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What will the future hold? Is selling your business the right next step?

  • By William Evans
  • 10 Aug, 2017

On determining the right next step for business owners considering selling

It’s a question most of us would like to have the answer to, at least if we were confident the future was bright.  

I suspect we would have a little more confidence in our decisions, be more courageous, stay in the present moment more often and have more joy. 

As a business owner reaches the stage of life where they are asking “What’s Next” the future is uncertain and that uncertainty can bring with it some fear, doubt, anxiety and concern about what the future will hold.  This is especially true if your business has been the focal point of who you are and what you do.


Perhaps you’re wondering about the right time to transition, how to transition, what you have to do to be best prepared and how it will all turn out?  It may be that you know you SHOULD be thinking about the future with greater intention but are having trouble getting started? 


If any of these describe where you’re at I’d like to suggest a 3 Step Process that I think can help you move forward:


  1. Work to define what’s most important to you as you contemplate a change.

  2. Seek out information that helps you better understand where things stand today and what transition options are available. For example you can learn about broker and coaching services we offer for maximizing your business valuation when it comes to  selling your business .

  3. Take action that moves you from uncertainty to clarity and starts you on a path toward the transition that makes the most of your story, life and legacy. A great action step is getting a free business valuation to determine your current and potential business value. This is a primer to working with a consultant who can eventually provide you with a certified valuation if and / or when you decide selling is your next step.


I’ve found that getting started is the often the most difficult aspect of tackling something new, even when the stakes are high and the outcome important. This is especially true when it comes to thinking about selling your business after you have worked so hard to build it.  It is often easier to procrastinate, put it off to a more convenient time, or continuously focus on the tasks that feel more immediate and urgent.


There are many choices a business owner can make if they take the time to prepare and plan in advance. Selling your business is just one of these choices and it may be the case that a different path is more appropriate. But for the unprepared, options are often limited and decisions and timing can become forced.  It may be that the future is decided for them due to a bad diagnosis, a significant economic event, or a sudden change in a family situation, instead of being desired and by choice.


One thing is clear, transition is inevitable it’s the timing and outcome that are uncertain.   Focusing on what’s most important, getting educated about options when it comes to selling your business, and developing and executing your plan doesn’t guarantee success – life can always decide to deal a bad hand, but I’d argue our odds of a successful transition increase dramatically when we are well prepared and planful.


Preparation is important to a life transition because, although there are do-overs, they’re usually painful and costly.


It’s been said that if you don’t know where you’re going any road will take you there. If that’s true then deciding upon your destination is of great importance as is the timing of when you want to arrive.  If you contemplate to become more passive in your business, change your role, transfer the company to a family member, put it up for sale or even desire to keep the status quo for an extended period of time – an informed decision is the best decision.  Knowing the value of your business and the gap between its current and potential value, knowing how salable your business is and how to improve its marketability, and understanding the ramifications of selling a business are just a few of the considerations in making the best decision.


What does all this mean to you as a business owner?


I’m hopeful it gets you thinking about life after business and encourages you to take a few steps down the path of what’s possible .   And that you will ultimately decide what you want your future to look like and take action to work it into reality .


Get started by taking a detailed look at your business today which includes a business valuation at no charge.

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Business Broker's Transition Blog

By William Evans 23 Aug, 2017

Achieving and maintaining significant and lasting performance that catapults your business ahead requires the adoption of a stable and healthy organizational culture. It implies creating a rhythm and pattern of the way things are done around your organization and the type of behavior that can be tolerated. You, therefore, need to set clear and aligned values that are exceptional to your business and those that will guide your organization to success. Creating and living by these values will help to increase your business valuation , customer, and employee satisfaction in the long run.

Accountability

One of the core values that the top performing organizations have is the art of accountability. These successful firms maintain their high-level performance through ownership, authority, and responsibility. To embrace this value, it will be your role as management to ensure that all the stakeholders among including employees, contractors, and clients are effectively engaged in the achievement of specific standards. Every individual is responsible for their allocated tasks. Each employee or contractor is empowered to make well thought out decisions that result in the right activities. Each team member embraces the opportunity to take full responsibility and always acts in the best interest of all players involved. Such a value instills the culture of excellence across the firm creating both intrinsic value for team players through increased job satisfaction, and measurable external value from increased productivity and customer confidence.

Integrity

Succeeding in any business requires that one conducts their functions in an ethical manner and with a high degree of truthfulness. Integrity must be demonstrated in all dealings with the employees, clients, suppliers, intermediaries, governments, and financial record keeping. The art of integrity could save an entity from major litigation scandals, and it promotes a brand of an entity given that the public is willing to trust an organization that is open about its operation. Integrity helps promote safe, honest, and ethical conduct and it increases business valuations by increasing consumer confidence and therefore repeat and referral business relationships.

Innovation

The modern world has seen increased diversification of many operations in almost all industries. Ensuring that your firm is open to ideas and willing to take risks keeps your business as competitive as other entities. Your organization should anticipate change and shape it to fit your purposes. This means understanding the weaknesses within your industry and creating solutions to overcome them. How will you inspire innovation and creativity in your organization? What apparatus will you provide for employees, contractors, and customers to come forward with new ideas that could increase the value of your business?

Respect

Your organization should adopt a core value that makes every individual treat others as they expect to be treated. It is paramount to respect the knowledge, skills, ideas, and capabilities that everyone brings to the team. Each individual has their own diverse life, strengths, and weaknesses and a high performing organization should be able to understand this. Your company should operate in a spirit of cooperation and while also realizing the value of human dignity.

Results driven

Ensuring that your consumers are satisfied with the services or products that you provide will make them come again and this creates a good reputation for your entity. Focusing on the performance of your products in the market promotes the demand and ensures that you stay relevant in the constantly changing market. Track and evaluate results to determine what’s working and what’s not. Being results driven will make every individual think critically about the improvement of innovation strategies by using the analysis and evaluations. This way, you’ll be able to offer excellent customer services and promote good customer relations that will make you their preferred business persons and this works in your favor.

These are some of the core values that help cultivate high performance that can increase the business valuation for any organization. It’s impossible to sustain industrial competitiveness without paying attention to core values because they motivate and sustain behavior over the long run. Every individual should understand, agree and embrace all the core values. This will also serve as a great deal because your organization will be operating optimally before going to sell.  To get advice that will help in the adoption of these and other core values, learn more about performance and value enhancement coaching at The Transition Company. You can request a free introductory consulting session to get started on improving the factors that will affect the value of your business now and in the future.

By William Evans 10 Aug, 2017

It’s a question most of us would like to have the answer to, at least if we were confident the future was bright.  

I suspect we would have a little more confidence in our decisions, be more courageous, stay in the present moment more often and have more joy. 

As a business owner reaches the stage of life where they are asking “What’s Next” the future is uncertain and that uncertainty can bring with it some fear, doubt, anxiety and concern about what the future will hold.  This is especially true if your business has been the focal point of who you are and what you do.


Perhaps you’re wondering about the right time to transition, how to transition, what you have to do to be best prepared and how it will all turn out?  It may be that you know you SHOULD be thinking about the future with greater intention but are having trouble getting started? 


If any of these describe where you’re at I’d like to suggest a 3 Step Process that I think can help you move forward:


  1. Work to define what’s most important to you as you contemplate a change.

  2. Seek out information that helps you better understand where things stand today and what transition options are available. For example you can learn about broker and coaching services we offer for maximizing your business valuation when it comes to  selling your business .

  3. Take action that moves you from uncertainty to clarity and starts you on a path toward the transition that makes the most of your story, life and legacy. A great action step is getting a free business valuation to determine your current and potential business value. This is a primer to working with a consultant who can eventually provide you with a certified valuation if and / or when you decide selling is your next step.


I’ve found that getting started is the often the most difficult aspect of tackling something new, even when the stakes are high and the outcome important. This is especially true when it comes to thinking about selling your business after you have worked so hard to build it.  It is often easier to procrastinate, put it off to a more convenient time, or continuously focus on the tasks that feel more immediate and urgent.


There are many choices a business owner can make if they take the time to prepare and plan in advance. Selling your business is just one of these choices and it may be the case that a different path is more appropriate. But for the unprepared, options are often limited and decisions and timing can become forced.  It may be that the future is decided for them due to a bad diagnosis, a significant economic event, or a sudden change in a family situation, instead of being desired and by choice.


One thing is clear, transition is inevitable it’s the timing and outcome that are uncertain.   Focusing on what’s most important, getting educated about options when it comes to selling your business, and developing and executing your plan doesn’t guarantee success – life can always decide to deal a bad hand, but I’d argue our odds of a successful transition increase dramatically when we are well prepared and planful.


Preparation is important to a life transition because, although there are do-overs, they’re usually painful and costly.


It’s been said that if you don’t know where you’re going any road will take you there. If that’s true then deciding upon your destination is of great importance as is the timing of when you want to arrive.  If you contemplate to become more passive in your business, change your role, transfer the company to a family member, put it up for sale or even desire to keep the status quo for an extended period of time – an informed decision is the best decision.  Knowing the value of your business and the gap between its current and potential value, knowing how salable your business is and how to improve its marketability, and understanding the ramifications of selling a business are just a few of the considerations in making the best decision.


What does all this mean to you as a business owner?


