John B. Charleston, III, MBA
In the day-to-day routine of running your business, it is easy to forget that eventually the day will come when you need to sell. The last thing that any business owner wishes to discover is that they are ready to exit, but they are hopelessly underprepared. One of the key ways to prevent this from happening is to prepare for the sale of your business as far in the future as possible.
1. Always Look Ahead to the Future
Many experts consider not having an exit strategy to be a risky endeavor.
So, what are some of the most important steps that business owners need in preparation for selling their business? The first step is thinking about your exit strategy on the day you found your company.
If you build your business while keeping an eye on the fact that you will one day be seeking to be acquired, then you will adjust your plans and strategies accordingly. All of this means understanding the market and knowing exactly what prospective buyers want from a business. In other words, the sale of your business should be built into its very foundation.
2. Think About Prospective Buyers
There are a variety of reasons why acquisitions occur. For example, sometimes it is an entrepreneur looking for opportunities, and sometimes it is a business in the same industry that is looking to expand. The more you can learn about the motivating factors that cause individuals and entities to buy businesses, the better positioned you will be.
3. Constantly Network
Another good idea is to constantly network and make connections. The more people you know, the better off you will be. You may be running and developing your business for decades. During this time, get to know as many people in the industry as possible.
While it may be necessary to modify the exit strategy in the future, having one in place serves to create an invaluable framework for when the time comes to sell. A savvy business owner will have a well thought out exit strategy in place at the very beginning.
When you work with a business broker or M&A advisor, you will also benefit from their professional connections and years of networking with buyers. Selling a business is all about preparation, making connections, and finding the right advisors and partners.
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