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Selling your business: are you ready?

Are you ready for this step?

Hard work is rewarded: your successful company attracts the attention of potential buyers. Or your entrepreneurial blood is crawling where it can't go and you are already brooding on a new entrepreneurial opportunity. It's clear to you: selling your company won't take long anymore. Time to make choices and put your affairs in order. I would be happy to tell you how.

1. Start with yourself

Before you enter into any negotiations or make any contact at all with potential buyers, it is important that you first make an inventory of everything. Start with your personal situation and motives. After all, if you would rather sell the business yesterday than today, your position at this stage will be very different to that of a buyer who only plans to sell in 2030. And do you hope that the company will stay within family circles? Or can any buyer come forward?

2. Involved after acquisition

Keeping the business going may not get you excited anymore. But that doesn't mean you don't want to be involved. Don't let go of the reins completely. Just letting go as a member of the Advisory Board can be very refreshing. Or remain financially involved in the role of shareholder, vendor or earn-out. Also think about the continuation of what you have set up. Can something change about the company name, office location and philosophy? You decide.

3. Map out the finances

Every potential buyer dives into the books. See for yourself how the liquidity, cash flow, solvency, turnover and other figures are doing. After all, the finances tell you how strong the company is and how much profit the sale can bring you later on. These are key data that determine whether you are ready to sell.

4. Management information

The market is constantly moving. The question of whether it is shrinking or growing is very important for a business sale. It says a lot about the future prospects of the company. Observations such as expectations of market growth and sustainability in the sector are also important. Other important questions about this type of management information are: does your company operate in a market that is sensitive to economic cycles and is the number of competitors stable?

5. Legal affairs

What is the legal business structure like? Are there any ongoing proceedings that could have a major financial impact on the company? Are the permits still firmly in place or are they starting to falter as a result of new legislation and regulations? As you can read, the legal issues you need to focus on are very diverse. Would you like a clear picture of the legal issues and all other factors?

6. Management, personnel and organization

Selling a company often means selling the staff as well. Therefore put on paper how you can best describe the company culture, how

What is the situation with sick leave and whether there are labour shortages or surpluses in your market? Also important: how does your staff feel about selling the business?

7. Operations and digitalisation

A company where artificial intelligence controls a significant part of the production process, has a very different market position than the same type of company where staff do all the work. Digitalisation determines your business value, just like your regulations concerning AVG and the scalability of your company. How is this regulated in your company?

What is your company worth?

Do you have a clear picture of all seven topics listed above? Then you are one step closer to making the choice whether or not to sell your business. And you have gathered all the information you need to determine the value of your business. Then turn to expert advice. Florijnz helps you with every step in the sales process.

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Hans MinnaarFounder and director
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