Selling a business is a consequential transaction that can take numerous months to complete. It may involve intense negotiations regarding the price and the terms set and could end up falling through for many different reasons.
Any entrepreneur or executive tasked with managing this kind of transaction has an interest in maximizing the final sale price either for personal benefit or for the profit of the shareholders invested in the organization. Every business has unique liabilities and assets that influence what prospective buyers might pay for it, and price maximization strategies will necessarily vary based on the industry and type of business that is going up for sale. Still, there are a few tactics that can help an organization maximize its selling price more generally.
1. Commit to transitional training
The owner or executive who will leave after the transaction probably plays a major role in the success of the company. Their willingness to stay on for three, six or even 12 months after the transaction can make a major difference to the success and profitability of the company after their exit. Being able to offer specific transition training and hands-on support can help buyers feel more comfortable offering what the company is truly worth.
2. Engaging in online reputation management
It is easy for an established business to ignore consumer chatter online most of the time. However, individuals and businesses considering buying a company will inevitably scour the internet for what customers and former employees say about the business. It can take months in some cases to resolve online complaints and curate a company’s brand image online. The sooner an organization starts addressing negative online reviews and content, the better its position will be when negotiating a sale price later.
3. Locking in talent and vendor arrangements
Business arrangements tend to fluctuate after a change in ownership or management. Workers often exit a company out of fear for their professional stability, and customers or vendors may cease doing business with the company after the transition occurs. Current leadership can help reduce those losses by negotiating new arrangements with key players throughout the company and solidifying long-term contracts with key vendors and customers.
There are many other adjustments that may help a company maximize its sale price for a property. Preparing carefully by seeking legal guidance proactively is a smart move for anyone who is planning for a large business transaction, such as the sale of a company.