I’m hopeful it gets you thinking about life after business and encourages you to take a few steps down the path of what’s possible .   And that you will ultimately decide what you want your future to look like and take action to work it into reality .


Get started by taking a detailed look at your business today which includes a business valuation at no charge.

By William Evans 11 Jul, 2017

When considering the sale of your business, it is important to do what you can to boost the marketability and value of your company. Increasing sales and incoming revenue takes time, but there are other ways to improve upon the current estimated value of your business without directly increasing sales. Below are 5 ideas that will help you generate more buyer interest in your business and likely increase its sale price.

1. Cultivate Your Work Force

When new ownership comes in, they likely will want to bring in some of their own staff, but much of what they are paying for is the expertise and productivity of your workforce. A trained, energized and motivated staff excites potential buyers and makes offers more likely. Efforts to build the managerial and decision-making ability of your key people, training and delegating more of what you currently do yourself, and being able to demonstrate that the business is not dependent upon only one or two individuals (including yourself) is perhaps the primary determinant of the salability of your company.

2. Revenue Agreements

Dramatically increasing company sales may be out of your reach (if you could have increased sales previously you likely would have done so already). However, you may be able to secure current clients into long term contracts. Make sure these contracts are win-win and not just one sided jail sentences for the client, providing extra value for their loyalty is a good idea.  

Having clients secured in to an extended business agreement is attractive to perspective buyers as it is 'virtually' guaranteed revenue. As you approach the point of possibly selling the company, discuss options with clients, especially high-value clients, to contractually keep them on-board for the foreseeable future. This prevents any disruption of service for the clients while demonstrating to buyers there are guaranteed clients in the fold upon their taking over of the company.

3. Improve the Physical Appearance of Your Business

Curb appeal is not just relevant to the buying and selling of residential properties. It also plays an important role in the selling of your business. Make necessary repairs on your building and make upgrades around the office (such as new paint or updated furniture). Small upgrades around your business building may not improve the company's bottom line, but it does make it more attractive to buyers, and more buyer interest generally results in a higher sales price.  If you have virtual assets such as websites, email campaigns, and social media accounts, ensure those are updated with current images, professional cover and profile photos, and good reviews and/or customer engagement. Potential buyers are going to research your company online so making sure your virtual curb appeal is great will also be an important exercise for preparing to sell.

4. Promote Patents and Intellectual Properties

One of the best pieces of advice on selling a business is to engage in credible self-promotion. Yes, you will highlight current sales records, your strong client base (and those locked into long term contracts) while also covering the quality of products and services. However, you want to set your business apart from competition in the area. Focusing on your Unique Value Proposition and Competitive Advantages is critical to setting your business apart. One good way to do this is to promote any and all patents and intellectual properties the business owns. From specific goods patents to proprietary methods of production, showcasing these aspects of your business helps identity why it is different and better.  Allow the transfer of ownership to include the transfer of these patents and intellectual properties. It gives potential buyers more power in the marketplace and can increase the value of your company.

5. Routine - Standard Operating Procedures

Another value-enhancement action you can take is to establish a routine for all day to day activities. Your company should run on a documented routine called standard operating procedures (SOPs). This helps maximize employee productivity and it enables a buyer to more quickly understand how the company works. As a well-oiled and maintained machine runs into fewer problems, the standardized routine of your company can help increase business value.

To improve the marketability and increase the value of your company requires effort, but the payoff can be significant. Implementing these improvements are just a few of the strategies you can employ to attract and interest prospective buyers; which will, in turn, increase your company's value.

Using a business brokerage and consulting firm like The Transition Company is one of the best ways to ensure you're taking all of the necessary steps to prepare your business for sale at its highest potential value.

An important first step in your transition process is to know the current and potential value of your business to assist you in deciding if and when to go to market.

To quantify the potential value enhancement opportunity for your business take  advantage of our free business value assessment and learn how much potential value you can unlock by implementing these and additional business best practices.

By William Evans 25 Jun, 2017

Selling your business can take a considerable amount of time and energy. You've likely put years of hard work, long hours and endless pots of coffee in building the company from the ground up. So if you have come to the conclusion selling is best, you want to make sure it goes for top dollar. Whether you're looking to retire and move out of the area, invest in a new business opportunity or just feel like starting a new chapter in your life, there are several steps you can take to ensure the best possible outcome.

First, Decide When You Want to Transition and Prepare Accordingly

In business as it is in life, timing is everything. Preparation of your business and concentrating on improving its fundamentals and reducing the riskiness of its cash flow are actions that drive value.  Working ON your business instead of just IN it can make a major difference in the value of your company and the quality of your retirement lifestyle.

