Myles Hamilton, Director at Shaw & Co LLP, gives his top tips for business owners on how they can best prepare their business for sale.
How can you best prepare your business for sale?
Having an exit plan is a good start. This could be set out at quite a high level or in some detail, but it should cover what you want to achieve as a shareholder and answer questions such as how much you expect from a sale and when you might be happy to realise your investment.
Other topics to consider might include: potential buyers and their motivation, management succession, staff alignment with your exit objectives and tax planning.
We encourage clients to think about these matters as early as possible and we have helped some put in place a plan several years in advance.
How the market has been affected post-Brexit?
Good businesses in the UK will remain attractive to UK and overseas acquirors and although our experience of the lower mid-market suggests it is in general business as usual, it is also situation specific.
On the upside, the weaker Pound is affording a boost to some of our clients’ businesses whilst also making it cheaper for overseas buyers to do deals in the UK.
What buyers are looking for?
Brand equity, intellectual property and growth potential are good examples of what buyers look for but attributes such as these will not by themselves guarantee a successful outcome.
The key thing for us as an adviser is to identify and focus on those buyers that have a strategic imperative to do the deal and will pay a premium.