5 Golden Rules for Successful Business Sales
Published 19/12/2019
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Over the years, we’ve helped sell a lot of businesses and learned important lessons in the process – achieving an 80% business sales success rate along the way. In supporting many businesses through the sales process, we’ve distilled key elements which ensure successful business sales: we call them the 5 Golden Rules – and here they are:
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1. Research, research, research

We appreciate that no two businesses are alike, and the same principle applies to potential buyers. That’s why our approach to research is based on asking quality questions to yield quality results. We develop a clear understanding of each business seller we work with, combined with our extensive market insights and experience, while keeping the potential buyers’ perspective in mind.

2. We don’t waste time with tyre kickers

You know the type: they respond to your ‘car for sale’ ad and arrive looking keen, and full of suspiciously aimless questions. Then they rummage under the bonnet, check the steering and beep the horn a few times before disappearing without a trace, having had no intention to buy in the first place. We avoid this frustrating outcome by managing initial offers from potential buyers, before arranging for them to meet with you. This ensures that only serious buyers get your time.

3. Clear heads of terms

It’s important for all parties to clearly determine their objectives for the business to be sold successfully. Our Heads of Terms provide a clear outline for buyers to address the issues that matter to them in the sale of their business and find the right deal structure. Clarifying the interests of all parties from the outset avoids uncertainty further down the line and helps the sale process to go through as smoothly as possible.

4. Managing the transaction to keep legal costs down

Selling a business can be a costly process – and for business sellers, controlling costs to maximise the sale proceeds is a priority. Legal fees can easily pile up and spin out of control if not carefully managed. We help keep legal costs to a minimum with a well-defined transaction process, ensuring that time spent on legal issues is used efficiently and effectively.

5. Maintaining business as usual

Managing the business sales process while maintaining ‘business as usual’ can be taxing on your time and energy. You may have already started envisaging your plans for your life – post sale but in the meantime, the demands of managing staff, dealing with customers and generating revenues still remain. Our hands-on approach ensures that we work closely with you, supporting you through the process to help your business sell well.

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About The Author

Hornblower specializes in business sales and acquisitions for the Engineering, Technology and B2B services, and Facilities Management sectors. Typical clients have a turnover of £750k to £15m. With offices in London, Nottingham, Bristol and Dublin we operate across the UK and internationally. Our main activity is selling businesses. We also provide valuations and carry out targeted acquisition searches.

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