When it comes to selling your business for top dollar depends in large part on recent and projected growth and profitability, the strength of its management team, adherence to business best practices and risk-adjusted cash flow.  

How much time do you need to make that happen? It depends a bit on your business, its current state, and the capacity you have to implement positive change. Ideally, you should give yourself a minimum of 18 months for the changes to impact earnings, but 3 – 5 years of advance preparation can pay great dividends.  Worst case - the work gets done before it’s time for you to retire and you become a semi-passive or passive owner of a business that is performing at the top of its class.

Second, Identify Current Company Value and Potential Company Value

Similar to selling a home, you don't want to ballpark a value or request an amount you assume the business is worth. Doing so may price you out of a sale or cost you tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars from under-valuing the company. 

One of the most important steps when it comes to selling a business is to clearly identify its value. To do this, you need a business broker with the financial acumen to prepare or interpret business valuation reports, or a valuation expert that will prepare and review their reports with you and help you decide on a fair price for your enterprise.  Most interested buyers will want to perform their own valuation of your business, but at least you have a credible price point to begin with.  We believe that the party with the best facts typically wins.

While not providing a concrete number that you'll use in the actual sale of your business, a good place to start is with the CoreValue Value Discover Assessment . This report will give you an approximation of your current business value as well as the quantification of the  gap between what your business is worth and what it could be worth if it performed like top performing companies in its peer group.

Third, Assess Your Business the Way a Buyer Will

Buyers will require a due-diligence period (typically 45 – 60 days) in order to drill down and examine your company from every angle.  A good exercise is to prepare for this activity in advance so you are able to provide accurate and complete information and, as importantly, correct any issues a buyer might use to renegotiate their offer or to walk away from the deal.

Last, Decide on Next Steps and Take Action

Knowing when you’d like to transition, having a current and potential value for your business and knowing where improvements will need to be made are requirements for deciding next steps.  Should you go to market now or is it better to work on the business to improve its marketability and value?  Only you can decide but by following this process you can make an informed decision.

Should you decide to work ON your business you can now decide whether to “do-it-yourself” or hire an experienced coach to expedite the process.  A good coach will supply the tools, train your team and transfer knowledge, provide accountability and pay for themselves several times over.

You have put a considerable amount of work into building the company. As your final act as owner of the company, you owe it to yourself and the business you built to maximize your outcome and transition seamlessly. Assessing its maximum value potential and working toward unlocking that value will help sell your business more quickly and for top dollar.  Remember, transitioning your business is a one-shot endeavor; there are no do-overs.  A well-planned transition will get you to where you’d like to go! 

By William Evans 15 Jun, 2017

A completed transaction is only one part of a successful transition. Unlike traditional business brokers, Transition Company Advisors are able to help you prepare for an advantageous transaction and a seamless transition from your current role and lifestyle to “what comes next.” We focus on maximizing your value, structuring a deal to your best advantage and preserving the legacy you’ve created. When you go to market with The Transition Company you can be confident that we will have done our homework to optimize your outcome. The broker with the best preparation will score the biggest wins.

Imagine a real estate agent who meets you and immediately pulls the for sale sign out of her trunk, takes it into your front yard and, while handing you the listing agreement, exclaims, "It’s a Seller’s Market! I can have this sold for you by next Tuesday."

She is clearly focused on selling your house as quickly as possible, which you appreciate – you just can’t help wondering if your house is ready to go to market and if she’ll slow down and help you maximize your home’s value.

Now imagine a second real estate agent who, upon meeting you, sits down to ask you questions about the house, property, neighborhood, school systems, and your motivations for wanting to sell. She even goes out, walks around the house, checks out the neighborhood, and takes a few days to do some research on her own to get a deeper understanding of the property value and the market environment.  She suggests staging ideas that will make your home more presentable and she advises you on what cosmetic upgrades and repairs have the highest return on investment.

Instead of quickly selling your home under its market value, the second agent lists your home for $15,000 more than the first agent’s suggested list price and you feel confident in her advice. You can rest easy knowing you’ve maximized the value of your property without compromising your target move date.

This is how we think at the Transition Company. Our approach is made up of three equally important parts: Assessment, Value Enhancement, and Transition.  We believe business owners are best served by a comprehensive approach to transition, and – if time allows – implementation of high ROI activities that will lead to a bigger payoff and a seamless transition.

ASSESSMENT

Prior to listing your business, we spend a considerable amount of time understanding the current and potential value of your business. Most importantly, we work to understand your motivations, goals and objectives for your personal and professional transition. We fully explain the process so you can make informed decisions about if, when and how to transition your role, ownership and lifestyle in a way you won’t regret.

We spend more time than other brokers on the front-end to help you determine which transition options suit you best, if now truly is the time to transfer ownership or it’s best to work to enhance your value, and what happens the day after you have executed your transition plan.

