Sale Ready Part 6: Action Planning
Sale Ready Part 6: Action Planning
As we near the end of our Sale Ready blog series, it’s time to take a look at those essential action planning steps that you can take that don’t fall under the standard categories – these are some of the actions you can easily miss, especially as you’re getting closer to going up for sale, or perhaps have already started receiving offers for your business.
Reduce Business “Clutter”
Knowing your business back to front is always easier once you’ve reduced the amount of “mess” within your business – this may not just be in the literal sense (although it’s certainly a great time to do a deep clean of your premises, accounts and other business activities as well!).
Sell or get rid of assets or any stock that is no longer saleable or provides any functional use – ensuring that these haven’t been noted as part of your business sale package. This might be a business vehicle on its last legs or some stock past its use-by date and needs to be cleared away. Think of this time as a spring cleaning for your business inventory!
Ensure that any personal assets, personal items that might be incorporated into the physical premises and other valuable personal goods are stored away off-site – especially important for family businesses that would be looking to change hands (you don’t want to misplace that important family photo from when you first opened your business!).
Get Your ‘Elevator Pitch’ Down
Of course, enlisting the support of a licensed and expert business broker offers significant value for money in terms of marketing and having the trained eye and insights of someone who knows what to highlight for potential buyers, but it’s also important that you feel confident as the owner to know the value of your business and the key facts and figures that make it sale-ready – this is an essential part of your action planning.
Consider what questions might come up as part of the due diligence process, and be prepared for trickier or specific queries – it’s always better to recognise early on that you need to do your research than to come to sale time and realise there are certain things you’re not sure of about your business. A self-assured and informed business owner will always mean a smoother sales process overall. A business broker will prepare you for any and all important questions a buyer wants to know.
Refresh Your Premises
For businesses with physical storefronts, warehouses or showrooms, you want to put your best foot forward when it comes to getting photos of your business or showing it to prospective buyers. This might mean a light facelift (a fresh coat of paint and some general maintenance), or you might need a deep clean and a redesign of how you organise your stock and showcase your product. Of course, just like in real estate, you don’t want to overcapitalise on extensive renovations or improvements if your current system and premises are working well, but ensure that your business is looking its best and is ready to impress.
A commercial clean is a great way to get those hard-to-reach places across your offices or warehouse, just like you might do before an open home.
Take Stock of Your Talent
Your people can make or break your business, so take a look at your current team, identify any gaps in skills or roles, and discuss with key team members what the outcome of a sale may look like for them. If you feel you have underperforming employees, especially those who are likely to stay on during a handover to a new owner, consider whether they may be better placed with different employers, or coach them across stepping up their game to where they need to be.
Equally, action planning for your staff means also working out whether your top performers are likely to stay on under new management – give them a chance to talk to you openly as their leader, and listen to their concerns and feedback. A new owner of your business will appreciate a level of assurance as to what staff members will stay and who they will need to hire afresh.
In the final part of this series, we’ll go through your all-important self-reflection checklist to ensure you’re on track to be sale-ready and take those next steps to get your business on the market.