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Calhoun Companies is pleased to share a series of excerpts from our book, A Simple Introduction to Selling Your Business. CEO Andy Kocemba has compiled content to help business sellers understand the process – everything from deciding if selling your business is a viable option to preparing for a sale and maximizing value for both parties. It’s based on the most common questions asked by sellers, and the insights gained through over 100 years in business and 1,000’s of successful transactions.
Growing up, I learned a lot about home improvement from my dad, and today, I am an avid “do-it-yourselfer.” The primary reason I can be successful in my home projects is that I know my limits. My dad always said, “If it’s behind the walls, I don’t touch it.” Meaning, he knew when to call the plumber or the electrician. I have learned to do that as well.
The same can be said about the process of selling your business. To maximize the value of your business, make the process smooth, and keep the business healthy until it is handed over, you must bring in your team of experts. You have grown your business by being an expert in your field, and have likely relied on a team of experts from other fields. When you are beginning the process to sell your company, it is time to draw them in even closer.
Here are the critical team members you will want to include as you sell your business. Keep in mind, the team will function best with one quarterback or captain. It doesn’t necessarily matter who that is, and it could even be you, but make sure it is known who is leading the team.
Business Broker/M&A Advisor
This is often the team member who gets the ball rolling. They will be the one who brings the business to the marketplace in a presentable fashion, including establishing value, preparing marketing materials, and beginning the search for a buyer. They are matchmakers and can be a good quarterback choice to guide the deal through to a successful closing.
Most likely, you have been working with this person for years, and they will continue to be
instrumental in successfully selling your business. Clean and organized financial statements both maximize the value of your business and earn the trust of potential buyers. Buyers want to know that “the house is in order.”
A good transaction attorney will be able to analyze documents on your behalf, looking out for your best interests. Make sure they have experience in business transactions.
Hopefully you have built your business well, and upon closing the transaction, you will have a sizable amount of money you need to put somewhere. A good financial planner can help you come up with the plan best suited for you and your family. Also, along with your accountant, they can help you plan for the tax ramifications of the sale, ensuring you get to keep as much money as possible.
Something to remember regarding all members of your team: Make sure they are deal-makers, not deal-killers. You are the boss and you have decided to sell your business. Make sure each team member is aligned with your mission and goals. Help yourself by asking for help from your team.
Recognize your limits when you are entering the “behind the walls” phase. It will lead you to a successful transaction.
President, Calhoun Companies
A graduate of Bethel University, Andy is energized by his daily interactions with the owners and entrepreneurs behind the
Midwest’s thriving small business community. Business organizations and media outlets regularly seek commentary from Andy about everything from the state of the small business economy to advice for small business owners. He has also written two books, providing a checklist of things to consider when buying or selling a business.
Andy is a member of the International Business Brokers Association, Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, and serves on the board of the Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota.