Trick or Treat? Why Selling Your Company Doesn’t Have to Be Scary!

In this season of witches, ghosts and candy corn, it’s a good time to look at the things in your life that cause trepidation and fear.

If you are the long time owner of a small or middle market business, then heading into the year end starting to think of how 2015 might be the year to sell your company most likely isn’t something you relish thinking about. Most likely, the sweaty palms and racing pulse isn’t being caused by the gremlins and ghoulies coming up the walkway.

One of the things I really enjoy about helping helping business owners sell their companies is helping them (and often their families) get through a very scary time. I very much enjoy seeing my clients relax as they begin to understand the sale process and get their questions answered. Selling your company doesn’t have to be scary!

The best advice that I can give any business owner starting to think about selling their business is to get answers to your questions now. Don’t wait – every day that you delay coming to grips with a process that you may think you don’t have control over is one more day that you’ll be focusing on bogeymen rather than on the success of your company.

Start by talking to an M&A professional. Someone like me can help you understand what a sale will look like, what the outcomes might be, and also will be able to help you analyze your company in a way that will hopefully create more treats for you down the road. The M&A business is very long term, and deal professionals are usually more than willing to advise clients far ahead of a potential sale.

But, we won’t stop there. Now that you’ve decided to confront the issue, you’ll also want to engage with additional professionals that can make sure that everything is ready for a potential sale down the road.

  • Corporate Lawyer: Let’s make sure that your business is organized optimally for a sale. I’ve seen many clients leave money on the table because they didn’t seek advice in advance of a sale, and didn’t make changes that could have been made in advance.
  • Estate Planner: Also, let’s work on your family planning. Let’s be sure that you’ve taken advantage of every opportunity the truly scary IRS gnomes have left for you.
  • Financial Planner: Let’s not leave planning for your liquidity event to chance either. Better to engage a financial planner now so you can have a team ready for you.
  • Accountant: Finally, let’s talk to an accountant that has transactional experience to make sure that your financial story is as well written as an The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

The Halloween treat is that there is no trick to selling your company. If you get answers to your questions now, you’ll find that there is nothing to be scared of.

This post was originally published in Michael’s LinkedIn blog.

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