A question we are often asked is: ‘What is my company worth’?
Good question, and an answer not easily answered for a number of factors – but one that can be easily resolved is – ‘well, what do you plan to sell, build, acquire, in the next year?’
It is striking how many small businesses have no idea what they will sell or buy in the coming year. The old saying; “if you don’t know where you are going, you will never know if you’ve arrived” definitely applies. There’s a reason they keep score in hockey games. And bankers and investors alike all what to know what your company is capable of doing.
The answer is to prepare a Proforma plan on your business. A forward looking document, plan, or budget that outlines the financial performance expected from your business in the coming year, two years, three years, etc. – you get the idea. Having a proforma plan takes the ‘hope’ out of business and creates a mind-set of achievement.
Riata has put together several proforma documents for many clients. These are excellent for informing your banker of what your plan is in coming period. Sometimes the outcome isn’t always positive – but as we’ve all learned banks don’t appreciate surprises. They can live with good news (obviously) and even bad news provided they know the business has a PLAN. What’s your plan?
Give us a call. We can help you develop one.
As you prepare yourself and your business for sale, several questions need to be asked including – are you ready for a sale?
Questions to ask before selling your business:
- Are you contemplating a share purchase or asset sale?
- Do I have the proper statements and financial documents to provide to a potential buyer?
- Are my financial statements and Assets statements ‘clean’?
- Have I prepared a company resume?
- Where should I promote my business to maximize the appropriate exposure?
- Ask yourself – what would I want to see if I was purchasing the business to both understand the nature of the business and how to justify a selling (buying) price?
The key question – we asked it at the start – are you really ready to sell your business? If you’re not convinced, neither will be the buyer as they will sense your hesitation.
Remember, buyers need to see, and sense, that the business has a strong future and worthy of investment. How you portray business while remaining true to fact – will draw in the right buyer. Still unsure? Contact us today to get on the right track.
Business owners often look to their own operations with a sense of pride and love. This attitude while serviced from the passion of providing good service, does not translate well to potential buyer without a good foundational explanation of what your company does and has achieved. In the same way a job seeker needs to outline his or her achievements, so should a business looking to sell itself highlight its achievements, and strengths? If you were the buyer what intrinsic and extrinsic elements would you focus on?
Your business is more than the sum of the financial statements. A business includes staff members, a loyal client list, production or service experience, and often trademarks, patents or unique ideas. How do you tell your own story? What are the elements of a good corporate resume?
- A business descriptor – what does the business do, how is it unique, key achievements. Brag about how your company is skilled in its execution.
- Financial summary – top line highlights of the business over the past 5 years. The current year should be estimated though to year-end. Remember – we are only ‘teasing’ the potential buyer. Release what you feel comfortable with – but releasing to little will not qualify potential buyers, releasing too much means they will make assumptions and not ask for more detail and you will miss the opportunity for a personal discussion.
- Examples of products and service performed – a discussion of what the business does – include visuals where possible.
- Assets held or key engagements – a demonstration of what the business holds or controls along with any special skills.
- Strategic plans or future prospects – comment on the industry, where your company fits and how any purchaser could benefit from growing the business or capturing it within their own
- Closing comments and identifying the key people to be contacted.
Just like a personal resume in a competitive job hunt – your information will be viewed quickly. You only have one chance to make a positive impression and capture a potential buyer’s interest. Putting together a proper company resume demonstrates you are serious, have a current and future plan, and are a business worth possessing.
Riata can assist in preparing your corporate resume and include those key elements that ensure it gets noticed and generates interest from a variety of sources. We can help you prepare your document AND circulate it – confidentially if needed – to a North American wide audience. Contact us today!