On the road to selling your business you will likely come face to face with someone claiming that they can sell your business to an overseas buyer for more than it is worth. Despite recent actions taken by the ACCC against unscrupulous vendors making these claims, the myth about overseas buyers continues to plague business sellers.
Advertising overseas will cost as much if not more than it does in Australia and knowing the truth about overseas buyers could save you a lot of wasted money.
So, if you’re thinking of selling your business through a business agency now or at any time down the road, take the time to arm yourself with the myths and facts about overseas buyers.
Let’s just get this out of the way: there is no one-size-fits-all formula for pricing your business. Anyone who tells you that there is, is probably about to ruin your chances of selling your business at its full value in your expected timeframes.
And here’s why: the price at which you take your business to the market is one of the main determining factors that can lead to a successful business sale. Your advertised price has a huge affect on everything from:
- Your target market,
- The perceived return on investment,
- The availability of finance,
- Your buyers’ level of trust in your business,
- The calibre of buyers you attract,
… and most importantly; it has serious implications when you get to the negotiating table.
All of those things put together can have a massive affect on your business sale so, quite simply, if your business price isn’t a strategically calculated figure, you’re shooting yourself in the foot. It can be the difference between selling and not selling.
Trying to sell your business on your own, having not done it before, can be fraught with danger!
As the old adage goes, “You don’t know what you don’t know!“. There’s always the chance that you luck your way through, and all hail to you if you manage to do so.
But what I know for sure is, as an experienced Business Broker, is that most do not sell, or sell well.
You (as the owner) eventually use a Broker after trying unsuccessfully.
In many cases, all that’s unfortunately been achieved is that it takes a whole lot longer to sell and by potentially taken your eye off the business ball, the numbers may then reflect the distraction (which is not good for sale purposes)…
So why consider using a Business Broker from the outset?
- We are licensed to assist in the buying and selling of businesses, at the State level
- We have insights, gleaned over many years, into specific industries or type of businesses
- We maintain confidentiality of buyer/seller
- We act as a buffer between the buyer and the seller
- We have a working knowledge of accounting, financing, legal, marketing etc to avoid unnecessary surprises in a transaction
- We play the role of the “conductor of the orchestra” and even the “project manager”.
If trying yourself is what you want to do first, then watch out for these common mistakes to avoid when exiting. Not:
- Focusing on the bigger picture
- Doing your own research of your own market
- Thinking through the “risks” – almost impossible to be “risk free”
- Entertaining a willingness to accept risks •Example: Special conditions that can “kill the deal”
- Regarding the probability of things going wrong
- Reviewing the seriousness of quantifiable damage
- Budgeting for upfront costs
- Adapting “generic due diligence checklist/template” to your needs or size of the transaction •Example: Using a checklist suitable for multi-million dollar enterprise on small businesses
- Deeming it worth the extra expense to seek input from accountants and solicitors with your particular industry expertise, while maintaining an existing relationship with your accountant or solicitor.
- Being sure of who or what professional to seek appropriate advise from
- Understanding the limitations of what the professional advisors can provide
- Giving appropriate instruction to the professionals engaged
The following are 5 tips to help enhance the sale price of your business… by answering these 5 questions, you are seeing your business popping on Buyers Goggles.
- Saleable? (i.e. not revolving around you)
If the answer is no to any of these, then you/we have got work to do. Contact me.
Recently, this article was published on the Australia Small Business Blog, with my contribution focused predominately on the benefits of using a Business Broker, like my good self:
“If you are going to be dealing with a business broker, make sure they are licensed with the relevant State body. The Australian Institute of Business Brokers (of which I’m a member!) has links to the various State licensing authorities. When exiting your business, you should seek some professional advice – however even an accountant or solicitor have limitations on the scope of the guidance they can offer around the valuation and sale of a business.
A qualified business broker can help in many ways. They will prepare you for the due-diligence that a buyer conducts. They know that a buyer or investor besides looking at the current profitability of the business, evaluates the extent to which it can run independently of the seller, as well as examining the scale-ability of the business. In other words, it’s capacity to actually handle growth and maintain profitability with any increase in the volume of sales generated”
Continue reading here: http://www.australia-small-business.com/2015/07/exiting-your-small-business.html
Recently, this really good article, “5 Questions to ask when Choosing a Business Broker“, got me thinking… can I answer the questions to your satisfaction? So I’ve given it a go. If my responses raise further questions for you, then please ask…
Finding the Right Business Broker
After you have decided to sell your company, it’s helpful to meet with multiple brokers to identify the one that is the best match for your unique needs and sale objectives. You have spent years building your business. You owe it to yourself to interview a number of candidates. As you go through this process, keep the following questions in mind when comparing brokers:
1. What are the broker’s background and credentials?
I have a track record in selling businesses, especially of the Online and Professional Services kind.
Not only have I done so for myself, but also for a growing number of clients over the last years.
I am also qualified and credentialed, e.g.:
CAR(REIV) = Certified Agents Representative with the Real Estate Institute of Victoria
AMAIBB = Associate Member of the Australian Institute of Business Brokers
MREIV = Member of the Real Estate Institute of Victoria (Business Brokers chapter)
MIMC = Member of the Institute of Management Consultants
BTD = Bachelor of Training and Development
2. Is the broker genuinely interested in learning about your business?
Allow me to introduce The Business Discovery Process…
As you’re no doubt aware, the sale of a business can be a complex and sensitive a process. So to get the best outcome for my clients, I prefer all parties to invest some time upfront before making any formal decision. At that point, I introduce the “Business Discovery” process, which allows both sides to gather sufficient information about each other before proceeding to any formal commitment.
3. How will the broker promote your sale?
As experts in selling businesses, the professional team that I am apart of and our experience have enabled us to deliver results for our clients over many years.
Our proactive approach is to have the appropriate marketing strategies in place to reach potential buyers of your business. As a result, we tailor our marketing strategy to deliver the optimum outcome.
The upside for you is that you do not have to spend a fortune to find a purchaser.
The beauty of being part of a well-respected and long-established trusted adviser in the community, is that they are also very well-connected with good relationships with accountants, lawyers, bankers and other small business professionals. Together with having an enviously large contact list, I am able to tap into markets and opportunities that many are not.
4. What process will the broker use to screen prospects?
I handle all initial inquiries, where tyre-kickers are immediately outed.
Once they get past first base, the next step is for them to sign and return a NDA/CA (confidentiality Agreement).
Once received, they in turn receive a preliminary Business Profile.
Then if still interested, it’s time to meet you, the owner.
5. How many listings is the broker currently managing?
At any given time, I am handling between 6-10 businesses and their owners.
This allows me to concentrate on the negotiations at hand, to ideally bring them to the outcome that all parties desire.
I trust that has addressed any questions you may have had, but if not, please email through whatever you want to know, to firstname.lastname@example.org