If you decide it’s time to sell, we do additional assessment to understand your business thoroughly and begin viewing it through the objective lens that prospective buyers will use. This preparation pays huge dividends when we begin interfacing with prospective buyers. The broker with the best facts wins and we ensure that this advantage stays with you.

VALUE ENHANCEMENT

Most traditional brokers are transaction-centric – if they don’t sell your business they don’t generate revenue. With this model, a business owner’s options are not fully explored and less attention is paid on how to optimize the transaction. Traditional business brokerage houses focus very little on planning for a seamless transition of the business, its employees, customers and vendors.

The Transition Company will take your business to market but not without first educating you on the options you have. We have the expertise on staff to add and create value through improved cash flow, systematization, and team development.

Adding value to your business is, in large part, a function of two main activities: building systems of industry best practices into your company’s existing structure and developing the competencies of your core team members. We partner with you to implement our value enhancement programs, utilizing our team’s expertise in business consulting, business development, and behavioral psychology. Our value enhancement programs concentrate on developing and implementing high ROI improvements with quick payback periods.

TRANSITION

We assist in planning, communication, preparation and execution of a transition that is best for the owner and their various stakeholders.  This transition may be a sale to a third party, but it could also be an ownership transfer to a family member or employee, an interim transition to passive or semi-passive ownership, or even involve a partial sale of the business to diversify your net worth.

Our value proposition is based on a dedication to understanding our client’s story, life, and legacy goals;  assisting with positive life-enhancing transitions, and maintaining long-term relationships.

Business Broker's Transition Blog

By William Evans 23 Aug, 2017

Achieving and maintaining significant and lasting performance that catapults your business ahead requires the adoption of a stable and healthy organizational culture. It implies creating a rhythm and pattern of the way things are done around your organization and the type of behavior that can be tolerated. You, therefore, need to set clear and aligned values that are exceptional to your business and those that will guide your organization to success. Creating and living by these values will help to increase your business valuation , customer, and employee satisfaction in the long run.

Accountability

One of the core values that the top performing organizations have is the art of accountability. These successful firms maintain their high-level performance through ownership, authority, and responsibility. To embrace this value, it will be your role as management to ensure that all the stakeholders among including employees, contractors, and clients are effectively engaged in the achievement of specific standards. Every individual is responsible for their allocated tasks. Each employee or contractor is empowered to make well thought out decisions that result in the right activities. Each team member embraces the opportunity to take full responsibility and always acts in the best interest of all players involved. Such a value instills the culture of excellence across the firm creating both intrinsic value for team players through increased job satisfaction, and measurable external value from increased productivity and customer confidence.

Integrity

Succeeding in any business requires that one conducts their functions in an ethical manner and with a high degree of truthfulness. Integrity must be demonstrated in all dealings with the employees, clients, suppliers, intermediaries, governments, and financial record keeping. The art of integrity could save an entity from major litigation scandals, and it promotes a brand of an entity given that the public is willing to trust an organization that is open about its operation. Integrity helps promote safe, honest, and ethical conduct and it increases business valuations by increasing consumer confidence and therefore repeat and referral business relationships.

Innovation

The modern world has seen increased diversification of many operations in almost all industries. Ensuring that your firm is open to ideas and willing to take risks keeps your business as competitive as other entities. Your organization should anticipate change and shape it to fit your purposes. This means understanding the weaknesses within your industry and creating solutions to overcome them. How will you inspire innovation and creativity in your organization? What apparatus will you provide for employees, contractors, and customers to come forward with new ideas that could increase the value of your business?

Respect

Your organization should adopt a core value that makes every individual treat others as they expect to be treated. It is paramount to respect the knowledge, skills, ideas, and capabilities that everyone brings to the team. Each individual has their own diverse life, strengths, and weaknesses and a high performing organization should be able to understand this. Your company should operate in a spirit of cooperation and while also realizing the value of human dignity.

Results driven

Ensuring that your consumers are satisfied with the services or products that you provide will make them come again and this creates a good reputation for your entity. Focusing on the performance of your products in the market promotes the demand and ensures that you stay relevant in the constantly changing market. Track and evaluate results to determine what’s working and what’s not. Being results driven will make every individual think critically about the improvement of innovation strategies by using the analysis and evaluations. This way, you’ll be able to offer excellent customer services and promote good customer relations that will make you their preferred business persons and this works in your favor.

