There are entrepreneurs who like to start one business at a time and focus on new challenges after profitability. Others start a business and run it until they retire. There are also those who have a strong idea but do not have the entrepreneurial vocation and plan the company from the start with the search for buyers in mind. However, regardless of their profile and circumstances, when the time comes to sell their business, everyone will want to get the highest possible price for the business.

But for that wish to come true, it’s not enough to just hang up the For Sale sign and wait for the suitors to knock on your door. “In a sales negotiation, 99% of the time, preparation is the key,” he says. Enrique BurntCEO of the company One to one, specializing in advising on the sale of family businesses. In fact, experience shows that developing a sales strategy has to be something that has to start well before contacting a buyer.

choose the moment well
The first thing to note is that the value of a company will differ depending on when you launch it: a startup that bears fruit for a lifetime, although there are also shocks, is not the same as one consolidated company that you don’t expect a hit from, but they guarantee a percentage of the profit.

In terms of playing cards, selling for pleasure is not the same as doing it because you are overwhelmed with debt or you can’t keep up with the competition.

You decide… Given these uncertainties, Quemada points this out “One mistake business people make is to sell the business to the first person who makes an offer.” if, as recommended, “You should be the one leading the process and look for whoever can pay more for it“.

…but don’t expect too much. An example of a well-considered decision about when and to whom to sell is the case of the businessman Gonzalo de la Ciervafounder of mobile phone, mobile phone. At the beginning of the last decade, this company entered the content and mobile application business and quickly became successful. Previously, De la Cierva had business experience at Icon Medialab, with which he experienced both the dot-com boom and bust. After seeing Icon Medialab’s stock collapse 99.7%, he learned not to wait too long to sell.

In the case of Movilisto, when the time came, he and his partners sought a buyer who suited their needs and struck a deal for four times the company’s profits. However be Aware that it still had a lot of room for growth, they decided to remain at the helm of the resulting company with 50% of the capital. “The best time to sell –says De la Cierva today– it is the precise point at which a company moves from its development phase to its maturity phase, but since that is impossible to know, sooner rather than later.” Among other things, because your company is attractive to the buyer, “doesn’t have a tour yet”.

Just as important as an attractive product is knowing how to find someone who is interested and willing to pay for it. Instead of announcing your availability to the four winds, you should therefore study potential buyers in peace and pay attention to the synergies that may exist. Also prepare a sales dossier to send to prospects, explaining what your company is, its activities, its history and the keys that make it stand out, as well as an evaluation about it.

Investigate companies with activities similar to yoursbut which are implanted, for example, in another market that can grow with you thanks to a merger (this was the case with the aforementioned Movilisto, which added the Latin American and Anglo-Saxon market by joining the British iTouch).

In this process Don’t forget to check who’s recently shopped at the market. If you cannot find a suitable buyer in direct competition, another logical option would be to sound out your suppliers and customers. As Quemada recalls, that “Look around 360°” and studying similar operations will help you have an indication of what price the sales are moving at.

And play interesting. Before sitting down to negotiate, it is convenient to agree on more than one applicant. “This must be communicated to the candidates without giving names because when there is only one, he often perceives that he is alone and can play this situation in his favor by enforcing the conditions.”Point Franz WendtCEO of the specialist in buying and selling companies GD&A Business Brokers.

company management