It is likely that you are all so busy coping with the day to day that your next step is little more than a pipe dream. So maybe this is a good time to sit back and think about writing that Plan. This is really a game of two halves! There is the conversation around buying and building and then the conversation around selling and retiring.
- Whether you are going to buy, build, sell or retire – you need a plan; without it you are less likely to achieve your goals. Any plan needs to reflect the aspirations of the business owners. I.e. what, why, how when etc
- Thinking about your clients, their needs and the best outcome for them will often produce the best solution for you and your team.
- If you decide to sell, a cultural fit with your acquirer is the most important attribute.
- If internal succession is the right answer for you, be prepared to plan this for many years in advance.
- Lack of understanding of the intensity regarding due diligence
- Lack of awareness as to what would make your business attractive to a potential buyer
- Lack of awareness as to where to find buyer- especially for bigger businesses
- Generally there seems to be no understanding of the process regarding the selling of a business nor where owners could go to seek advice
- Other key dependencies include the Shareholder Agreement and the issue of Loan Notes repaying the owner(s) for their equity over a period
Conclusions and Solutions
- It was clear owners need help in order to maximise the price of their business and to sell it
- With so many options in terms of both how to develop an existing intermediary firm and the number and types of buyer, it’s more important than ever to both have a Strategic Plan and to obtain professional advice