These are some of the core values that help cultivate high performance that can increase the business valuation for any organization. It’s impossible to sustain industrial competitiveness without paying attention to core values because they motivate and sustain behavior over the long run. Every individual should understand, agree and embrace all the core values. This will also serve as a great deal because your organization will be operating optimally before going to sell.  To get advice that will help in the adoption of these and other core values, learn more about performance and value enhancement coaching at The Transition Company. You can request a free introductory consulting session to get started on improving the factors that will affect the value of your business now and in the future.

By William Evans 10 Aug, 2017

It’s a question most of us would like to have the answer to, at least if we were confident the future was bright.  

I suspect we would have a little more confidence in our decisions, be more courageous, stay in the present moment more often and have more joy. 

As a business owner reaches the stage of life where they are asking “What’s Next” the future is uncertain and that uncertainty can bring with it some fear, doubt, anxiety and concern about what the future will hold.  This is especially true if your business has been the focal point of who you are and what you do.


Perhaps you’re wondering about the right time to transition, how to transition, what you have to do to be best prepared and how it will all turn out?  It may be that you know you SHOULD be thinking about the future with greater intention but are having trouble getting started? 


If any of these describe where you’re at I’d like to suggest a 3 Step Process that I think can help you move forward:


  1. Work to define what’s most important to you as you contemplate a change.

  2. Seek out information that helps you better understand where things stand today and what transition options are available. For example you can learn about broker and coaching services we offer for maximizing your business valuation when it comes to  selling your business .

  3. Take action that moves you from uncertainty to clarity and starts you on a path toward the transition that makes the most of your story, life and legacy. A great action step is getting a free business valuation to determine your current and potential business value. This is a primer to working with a consultant who can eventually provide you with a certified valuation if and / or when you decide selling is your next step.


I’ve found that getting started is the often the most difficult aspect of tackling something new, even when the stakes are high and the outcome important. This is especially true when it comes to thinking about selling your business after you have worked so hard to build it.  It is often easier to procrastinate, put it off to a more convenient time, or continuously focus on the tasks that feel more immediate and urgent.


There are many choices a business owner can make if they take the time to prepare and plan in advance. Selling your business is just one of these choices and it may be the case that a different path is more appropriate. But for the unprepared, options are often limited and decisions and timing can become forced.  It may be that the future is decided for them due to a bad diagnosis, a significant economic event, or a sudden change in a family situation, instead of being desired and by choice.


One thing is clear, transition is inevitable it’s the timing and outcome that are uncertain.   Focusing on what’s most important, getting educated about options when it comes to selling your business, and developing and executing your plan doesn’t guarantee success – life can always decide to deal a bad hand, but I’d argue our odds of a successful transition increase dramatically when we are well prepared and planful.


Preparation is important to a life transition because, although there are do-overs, they’re usually painful and costly.


It’s been said that if you don’t know where you’re going any road will take you there. If that’s true then deciding upon your destination is of great importance as is the timing of when you want to arrive.  If you contemplate to become more passive in your business, change your role, transfer the company to a family member, put it up for sale or even desire to keep the status quo for an extended period of time – an informed decision is the best decision.  Knowing the value of your business and the gap between its current and potential value, knowing how salable your business is and how to improve its marketability, and understanding the ramifications of selling a business are just a few of the considerations in making the best decision.


What does all this mean to you as a business owner?


I’m hopeful it gets you thinking about life after business and encourages you to take a few steps down the path of what’s possible .   And that you will ultimately decide what you want your future to look like and take action to work it into reality .


Get started by taking a detailed look at your business today which includes a business valuation at no charge.

By William Evans 11 Jul, 2017

When considering the sale of your business, it is important to do what you can to boost the marketability and value of your company. Increasing sales and incoming revenue takes time, but there are other ways to improve upon the current estimated value of your business without directly increasing sales. Below are 5 ideas that will help you generate more buyer interest in your business and likely increase its sale price.

1. Cultivate Your Work Force

When new ownership comes in, they likely will want to bring in some of their own staff, but much of what they are paying for is the expertise and productivity of your workforce. A trained, energized and motivated staff excites potential buyers and makes offers more likely. Efforts to build the managerial and decision-making ability of your key people, training and delegating more of what you currently do yourself, and being able to demonstrate that the business is not dependent upon only one or two individuals (including yourself) is perhaps the primary determinant of the salability of your company.

2. Revenue Agreements

Dramatically increasing company sales may be out of your reach (if you could have increased sales previously you likely would have done so already). However, you may be able to secure current clients into long term contracts. Make sure these contracts are win-win and not just one sided jail sentences for the client, providing extra value for their loyalty is a good idea.  

Having clients secured in to an extended business agreement is attractive to perspective buyers as it is 'virtually' guaranteed revenue. As you approach the point of possibly selling the company, discuss options with clients, especially high-value clients, to contractually keep them on-board for the foreseeable future. This prevents any disruption of service for the clients while demonstrating to buyers there are guaranteed clients in the fold upon their taking over of the company.

