Sooner or later you will sell your business. What’s that like? Part 1

When was the last time you sold a business?  If you’re like most people, probably never.  It is not a common transaction like buying a home or a vehicle.  So, you can’t poll your friends for their insight because they probably haven’t done it.  You might not want to discuss it with your business peers either because of your concerns about confidentiality. 

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Know Your After-Sale Role

Letting go of a business that has been built on your hard work is never easy.  It’s natural to want to protect the legacy of a life’s work – the brand and the relationships with employees, suppliers, and customers.  It’s also not a cake walk for the new owner to be handed the keys and a wave goodbye.  There are many things a new owner needs to know in order to be successful at taking over the business.  Not all of these details can be addressed before closing the deal and that is why there is typically some form of a transition period with every business sale.

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Entrepreneurs Wanted: How Much Financing & Cash to be your Own Boss

Considering buying a business? Are you asking yourself, from where will I get the money?

There are two cash requirements to think about when you are considering buying a business.

  1. How much cash do you need for a down payment?

  2. How much cash is required to close the sale and start out on a sound financial footing?

These are two different uses for your cash, and you would be well advised to look at both carefully as you plan for the purchase of a business.

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Top 10 Things to Do if you Plan to Sell your Business in 2-5 Years

When you’re preparing to sell your business, you need to take a step back and have an objective look at the company from an outsider’s perspective.  It’s important to start the “house cleaning” well in advance of the actual sale of your business.  Some of the things that should be done can take a long time to correct so if you want to get the most from the sale of your business, it’s best to start early. 

Here are the top things to tend to if you plan to start the process of selling your business in the next 2 to 5 years. 

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Earnout or Seller Financing: Which is better for your business sale?

When structuring a business sale, a common problem that arises is a difference in opinion on the value of the business. It's important to recognize that the two parties are motivated by different information. Buyers are focused on past earnings and the operational risk in the business that will affect future earnings. Sellers typically focus on the company's recent historical performance, hoping to maximize their profit from the sale.

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Systems Create Value when Selling your Business

It's important to have well-crafted, documented systems and procedures in place for your business well before the time comes to sell. Systems lessen the reliance on the owner for the business to operate successfully, which gives a potential buyer confidence that they can take over the role. This increases the marketability of your company, and can help achieve a higher price.

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4 Tips to Help you Sell Anything!

Salespeople are in short supply in Saskatchewan so most business owners would love to know the secret recipe for increasing sales.  Deep down, though, you know that there are not 4 silver bullets just waiting for you to read them so your sales will go through the roof.  You know there’s a lot to making a sale – especially when buyers are tightening their belts.

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What does 2017 forecast for your business?

Welcome 2017

A lot happened in 2016 that affected your business and your customers. A weak mining sector, low oil prices, decreased construction activity, rising unemployment rates, declining housing market, a turbulent US election, and general market uncertainty surrounding the pending carbon tax.  This all made a difference to your local economy and the conditions that impact your customers.

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The Downside of DIY Business Deals

We are in an unprecedented era of specialization.  These days there are people to help in our businesses with hiring, cleaning or doing the books.  You can find someone to do almost anything to get your product out the door.  In George Clooney’s 2009 movie Up in the Air, Clooney played the part of a man who travelled across the country just to fire employees.  Remember when you used to do everything yourself?  As your business matures, you will find yourself doing a cost/benefit analysis of every hour of your time.  Consciously or not, you ask yourself, “If I do this, what am I not able to do?” or “What would it cost me to pay someone else to do this?”   We make a quick evaluation of the value of our time vs. the task at hand and decide whether or not we are the best person for the job – for the skills and the cost.

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Top 3 Reasons Deals Fall Apart

“What just happened?”  Have you ever felt like the Coyote when the Roadrunner sped by and foiled the plan?  Many of our clients who have tried to sell their businesses on their own come to us after a deal that they thought was a sure thing has fallen apart.  These seasoned professionals have nurtured the deal and everything seems to be falling into place, and then, out of nowhere, the deal is off.

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Selling a Business through the Rear View Mirror

When we talk to entrepreneurs, they always have lots of war stories to tell. For most small businesses, there’s no ‘right’ path to success. Family situations, new opportunities, market changes and personal capacity all shape the future of a business and no one can predict when these factors will come into play. A common theme of these stories is entrepreneurs holding themselves responsible for not knowing. “If I had only known!”

In most cases, there are forces affecting their business that owners have absolutely no control over. This makes it critical for entrepreneurs to make proactive decisions about things that they can control. When we talk to people who are selling their businesses, they have loads of advice that they would give to younger business owners.

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Client Checklist: Is Your Client Ready to Sell Their Business?

There’s nothing worse than waiting for the last minute to do something and then knowing you either missed the boat or got on the boat with the leak. Well, it’s often similar with entrepreneurs when they decide to sell their business. They either wait until a life event like illness or death forces them to make a decision, or fail to prepare far enough in advance of their desired departure from the company.

To help your entrepreneurial clients understand where they are on the road to selling their business, we’ve developed a checklist of sure signs that it’s time to start the process. Ideally, companies should be asking themselves the right questions as far out as 5 years from their hopeful date of sale. Start early, be prepared, and get ready for smooth sailing.

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