Business sale as a process continues for about nine to twelve months, hence confidentiality is critical to the business selling process, irrespective of the size of the business unit. It is absolutely essential for a successful business sale. In fact, to sell the business at its optimum price, the entrepreneur should keep it confidential.
It is true to state that every word will be public when such decisions are taken, however when, what and how much of information is to be made public, should be at the sole discretion of the business owner himself.
1. Letting the news out, apart from creating uncertainty, can pose following threats
An entrepreneur may want to hurriedly complete the selling process, owing to employee attrition, negative rumors by competitors etc. which in turn will cost him as the sale price will drastically fall.
If the business is known to be for sale for too long, it leads to a reduction in selling price as the market tends to develop a perception that things are not on track leading to no prospective buyers.
An entrepreneur should ensure that the business continues effectively, as always.
In order to maintain confidentiality, an entrepreneur should hire a professional/business broker who understands the importance of the sale process and markets the business in an appropriate manner. He can also feed the right and necessary information to buyers, and thereby smoothen the process. He can post Blind Ads, Listings etc., pre-qualify, and register buyer prospects and finally release information in phases. A broker ensures that only serious buyers are dealt with thereby the best deal comes forward. If buyers cannot share the reason of them being interested in the deal, or the amount of liquid cash available with them, or provide references of their business credibility, they are not considered as serious buyers.
2. Blind Ads
They basically camouflage the identity of a business unit. It is a difficult task as the words of the advertisement are to be cautiously chosen. Blind Ads or listings should carry information in a balanced manner, as too little information will keep buyers away and too much information can run into confidentiality issues. This is the simplest and most common way to make sure that no one knows that the entrepreneur is selling his setup.
3. Pre-Qualify Buyer Prospects
This is indeed the best way to keep confidentiality of the business intact. Even before the first advertisement appears the broker or the hired professional has to screen the prospective buyers. These buyers are serious shoppers.
4. Register Buyer Prospects
At this stage the confidentiality agreement/non-disclosure agreement is signed between the buyer and seller. Every buyer must sign the confidentiality agreement, before detailed information or sensitive financial data is provided to him. A confidentiality agreement should be mutual and help maintain confidentiality of information, prohibiting the buyer from making disclosures to others about the business transaction; also it should ensure that confidential information is being used only for evaluating potential acquisition. Some prospective buyers may request to meet employees, however, an entrepreneur should attempt to persuade them to meet employees after the deal is finalized. Employees can meet the new management who can in turn provide job security.
5. Information Release
This strategy helps retain prospective buyers and helps create a desire to know more about the business. It helps in building the sale price.
Entrepreneurs who decide not to hire a broker may create a separate e-mail id to address the buyer’s inquiries. A non-business e-mail address will help disguise the identity of the seller. A selling memorandum is to be prepared so that the confidentiality agreement is signed by the prospective buyer. Very few employees are to be involved in the said process, if at all necessary. All the meetings, with respect to the sale, are to be held after business hours or at an offsite location.
6. Upfront disclosures can help build trust with the buyers and can prove to be an asset in the later stage.
In case the news of a sale of the business is out, then the entrepreneur without panicking should deal with it firmly. He should explain to his employees that such a deal will only secure their future, suppliers / customers will continue to stay with the business if they like the product/service offering as they have the least interest in the business owner, and finally there is no control over the rumors doing rounds in the market as spread by a company’s competitors, irrespective of the decision of sale being known to them or not. Also in case the information is out, then the entrepreneur should decide whether to accept the truth or deflect the question until one is ready to accept the same. Further there are several remedies, in a legal course, in case of breach of confidentiality. A business owner should think like a buyer when preparing to sell the unit.
It is thus concluded that the news of selling a business is best kept confidential, in the interest of the seller himself. Confidentiality is to be maintained till the day the transaction is closed.
It is a fact that out of the businesses that reach on the market for sale , only 30% succeed in selling their business at the desired price by the seller. It is very important that you ensure a reasonable price for yourself while finalizing a deal or else you may not only lose potential buyers but even lose the opportunity to get a good price for your business.
The following information would help you a lot in order to evaluate a business in a smart way-
Assimilate information for the base value of the property
It is always good to explore the nearby area in order to find a similar type of business and the price tag adjacent to it. It will help you understand the real worth of the business that you are dealing.
