a man gives keys to a womanIf at some time now or in the future you want to sell your business, there are some things that a potential buyer really wants to see (other than financials that look good). Aside from the financial numbers, inventory, etc. these things will make your business much more attractive to buyers compared to others they look at:

The 5 ingredients

  1. A documented management process that clearly shows that the business will run when you are gone (and how) with history included in that process.
  2. A structured and proven industry specific sales process showing that a new salesperson can easily be hired and trained, and that they’ll fit into the formal process and succeed.
  3. An up-to-date system that they can easily learn and continue to use.  This should hold all data around customers, accounts, quotes, orders, leads, salespeople, salesperson performance & other data where everything is managed.
  4. Detailed management reports that answer the “Why” and “What” questions. The key here is that the REPORT tells the story. Not the manager.  Here are some examples of important answers:
    • “When we don’t win business, “Why” aren’t we winning it?
    • “Why” are sales up (or down) over the past 6 months?
    • “Why” are some of our salespeople not performing as well as others?
    • “What” would allow my salespeople to sell more?
    • “Why” are customers coming from predominantly one segment of the market?
  5. An easy paperless transition. If the prospective buyer realizes that to answer any question about previous jobs that were done he has to go to a file cabinet or a box of paper, that’s a big strike against you. We’re in the 21st century. All that information should be easily located in your industry software.

Hopefully if you’ve deciding to sell you business, it’s because you’ve had a great run and you want to go out on top. Even if you’re selling at the bottom, the principles are the same. If you’ve made it this far, kudos to you for weathering tough times and staying afloat. Now that you’re looking to sell the business, take the time to make sure these 5 ingredients are visible to any potential buyer. You’ll end up with a sweeter deal if they’re apparent.