Does long-term sales preparation pay off?
Yes! Long-term preparation for a business succession or sale pays off for you several times over. In a study of several thousand business transactions, John Warrillow, author of the bestseller “Build to Sell”, showed that with long-term sales preparation, sales proceeds are on average 72% higher. Thus, well-prepared companies achieved an EBIT multiple of 6,1 compared to an EBIT factor of only 3,5 for companies that went straight into the sales process without a long-term preparation phase.
The long-term preparation here means “working on your company” instead of “working in your company”. In the short term, only presentation and marketing can be influenced in the sales process. In the long term, a company can be structurally developed, its processes optimised and thus its value sustainably increased. The resulting higher profitability will improve your economic success even without a sale. In addition, the withdrawal from the operative day-to-day work also means a significant relief and stress reduction for you – also an advantage because you can start a sales process much more relaxed and with full power.
How do you prepare your company well for the sale?
The best sales preparation focuses on the interests of the buyer and thus sets the right course for the sale. A buyer wants a well-functioning company with growth prospects, future-proof products, efficient processes, a well-coordinated team, a well-functioning IT infrastructure and a high degree of independence from you as the previous owner. Good sales preparation addresses all these potentials and risks in order to increase, show, measure, protect and then also determine the true values of your company.
Your own personal annual holiday can serve as a test of how well prepared your company is for a sale. If you can take a holiday without hesitation, even during the most stressful time for your company, then it is the ideal time to start the actual sales process.
The most long-term aspect of preparing for sale is to actively increase the value of the company through strategic measures. In every company there are ideas to generate further growth.
Select the two most promising ideas and start implementing them. This could be the market entry into another country, another segment or the development of a new distribution channel. Especially on the Internet, very good sales successes can be achieved through online trading, SEO measures or SEA campaigns. Profit increases also result from the optimisation and digitalisation of processes; capacities freed up by this can be profitably reinvested in the expansion of the business.
Another important aspect of good sales preparation is to show the values of the company in order to make it even more attractive to potential buyers. Important here is a modern and professional external presentation, an update of the sales materials with a new appealing design and also a clearly visible internet presence.
In combination, this leads to the creation of a real brand for your company. Perceptible and credible activities in social media and in important industry platforms and portals as well as the creation of corporate or entrepreneurial films and appealing shots of the company premises complete the picture. Our experience shows that a very good external image can work wonders in the transaction process.
Therefore, you should not save in the wrong place and work with professionals like our colleagues at mi-marketing. In the financial area, you can show value by working together with your financial and tax advisors to raise the “hidden” reserves of your company and show them in the balance sheet, capitalise R&D expenditure and carry out revaluations of important assets.
Successfully created values that are also visible should also be measured regularly in the next preparation step. This makes the values generated by the sales preparation comprehensible for a potential buyer. In this course, operational and strategic controlling moves into the focus of the preparation measures, which also improve your operational business.
The establishment of KPI dashboards, clear monthly reports with the most important operative and financial key figures (profit, contribution margin, the three most important cost blocks, growth rates, number of orders, hits on the website, conversion rates, etc.) come into focus here. The accounting can also be converted and optimised to reflect profit centres and divisional revenues. In the course of this, a suitable ERP system can also be introduced. Here, too, cooperation with professional consultants like our colleagues from kreITiv is crucial for success.
The protection of the values created by you in your company should also be given sufficient space in the preparation of the sale. As an experienced business broker, we know that buyers are interested in companies with as few risks as possible. Therefore, the focus here is on minimising risks.
The establishment of a second management level credibly reduces the dependence on you as entrepreneur. The registration of patents, utility models and trademarks secures the intangible assets of your company. An analysis and optimisation of your IT infrastructure, also under IT security aspects, reduces the risk of your company falling victim to a hacker attack.
For you and also for many other owners of successful companies, the value created and thus possible sales proceeds are important informations. There are many methods with which a company value can be determined: the expected value based on the economic success, the net asset value based on the existing assets in the balance sheet and the market value through supply and demand.
Of course, in cooperation with our partners, we also carry out a company value assessment according to IDW for our clients (if you wish) or offer you the possibility of obtaining an initial rough indication with the QuickCheck. Unfortunately, all these calculated values are only theoretical, because the true value of a company results from supply and demand on the M&A market. Only a market price valuation will show you where you and your company are located. Therefore, after completing the appropriate preparation, start directly into the sales process!
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Our consulting is professionally exclusive and free of pre-sale payments, as we provide success-based consulting. Only in the event of success do we receive a consulting fee that is refinanced from the purchase price.
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