Selling Your Business 101

Business owners routinely engage Calder Associates to sell their businesses. There can be any number of reasons why they want to sell, including:



The percentages above are approximate, but whatever the reason, the ability to sell and the desire to sell are two completely different situations. As a business owner, you must always approach each situation with careful planning and expectations. Calder Associates helps you make your plan more realistic and achievable because we are experts in the area of small and middle-market sized company sales.

The vast majority of business owners in the USA have never sold a business nor understand all the specifics required to successfully close a sale. Unlike their product or service, the sale of a business can represent the culmination of a lifetime’s work, a retirement fund, or a means to new investments. However, most owners do not have time to place the sale of a business into its proper perspective.

Many owners think the path towards preparing a business for sale begins when they get ready to sell, but it truly begins the day after you start or buy the business.  So what must you do each day you work and grow your business to ensure it is ready to sell once the time comes?

Understanding what is important to a prospective buyer is crucial, as it will impact the decisions you make prior to a sale. Calder’s professionals work with business owners like you to ensure you are presented with options on what will bring value to your company. On a selective basis, we provide equity growth consulting for companies not currently ready for sale, which provides a business owner with a “partner” in the planning required to optimize future value at the time of closing.

A sale involves all elements of a business, including operations, personnel, inventory, finance, legal issues and other areas. As a business owner, you have one primary responsibility during a sale process – run the business!

Yes, when you make the ultimate decision to sell, your focus may get distracted, and you will want to participate in the sale. However, if your business suffers in any way because you did not devote the time required to continue greater success, you could jeopardize a future sale. That is where a good business intermediary comes into play.

All the work done in preparing a company for sale, followed by execution, MUST BE DONE CONFIDENTIALLY. Although you may feel as if it is no big deal to make a casual reference about possibly selling your business, even the slightest inference can hurt your value and operations, and therefore should be avoided. You should only discuss the potential and your needs with a qualified intermediary. They will keep ALL INFORMATION private and ensure that optimal value for your business is achieved.

A business sale is about YOU – the shareholders, members or partners of the company. The rewards of a sale will go to you. Understanding that is critical. A qualified intermediary will be able to put that into perspective as they help to assess your company, provide opinions of value, and take a pulse of the likely success of a sale given your financial needs and motivation for sale. Having a good perspective of what you will receive is very important in order to be mentally prepared for the work and reward from selling your business.

The sale of your business is a huge undertaking, far more complex than most can ever understand. Expertise in “quarterbacking the process” is a key component in ultimately winning. In the eyes of a business owner, winning is ONLY achieved when the sale CLOSES. Anything short of that is a misuse of time and effort. Calder Associates’ professionals understand the roads, as well as the road blocks encountered during a business sale.

Whether your business does $500,000 of revenue a year or $100 million, our professionals understand where the impediments are in selling your business and can help navigate to a successful closing. Because many of Calder’s professionals are Certified Business Intermediaries and Mergers & Acquisitions Master Intermediaries, we maintain the highest ethical standards and provide you with the comfort that the entire process is being handled properly. In addition we are licensed for securities transactions and therefore can assist in any financial needs your company may become involved in.

When should you contact a Calder professional? The best answer is anytime between 1  and 5 years before an ultimate sale (10 years if you are a ”C” Corp). Assessing where you are and what you will achieve is needed to get ready for the big day. Want to learn more about preparing your business for sale? Just click below, and we will send you Calder’s eBook entitled “Seven Strategies for Preparing a Privately Held Business for Sale”.