Many business owners have more wealth tied up in the business than they do in their house. Given that 70% of business owners plan to use their business as the primary source of retirement, this asset needs to be leveraged to maximise its value to help owners achieve their wealth goals.
There is no doubt that, as the average age of small business owners increases and baby boomers continue to reach the age of retirement, the age-old laws of supply and demand will come into play. There will be an increasing supply of businesses available for acquisition, and a diminishing number of interested buyers.
In this marketplace business owners will need to present their business in an appealing, professional manner to stand out from the competition and achieve the maximum return. These are the two likely scenarios you will face when you’re trying to sell your business in a crowded market place:
It stands to reason that the more you can sell your business for, the more you will have available for your retirement. That is why you need to understand the business sales process and work on a plan to maximise the attractiveness of your business to potential purchasers. To achieve a successful sale a lot of the work needs to be done 12-36 months before putting your business on the market!
Buyers look for a return on their money. The higher the perceived return on investment the more attractive the business. And of course the more attractive the business the more buyers are prepared to pay.
Attractiveness will be relevant to the type of buyer and the reason they are buying.
When an owner/operator considers buying a business they are essentially buying themselves a job. The average spending of these buyers would likely be $100,000 to $1,000,000 and any business for sale over this category may be unattractive.
A multinational or large company that buys a business for strategic reasons will rarely spend under $1,000,000. A multinational would not look at a business unless it had enough profit and upside to justify the stringent due diligence, legal and accounting fees.
Within the owner/operator category there are essentially two types of people. These include buyers which are purchasing for leisure and hobby reasons and those which are buying to “get ahead”.
The former will be made up of people that are reasonably well off and are either in the twilight of their careers or are looking to take it a bit easy. They are essentially looking at buying a job in an
industry which they enjoy working in. They want good profits and a job that is not stressful in a situation where they don’t need to work too hard.
Owner/operators that are buying to “get ahead” will be after maximum returns. Their choice of industry is dependent upon growth, profitability and their experience. They are not concerned about working hard or long hours as long as there are solid returns.
Knowing that a lot of preparation needs to go into your business sale in order to achieve the best result is a first step. In order to get started, you can educate yourself on the process by
Books: There are many books on the subject of Exit & Succession. You could consider any of the following books that will help you make informed decisions about your future:
In terms of practical self help solutions. Ascend Business Partners has a range of software that will help you to improve the value of the business. This includes titles on Business Planning, Job Descriptions, Policies & Procedures, Performance Review, Information Memorandum Writer and more. We also have a range of free online tools that you can use to assess your business readiness and attractiveness for sale or exit. Check them out at: http://ascendpartners.com.au/exit-readiness-calculator/
You may need to appoint a number of advisors throughout the process of leaving your business. Some of the areas you may need professional help with include:
We can help you by co-ordinating the entire exit planning process and engaging the right advisor at the right time for the right price. It is critical that you start the process from 12-36 months prior to selling the business.
Ascend Business Partnersare experts in helping business owners build their business and supporting them during the sale, exit or transition process. Our Managing Partner, Greg Johnson, is a Certified Practicing Accountant, Certified Exit Planner and Business Broker. Our focus is on creating exceptional personal and business outcomes for business owners by assisting our clients to plan, design and implement their ultimate exit and succession strategy.
Contact Ascend Business Partners today on 03 8794 7777 or firstname.lastname@example.org to have a discussion about your business and personal goals. Or simply book a free 1-hour “Time to REFIRE” workshop with Greg!