Anyone want to buy a business?

The Globe and Mail, WALLACE IMMEN, had a good article on Succession:

Marketability is a particular issue for companies with enterprise values below $30-million, according to business broker Mike Haines, managing partner of M & A Network in Oakville, Ont.. “Retail is the most hard hit and hardest to sell, along with restaurants. No one really wants to get into labour intensive properties that have minimal returns and face risks due to rising transportation costs.”
You have to reconfigure the business so it runs smoothly without you, he advised. “One of the best measures of a good business is if the owner can go away for three months and the business can still continue to operate smoothly and the customers don’t miss the owner. That’s what a buyer wants to see.”
A strategy that can pay significant dividends is to bring in an investor to give the business a boost, suggested Jacoline Loewen, director of Crosbie., in Toronto. “The advice we give is five to 10 years before you want to sell, bring in strategic investors or private equity, that will buy a portion of the business,” typically about 30 per cent, she said.
“It’s a really good discipline for owners, because many entrepreneurs are used to having everyone agreeing with them because they have all the power. Sole owners also find it hard to believe that someone else would take the business and grow it far beyond what they’re doing currently. An equity owner will ask questions and look for efficiencies and ways to grow the business, Ms. Loewen explained.
“It may be the first time an owner is challenged to quantify their success and go through a comprehensive strategy process, she said. You’d be amazed how few small-business owners have figured out their key performance indicators and what drives the success of the business.”

1 comment:

Business Sales Training Programs said...

Very informative- thank you!! What I would like to have seen included in your article are examples. Sometimes visualizing how your suggestions/advise are put into action would be helpful.