When times are tough, business owners start to cut back on expenses. This can effectively save money and bridge the gap between incoming and outgoing cash flow. But, there is a right way and a wrong way to save money. When owners do it the wrong way, they end up costing themselves far more than they saved, and this is especially true for people getting ready to sell their business.
If you are considering selling your business in the next twelve months, you should not reduce expenses related to updating and maintaining business records. This means no DIY accounting, no skipping legal advice, and no eliminating financial advisors. Read on to learn how scaling back in these areas could cost you.
Did you know that accurate accounting records can help increase the value of your business? This is critical when you are planning to sell. Accurate accounting records make it easy for buyers to evaluate the
- Income and expense history,
- Assets and liabilities, and
- Financial health of the business.
When working with potential buyers, presenting accounting records in a transparent and verifiable way shows the value of the business, and it goes a long way in helping them to obtain funding. As you prepare your business for sale, a qualified accountant can provide an income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement. Buyers need to review this information before they can make a reasonable offer.
Over the past few years, more buyers have requested review engagements from accountants. A review engagement is a thorough examination of financial information used to provide limited assurance that the data is correct. These documents are helpful when the buyer needs a loan for $300,000 or more. Some buyers are unwilling to move forward with the transaction without a review engagement.
An accountant can also help owners determine the financial and tax implications of selling their business by reviewing considerations like
- A share sale versus an asset sale,
- Personal tax liability, and
- Proper reporting on personal and business tax returns.
Lawyers can be expensive, but their expertise is worth it when selling a business. There are two important ways that lawyers help owners sell their business. The first is ensuring the business is compliant with industry-specific regulations and legislation. Selling a business not in compliance can have significant legal and financial ramifications.
Lawyers must also draft, review, and execute paperwork throughout the process. This includes offers, counteroffers, business transition details, financial documents, licensing, contracts, and final payment terms. Skimping on any of these steps can cause a deal to fall through and cost the business owner money. In worst-case scenarios, it can lead to legal proceedings that waste valuable time and resources.
The right financial advice can take a business for sale from precarious to successful! A qualified financial advisor will analyze the business’s overall health and help owners optimize different areas. They review things like
- Inventory levels,
- Obsolete stock,
- Current inventory turnover,
- Staffing levels, and
- Overall efficiencies and barriers to growth.
Working with a financial advisor helps business owners to focus on improving finances and ensure changes are properly documented.
Without these key players, you may lose money during business operations and when you try to sell. After helping you get the right team of advisors in place, a qualified business broker can mitigate some of these losses and enhance your return on investment by
- Providing strategic recommendations to improve the saleability of the business,
- Eliminating barriers to a successful sale,
- Determining the accurate market value of the business,
- Providing education and expertise on vendor financing,
- Working with your lawyer and accountant to draft a vendor financing agreement that benefits all parties, and
- Determining the next steps for an eventual sale by comparing market conditions with the current state of the business.
Selling a business is a team effort, and each member adds significant value. Eliminating any of these players is like benching your star quarterback right before the championship game! Instead of considering these services as expenses, reframe them as investments that will pay a return when you sell your business. If you are considering selling your business, get in touch to learn more about how we can help.