potential for the company and industry as a whole
Overall customer concentration
The above listed key drivers are used heavily on how potential buyers will view your business and its overall value and in turn what they would be willing to pay. These are not all the drivers to consider, however they tend to be the most heavily weighted when determining a company value and what a buyer will be willing to offer for your business.
Going through the process of selling your business can be a daunting one that is both very time consuming and at times emotionally draining. The process can be long and at times tedious, however it is a necessary function on the buyers end to make sure they are getting everything they are expecting when buying your business. It is not a slight against the business but rather it’s a thorough process that a disciplined and serious buyer will always follow. The most common forms of getting interested parties looking at your business can be through an open auction process, or a more refined and targeted approach. Each has its pros and cons depending on how broad of a buyer base you want to reach or not reach to help maintain confidentiality.
Eventually the time will come when all the due diligence by the buyer is complete and they are ready to move forward and close the deal. Through this final process, create a list of must haves from the sale, so you know where to hold the line in negotiations and where you can compromise on the transaction. This will alleviate any stress or frustrations in this process to close and eliminate the risk of wasting each other’s time. Both you and the potential buyer will greatly appreciate this.
Lastly once all conditions have been met and the buyer is set to close, selling your business becomes very real and with it can come a mixed bag of emotions. Prepare yourself early enough for when this time comes, and you will know 100% if you are ready to move on.
Throughout this entire process you will have a team of professionals that will guide you through and assist in achieving your goals in selling your business and all parties involved walk away happy.
Should you have any further questions about selling a portion or all of your business, please contact us and we would be happy to answer any of your questions.
Contact Pinnacle Accounting and Finance
204, 2333 18th Ave NE, Calgary, AB Canada
| Tel: 403-453-0532