Buying, selling, building or retiring – you need a plan! October 2018

Financial Advisory

Emily Landless

AdviceAdvisory investment servicesCultureFinancial AdvisoryWinning Advisers

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.


  1. 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
  2. Thinking about your clients, their needs and the best outcome for them will often produce the best solution for you and your team.
  3. If you decide to sell, a cultural fit with your acquirer is the most important attribute.
  4. If internal succession is the right answer for you, be prepared to plan this for many years in advance.

Key Challenges

  • 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