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Making yourself irresistible for M&A: 7 tips to get you ready to sell your business

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Thinking about selling your business? Ready to transition out? Appeal to more buyers and boost your chances of success with our 7 tips.

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Making yourself irresistible for M&A: 7 tips to get you ready to sell your business

  1. 1. Deloitte Private Making yourself irresistible for M&A 7 tips to get you ready to sell your business
  2. 2. So, you’ve decided it’s time to sell … You’re a private business owner who has determined the time is right to transition out. Whether it’s to bring in a partner to take your business to the next level or to realize fully on your time and investment … … there’s really only one more “big” question to answer … For Sale
  3. 3. Are you ready? We all know wanting to do something and believing the time is right are no guarantees to a successful outcome. You have to work at it. In the case of selling your business, you also have to make your company irresistible to prospective acquirers – a value proposition that they cannot live without. Easier said than done, perhaps. But follow these seven tips to ensure the optimal result…
  4. 4. 1. Know what you want It’s very important to set transition priorities. Being irresistible is one thing, but it doesn’t mean you should want just anybody to buy under any terms. But meanwhile … Answer questions like these clearly and completely and proceed accordingly. Are you trying to maximize value? Preserve family legacy? Maintain the corporate culture? Is timing important? Do you want to retain involvement or a share of ownership following the sale?
  5. 5. 2. Know that it’s not all about you If you’re the critical link in your business, it’s time to reduce the company’s dependence on you. Investors or buyers must be confident the business can continue to succeed in your absence. So, step back and make sure you have experienced management in place that can assume responsibility for key business functions and relationships. That will only enhance the company’s attractiveness. Naturally, it’s in your best interest to …
  6. 6. 3. Keep no secrets and tell no lies Being able to produce high-quality, accurate, timely financial information is vital to a successful transaction. Meanwhile, do your best to … Ensure your team routinely tracks monthly results to forecasts and explains variances. In fact, get your team in the habit of doing this now. Similarly, you should have a talented CFO and the right reporting systems and technologies in place to improve financial management and better entice investors or buyers as they gain confidence in your company’s performance.
  7. 7. 4. Tell a good story of vision and growth Buyers will put considerable effort into analyzing the historical performance of your business. But the past truly is the past, and equal effort will be spent looking to the future. Narrative, after all, is powerful. Your successes and your failures tell the complete story of where you started, how you got to where you are, and where you’re going. Be bold about sharing it.
  8. 8. That also involves talking about (and running) the business with a focus on the value propositions that set you apart and drive your success – success, of course, that almost certainly depended on help of one kind or another from various employees, advisors, customers, etc. In other words … 4. Tell a good story of vision and growth (Cont.)
  9. 9. 5. Remember them, too To whatever extent possible, it’s wise to minimize adverse impacts on front-line talent and external resources, including key clients. True respect can be hard to win, but is frequently easy to lose. Without adequate support from your existing networks, the risk of a bumpy ride increases. Now for a tough one. You must …
  10. 10. 6. Be realistic about your prospects Understanding the business’s value drivers, industry benchmarks, and key economic and market trends will give you a sense of what you can reasonably expect before the transition process begins. To that end … Just remember: many factors that influence your company’s value are simply beyond your control. You have to know what they are and be prepared to frame your company in that context.”
  11. 11. 7. Get professional advice M&A transactions are complex, time-consuming, and often highly emotional once-in-a-lifetime events that can distract management from keeping the business on target. An experienced M&A advisor can help you identify suitable investors or purchasers, navigate issues, and ultimately achieve your optimal outcome. Specialized transaction tax advisors, meanwhile, can help you make the most of any transaction. Because, ultimately, what you want to do is …
  12. 12. Make the absolute most of it When you’re finally ready to transition, you’ll want to be confident everything will proceed according to design. So, what do you think? Otherwise, people could get hurt – including you. However, if you’ve made the company irresistible, the rest just about takes care of itself.
  13. 13. Are you ready?
  14. 14. Contact us deloitteprivate@deloitte.ca
  15. 15. www.deloitte.ca Deloitte, one of Canada’s leading professional services firms, provides audit, tax, consulting, and financial advisory services. Deloitte LLP, an Ontario limited liability partnership, is the Canadian member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited. Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK private company limited by guarantee, and its network of member firms, each of which is a legally separate and independent entity. Please see www.deloitte.com/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited and its member firms. © Deloitte LLP and affiliated entities. 16-3994M