5 Traits of an Effective Business Sale Process

These brief tips are all intended to maximize the purchase price, ensure an efficient sale process and increase the likelihood of closing a deal the first time and on time.

Be disciplined. Do what you say you’ll do, when you say that you’ll do it. If you don’t have time to prioritize the sale process, either hire advisors or wait until you do have time. Whatever action you decide to take during the sale process, you need to stick to the plan.

Be up-front and work hard. Be forthcoming with potential deal issues that will be uncovered later. It will save you time and money to disclose early and often rather than deal with issues later in the process. Most sellers expect the buyer to do the hard work. In the best sale transactions, however, the seller’s team work at least as hard as the buyer’s team and will conduct pre-emptive analysis and due diligence in advance of going to market.

Be organized. If you don’t have a detailed plan and system to organize the sale process at the start, you won’t get a chance to get back on track. You need to accurately track every document, discussion, agreement, deal point etc. once the sale process has started. A little extra work up front will pay dividends in the long run. The alternative is to appear confused and disorganized to the buyer, which reflects poorly on you and the company that you’re trying to sell.

Be honest and keep your word. This is critical to both parties in a transaction. Given the innumerable deal points to agree upon, both sides need to grow in confidence and trust the other party throughout the sale process to have any chance of getting to the finish line and closing the deal. Also, don’t try and hide any issues from prospective buyers, from your advisors or from any other party to the transaction.

Be simple and straightforward. Make sure that every document, spreadsheet or data file is concise and simple to process for a fresh set of eyes. You need to work hard to avoid misinterpretation and ensure that both sides are fully informed in the clearest way possible