3. Improve the Physical Appearance of Your Business

Curb appeal is not just relevant to the buying and selling of residential properties. It also plays an important role in the selling of your business. Make necessary repairs on your building and make upgrades around the office (such as new paint or updated furniture). Small upgrades around your business building may not improve the company's bottom line, but it does make it more attractive to buyers, and more buyer interest generally results in a higher sales price.  If you have virtual assets such as websites, email campaigns, and social media accounts, ensure those are updated with current images, professional cover and profile photos, and good reviews and/or customer engagement. Potential buyers are going to research your company online so making sure your virtual curb appeal is great will also be an important exercise for preparing to sell.

4. Promote Patents and Intellectual Properties

One of the best pieces of advice on selling a business is to engage in credible self-promotion. Yes, you will highlight current sales records, your strong client base (and those locked into long term contracts) while also covering the quality of products and services. However, you want to set your business apart from competition in the area. Focusing on your Unique Value Proposition and Competitive Advantages is critical to setting your business apart. One good way to do this is to promote any and all patents and intellectual properties the business owns. From specific goods patents to proprietary methods of production, showcasing these aspects of your business helps identity why it is different and better.  Allow the transfer of ownership to include the transfer of these patents and intellectual properties. It gives potential buyers more power in the marketplace and can increase the value of your company.

5. Routine - Standard Operating Procedures

Another value-enhancement action you can take is to establish a routine for all day to day activities. Your company should run on a documented routine called standard operating procedures (SOPs). This helps maximize employee productivity and it enables a buyer to more quickly understand how the company works. As a well-oiled and maintained machine runs into fewer problems, the standardized routine of your company can help increase business value.

To improve the marketability and increase the value of your company requires effort, but the payoff can be significant. Implementing these improvements are just a few of the strategies you can employ to attract and interest prospective buyers; which will, in turn, increase your company's value.

Using a business brokerage and consulting firm like The Transition Company is one of the best ways to ensure you're taking all of the necessary steps to prepare your business for sale at its highest potential value.

An important first step in your transition process is to know the current and potential value of your business to assist you in deciding if and when to go to market.

To quantify the potential value enhancement opportunity for your business take  advantage of our free business value assessment and learn how much potential value you can unlock by implementing these and additional business best practices.

By William Evans 25 Jun, 2017

Selling your business can take a considerable amount of time and energy. You've likely put years of hard work, long hours and endless pots of coffee in building the company from the ground up. So if you have come to the conclusion selling is best, you want to make sure it goes for top dollar. Whether you're looking to retire and move out of the area, invest in a new business opportunity or just feel like starting a new chapter in your life, there are several steps you can take to ensure the best possible outcome.

First, Decide When You Want to Transition and Prepare Accordingly

In business as it is in life, timing is everything. Preparation of your business and concentrating on improving its fundamentals and reducing the riskiness of its cash flow are actions that drive value.  Working ON your business instead of just IN it can make a major difference in the value of your company and the quality of your retirement lifestyle.

When it comes to selling your business for top dollar depends in large part on recent and projected growth and profitability, the strength of its management team, adherence to business best practices and risk-adjusted cash flow.  

How much time do you need to make that happen? It depends a bit on your business, its current state, and the capacity you have to implement positive change. Ideally, you should give yourself a minimum of 18 months for the changes to impact earnings, but 3 – 5 years of advance preparation can pay great dividends.  Worst case - the work gets done before it’s time for you to retire and you become a semi-passive or passive owner of a business that is performing at the top of its class.

Second, Identify Current Company Value and Potential Company Value

Similar to selling a home, you don't want to ballpark a value or request an amount you assume the business is worth. Doing so may price you out of a sale or cost you tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars from under-valuing the company. 

One of the most important steps when it comes to selling a business is to clearly identify its value. To do this, you need a business broker with the financial acumen to prepare or interpret business valuation reports, or a valuation expert that will prepare and review their reports with you and help you decide on a fair price for your enterprise.  Most interested buyers will want to perform their own valuation of your business, but at least you have a credible price point to begin with.  We believe that the party with the best facts typically wins.

While not providing a concrete number that you'll use in the actual sale of your business, a good place to start is with the CoreValue Value Discover Assessment . This report will give you an approximation of your current business value as well as the quantification of the  gap between what your business is worth and what it could be worth if it performed like top performing companies in its peer group.

Third, Assess Your Business the Way a Buyer Will

Buyers will require a due-diligence period (typically 45 – 60 days) in order to drill down and examine your company from every angle.  A good exercise is to prepare for this activity in advance so you are able to provide accurate and complete information and, as importantly, correct any issues a buyer might use to renegotiate their offer or to walk away from the deal.

