Your Business Exit Strategy: 5 Options for Finding a Potential Buyer

Your Business Exit Strategy: 5 Options for Finding a Potential Buyer

Question: What options do I have when looking for potential buyers for my business?

When you begin to plan your business exit strategy, there are several options you can use to identify potential buyers in the marketplace or within your company. These succession planning strategies will make this task much easier, as you begin to plan your transition in a new life.

Here are the 5 options that I’ve recommended to business owners in the past.

1. Sell Your Business to a Family Successor

Do you have a brother or sister, son or daughter, or even niece or nephew in the business? Any family members working in the company are potential candidates to become the new owner of your business. Even an inexperienced younger relative can be groomed to take on a management role over time if they have the aptitude and the motivation.

If you are passing your business on to someone in your family, make sure they are the right fit for the organization. Do they have enough experience to make smart decisions for the company? Will they be able to earn the respect of the employees? Make sure you consider these questions before finalizing your decision.

2. Internal Management Buyout

Do you have any competent and motivated managers in your organization? If you think one or more of them could be a good fit as your successor, you may want to arrange an internal management buyout (MBO). This common exit strategy allows for a smooth transition to new ownership and reduced risk to the business.

What is a management buyout? An internal buyout happens when a company’s management team pools resources to acquire all or part of the business from the current owner. Funding can be leveraged from company assets or secured through other sources. As with any transition, it is essential to put a good succession plan in place beforehand.

3. Sell to Someone Not in the Business

There are many avenues to find a potential buyer who is not currently in the business, but the best way is to go through the experts. You may be able to secure a good buyer through simple word of mouth. At the same time, openly advertising your business as ‘for sale’ can be detrimental to its brand image. Reach out to get in touch with our Preferred Transaction Team, which includes M&A Specialists and other experts able to tap into huge networks of potential buyers.

4. Sell to a Strategic Buyer

Selling to a strategic buyer can be a straightforward business exit strategy. But what is a strategic buyer? Basically, any business in your industry or a related industry that is looking to increase its market share or get into a new market. If you have a major competitor, then they will almost certainly be a potential strategic buyer. Consider what businesses could benefit from your business’ assets in the long term. Find ways to make your company more valuable to these strategic buyers by working on your organization’s assets in the meantime.

5. Sell to an Investor

If your business offers good profits or stability in the long term, then it could be appealing to an investor such as a private equity group or another financial buyer. These companies may want to invest in all or part of your business, in which case they can be combined with a second option. Implement a business value planning strategy to make yourself appealing to financial buyers and use our Preferred Transaction Team to connect with potential investors.

All of these possibilities for your business exit strategy can be a good fit, depending on your situation. Contact me for an experienced assessment of your business and advice on selecting the right option.

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