Preparing a business sale well in advance

Business sales are complicated and time-consuming, so (if possible) one of the best ways to go about them is to plan well in advance. Of course, life as a business owner doesn’t always work out this way and unexpected bumps often appear in the road. But taking as much time as possible to prepare your business for a sale can be the best way to achieve the deal you want.

A quick sale may be tempting, but taking your time carefully can help you iron out any flaws that buyers may pounce on in an attempt to drive the valuation down. A long-term mindset also puts you in a good position to wait out any sudden dips in the market, which may otherwise disrupt a quick sale.

Here are some of the ways you can begin to prepare for a sale, even if that sale does happen years down the line.

Get organised
One of the most time-consuming elements of a business sale is the buyer’s due diligence. Obviously buyers want to carefully scrutinise the records of a business they’re thinking about buying, but often the process is drawn out further due to disorganisation on the seller’s side.

In order to speed up the process when you’re ready to sell, getting your financial, staff and asset records organised and clearly navigable well in advance is key. Typically, a buyer will want to see financial records going back three years, so if you’re planning a sale well in advance, this is a great opportunity to organise things from the get-go.

Furthermore, immaculately organised records will impress the buyer, demonstrating your diligence and trustworthiness.

Invest in your business and brand
The best way to drive up the value of a business is to invest in improving it. Spending money to enhance your offering now and grow your base of customers or clients will make your business more attractive and valuable to potential buyers when the time comes.

However, investing in your business doesn’t necessarily have to mean a huge financial outlay. Often, you can boost the profile of your business by investing time and effort in things like your social media presence. Do this successfully and you’ll have a more valuable brand to offer to potential buyers and drive up the asking price.

Invest in your workforce
One of the most valuable assets your business has is its workforce. As with your product offering, brand or customer base, investing in your workforce with a sale in mind is an ideal way to boost the value of your company.

Investing in your workforce has many upsides and, if you do it over a period of years, can really pay off when it comes to selling your business. There are several ways of investing in your staff, from more training, to flexible working, skill-sharing schemes or increased job perks, all of which can have long-term benefits for the worth of your business.

By investing in your staff, you keep them on board, improve your workforce and team spirit and solidify your overall business in advance of the eventual sale. This demonstrates to your staff that you care about them and also shows potential buyers the care and effort you’ve put into your company.

Overall, the best way to boost the valuation of your business and ensure a smooth sales process when the time comes is to take your time to plan and invest in your business over a long period. By doing this you can not only ensure a good price, but also make sure any potential errors or issues are highlighted in advance, paving the way for a successful sale.