It is critical to making a proper examination of the assets. It is best properly to analyze the liquidation value of the business when all the tangible assets like equipments, property, furniture and inventory sold.
The income capitalization is also a very concrete approach. The method forecasts the existence of the business operation even subsequent to its sale. It presages the future revenue out of the business on the basis of the past track record of the business in the market. It will take into account the operating costs and all the miscellaneous expenditures. There are various websites in Australia like Businesses2sell that can help you gain exposure for your business from potential buyers and receive buyers interest. Although if you value your business poorly then not only will you lose a lot of money but you risk not being able to sell your business at all.
The evaluation of the cash flow
There is a model that can decisively help you in the same regard. It is called SCDF or seller’s discretionary cash flow. It renders the right measure of a particular business’s net worth. But it is noteworthy that the model only works for the ventures that are owner-operated. The majority of the franchise operations and the small scale businesses fall in the same category. For larger scale businesses, this model can become complicated.
The steps that you are needed to follow this model given below-
Start with the business earnings ahead of taxes.
Add expenditures that not associated with operating costs. Deduct revenue from the sources that not related to the business operations. Please incorporate one-type-only expenditure and deduct one-time-only earnings.
Include the expenditures related to depreciation and the interest payment. If the business has any revenue out of the interest, then subtract the same.
Include the overall compensation of the present owner. In the case of multiple owners, it is best to choose one.
Make an assessment of the price and multiply the SCDF figure obtained by the market multiple. It will help you to arrive at the ideal market price of the business.
Don’t forget the double verification of everything. It is important to account each asset and every single dollar that come in and go out of the company. Don’t forget to add which is not visible in the fiscal record.
Factors related to the terms of sale:
It is imperative to recognize the difference between the cash and credit. It is a general fact that when a seller is demanding cash, then he or she will go for a lower closing figure. Similarly, a potential buyer offering direct cash transfer would like to settle in for a lower price.
It is imperative to be familiar with balancing monthly payments via the down payment. A substantial sum of money down at the commencement of a financing agreement, a buyer can ensure smaller monthly payments. It will simply result in more income out of the business on per month basis.
If the organization is competent enough to execute its overall strategy, then it is not hard to trace the productivity of the business to an effective level. Besides, it is vital for any business to have highly productive and engaged employees ready to involve in brainstorming sessions to precisely implement the strategic objectives of the organization.
It is a fact that each and every employee varies in terms of performance efficiency. But the question is, how is it feasible for a business enterprise to calculate whether the concerned employees are working as per their true potential or not? Interested to read more? Check the following steps that can help you get better business productivity!
Business software can help!
The execution of corporate strategies every day can be a tiresome process. That is the reason in order to increase the business productivity; you can take the help of a credible business software. It will enable a swift communication of the strategy, a greater rate of project completion, and enabling the spending more time on the strategic priorities.
Creation of a communicative and open environment
The performance appraisal information related to the employees can locate centrally in an official online framework. It will help the managers to create quantifiable goals for their respective employees and ascertain a greater visibility of the performance.
Besides, bestowing the engaged and energized employees with flexible working hours can also help in increasing the productivity.
Virtual connection of the teams with the company
You can create the portals of the employees as well as the team sites to enhance the productivity of the workforce across the organization. With the help of technology, the employees can easily reach for the colleagues working on similar projects and can resolve their queries in no time.
The managers can track the progress on the basis of the information assimilated online and can conduct performance evaluations of reward opportunities. The managers can also redirect employees to other departments if their business productivity is better out there.
It is also important to ascertain that your current employees never shun the significance of learning. It is always vital to learn new skills at a time to time basis so that they can confront the ever-changing business demands. It is very important to note that happy, alert and motivated employees are a great asset to a company. It would be great if you can encourage them with both non-monetary and monetary incentives.
Performance assessment and conclusion
With the help of the latest technology, it is not hard for the business executives and managers to access analytical reports and performance metrics. As the reports and metrics are reliable, they enable to design or redesign the strategies of business.
Yes, it is true that in today’s competitive scenario, it is hard for the businesses to maintain an ideal workforce retention. But, it is also not impossible to achieve a thread of highly prolific, engaged and loyal employees. The appreciation of the hard work and effective communication with the employees can not only increase business productivity but also help them to know how much valuable they are for the company.