Selling your business is a big decision that you should not undertake without expert insight. While you might be a highly successful business owner, odds are good that you’re a novice when it comes to the ins and outs of selling a business. The right m&a advisory team levels the playing field by giving you sound advice and negotiating on your behalf.
At the minimum, you need a lawyer and an accountant who specialize in M&A. It may also be wise to get a general advisor, sometimes called an M&A advisor, broker, or investment banker. These labels apply generally to the same role, though the specific tasks vary a bit.
Your advisor is an intermediary who acts on your behalf to see the deal through. No two are exactly alike. Some open bidding to everyone, while others shop the deal to only a select few. Some prepare everything for you, negotiate the transaction, and manage due diligence. Others merely put the business on the market. What you pay depends largely on how much help you need.
It’s important to begin your search by honestly assessing what you need. Don’t be naive or excessively optimistic, planning to do it all on your own. Managing a deal easily tacks on an additional 20-40 hours to your work week. So figure out which work you can shift to someone else, and then critically assess what you need. Begin your search by asking yourself the following questions:
If you feel confident that you can do this all on your own, without taking time and attention away from your business, then you might not need an intermediary. Otherwise, it’s time to make a list of the specific tasks with which you need help and begin interviewing advisors who can support you with those tasks. Be clear about your expectations and ends. This is the only way to ensure you get a great fit.
Great intermediaries deeply and fully understand the businesses they represent. They prepare their clients to manage the challenges of selling and work with their clients to address problems early. So choose someone who can listen, who can give you advice specific to your business model, and who has a keen understanding of your niche market.