Last, Decide on Next Steps and Take Action

Knowing when you’d like to transition, having a current and potential value for your business and knowing where improvements will need to be made are requirements for deciding next steps.  Should you go to market now or is it better to work on the business to improve its marketability and value?  Only you can decide but by following this process you can make an informed decision.

Should you decide to work ON your business you can now decide whether to “do-it-yourself” or hire an experienced coach to expedite the process.  A good coach will supply the tools, train your team and transfer knowledge, provide accountability and pay for themselves several times over.

You have put a considerable amount of work into building the company. As your final act as owner of the company, you owe it to yourself and the business you built to maximize your outcome and transition seamlessly. Assessing its maximum value potential and working toward unlocking that value will help sell your business more quickly and for top dollar.  Remember, transitioning your business is a one-shot endeavor; there are no do-overs.  A well-planned transition will get you to where you’d like to go! 

By William Evans 15 Jun, 2017

A completed transaction is only one part of a successful transition. Unlike traditional business brokers, Transition Company Advisors are able to help you prepare for an advantageous transaction and a seamless transition from your current role and lifestyle to “what comes next.” We focus on maximizing your value, structuring a deal to your best advantage and preserving the legacy you’ve created. When you go to market with The Transition Company you can be confident that we will have done our homework to optimize your outcome. The broker with the best preparation will score the biggest wins.

Imagine a real estate agent who meets you and immediately pulls the for sale sign out of her trunk, takes it into your front yard and, while handing you the listing agreement, exclaims, "It’s a Seller’s Market! I can have this sold for you by next Tuesday."

She is clearly focused on selling your house as quickly as possible, which you appreciate – you just can’t help wondering if your house is ready to go to market and if she’ll slow down and help you maximize your home’s value.

Now imagine a second real estate agent who, upon meeting you, sits down to ask you questions about the house, property, neighborhood, school systems, and your motivations for wanting to sell. She even goes out, walks around the house, checks out the neighborhood, and takes a few days to do some research on her own to get a deeper understanding of the property value and the market environment.  She suggests staging ideas that will make your home more presentable and she advises you on what cosmetic upgrades and repairs have the highest return on investment.

Instead of quickly selling your home under its market value, the second agent lists your home for $15,000 more than the first agent’s suggested list price and you feel confident in her advice. You can rest easy knowing you’ve maximized the value of your property without compromising your target move date.

This is how we think at the Transition Company. Our approach is made up of three equally important parts: Assessment, Value Enhancement, and Transition.  We believe business owners are best served by a comprehensive approach to transition, and – if time allows – implementation of high ROI activities that will lead to a bigger payoff and a seamless transition.

ASSESSMENT

Prior to listing your business, we spend a considerable amount of time understanding the current and potential value of your business. Most importantly, we work to understand your motivations, goals and objectives for your personal and professional transition. We fully explain the process so you can make informed decisions about if, when and how to transition your role, ownership and lifestyle in a way you won’t regret.

We spend more time than other brokers on the front-end to help you determine which transition options suit you best, if now truly is the time to transfer ownership or it’s best to work to enhance your value, and what happens the day after you have executed your transition plan.

If you decide it’s time to sell, we do additional assessment to understand your business thoroughly and begin viewing it through the objective lens that prospective buyers will use. This preparation pays huge dividends when we begin interfacing with prospective buyers. The broker with the best facts wins and we ensure that this advantage stays with you.

VALUE ENHANCEMENT

Most traditional brokers are transaction-centric – if they don’t sell your business they don’t generate revenue. With this model, a business owner’s options are not fully explored and less attention is paid on how to optimize the transaction. Traditional business brokerage houses focus very little on planning for a seamless transition of the business, its employees, customers and vendors.

The Transition Company will take your business to market but not without first educating you on the options you have. We have the expertise on staff to add and create value through improved cash flow, systematization, and team development.

Adding value to your business is, in large part, a function of two main activities: building systems of industry best practices into your company’s existing structure and developing the competencies of your core team members. We partner with you to implement our value enhancement programs, utilizing our team’s expertise in business consulting, business development, and behavioral psychology. Our value enhancement programs concentrate on developing and implementing high ROI improvements with quick payback periods.

TRANSITION

We assist in planning, communication, preparation and execution of a transition that is best for the owner and their various stakeholders.  This transition may be a sale to a third party, but it could also be an ownership transfer to a family member or employee, an interim transition to passive or semi-passive ownership, or even involve a partial sale of the business to diversify your net worth.

Our value proposition is based on a dedication to understanding our client’s story, life, and legacy goals;  assisting with positive life-enhancing transitions, and maintaining long-term relationships.

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