“Before everything else, getting ready is the secret to success.” - Henry Ford
For an entrepreneur grooming your business for sale is a key area, and it takes time to plan and execute an effective and successful strategy. Research shows that even when the market is vibrant, most businesses are sold at levels below their true value. This means the purchaser has identified and obtained a hidden value. Grooming your business will help identify this hidden value. Therefore window dressing will not drive up the sales price. A part of grooming is to grow the business and get it moving on an upward trend, increasing the value of the business.
To achieve this, looking at the business as a whole and dealing with such matters as profitability, gross profit, market share, global market, products, management team, innovation and more is vital. As this will take some time to achieve, and will depend on where you are on your business cycle, it is important to get right, both by taking your time and starting early. If you make sure to recruit your NED or strategic advisor early, they can work with you to more successfully achieve your objectives.
Grooming performs two vital functions. It is designed to help facilitate getting both the best price in the sale and processing the sale through as smoothly as possible. Due diligence is irreplaceable, ensuring that there are no skeletons in the cupboard.