Seller Articles

Once a buyer has negotiated a deal and secured the necessary financing, he or she is ready for the due diligence phase of the sale. The serious buyer will have retained an accounting firm to verify inventory, accounts receivable and payables; and retained a law...

When you come to sell your business, you’re likely to want to carry out a few last-minute improvements, in order to present a more enticing proposition to potential buyers. Papering over the cracks in this manner may well help to make your business more appealing to investors, but it's unlikely to ensure that you achieve the true value of the business. The reality is that you will be in a stronger position, if you are able to start preparing at a much earlier stage.

[caption id="attachment_1571" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Photo Credit: Victor1558 via Compfight cc Photo Credit: Victor1558 via Compfight cc[/caption] There is the oft-told story about Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonalds. Before he approached the McDonald brothers at their California hamburger restaurant, he spent quite a few days sitting in his car watching the business. Only when he was convinced that the business and the concept worked, did he make an offer that the brothers could not refuse. The rest, as they say, is history. The point, however, for both buyer and seller, is that it is important for both to sit across the proverbial street and watch the business. Buyers will get a lot of important information. For example, the buyer will learn about the customer base. How many customers does the business serve? How often? When are customers served? What is the make-up of the customer base? What are the busy days and times?

[caption id="attachment_1563" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Photo Credit: Victor1558 via Compfight cc Photo Credit: Victor1558 via Compfight cc[/caption]

There is the old anecdote about the immigrant who opened his own business in the United States. Like many small business owners, he had his own bookkeeping system. He kept his accounts payable in a cigar box on the left side of his cash register, his daily receipts – cash and credit card receipts – in the cash register, and his invoices and paid bills in a cigar box on the right side of his cash register.

[caption id="attachment_1537" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Photo Credit: DoodleDeMoon via Compfight cc Photo Credit: DoodleDeMoon via Compfight cc[/caption] There is the old saying that the time to develop an exit strategy is the day you open for business. Sounds good, but it’s not very realistic. Further, it also isn’t very optimistic. On the day you open for business, thoughts about how you get out of it aren’t pleasant, or helpful, thoughts.

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