Benchmark Business Group

Buyers Love Consistency

October 22, 2018

Run your business like you're going to sell it - Sell your business like you're going to keep it.

Until you can slap a SOLD sign on your business, you need to run it like you're going to keep it. Buyers love consistency and will pay top dollar for it! Any hint of a decrease in the key activities that determine the success of your business will be a red flag to buyers. 

Once they decide to sell, some business owners are tempted to work a little less. Naturally, they may be so ready to move on that their mind isn't on the business, or they may become distracted from day-to-day operations by the sale process. However, when you go to sell your business it's imperative to be vigilant that the key activities of your business are staying consistent, or better yet, improving.

Run it like you're going to keep it is a critical point-of-view for a seller to adopt. It can take months for an interested, qualified buyer to come along and, once they appear, you want to ensure they are looking at a healthy, vibrant company that is exceeding, or maintaining past performance. 

Throughout the time your business is listed for sale, you will need to execute your marketing campaigns and develop customer relationships as you normally would. Any decline in business performance is a red flag for buyers.

Even after the buyer signs a definitive agreement, when you might think you can relax, there are usually several more months until a closing can take place. During that time you will most likely be contractually obligated to "operate the business in the usual manner," while the buyer and their team examine your business in the process known as due diligence.

Now is the time to put on your Buyer's Glasses and consider the key activities for your business to stay on track to hold or increase its value to buyers. Key activities will include:
  • Increasing or maintaining lead activity and advertising
  • Increasing or maintaining your market share, closing ratio and number of new customers
  • Ensuring sales meet, or better yet, exceed past performance
  • Maintaining or exceeding the amount per sale average
  • Preserving your key clients
  • Maintaining your level of customer service
  • Reducing employee turnover
  • Keeping your inventory at an acceptable level
  • Maintaining key vendor relationships
  • Engaging customers and prospects online
  • And last, but definitely not least, keeping your financial records up to date and clean
Any indication that your business is not consistently producing, or is experiencing difficulty, will cause buyers to question its ongoing viability as well as the asking price.

If you have any question about how your business brings you maximum value, discover the 8 Drivers of Value and find out how ready your business is to sell - get your Value builder Score.

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