Selling Your Business – Make a Best Deal For You and Buyer

Selling your business is more a function of the right sales approach than a marketing strategy alone. Your decision to sell is taken on the basis of some information, including business valuation, timing, existing market conditions and pricing, etc.

Selling your business

Though there are different parameters to ensure you get the best possible deal out of selling your business, there are several common areas that business owners need to cover first. At times, you may need to radically change the way you look at the entire process of the sale. This is especially true if you are selling in conditions less than attractive. Less than attractive could be in any form:

Poor market conditions; chances of getting a poor deal
The business you want to sell belongs to a niche industry; there are not many takers for it
You have not been able to get it evaluated well enough; as a result, the price you are getting for it is not very good
You feel the business will not grow and will eventually lose the vision you had for it

Apart from the common reasons listed above, there is a lesser-explored area involving selling your business.

Not having enough confidence

To be able to make an effective sale, you may need to change your strategy completely, followed by a new sales talk plan. This may include facing investor queries or finance-related queries by the new buyer. Remember that with information freely available on the internet now, you cannot pull off false information. If needed, go over accounting details of your business with key people before you face potential buyers. When selling your business, remember to be well informed and armed with any details that buyers may want to know.

Understand your buyer’s needs

To be successful, sales pitches need to be structured around the customer’s or potential buyer’s needs. When you choose to sell your business, don’t look at the market for prices alone; analyze information requests carefully and consider whether your business would match the needs of a potential buyer. That way, both parties are assured of a good deal. Also, make it clear to your buyer that you understand their point of view. This generates faith and goodwill as well.

Negotiate well

Remember, even the potential buyer is out looking for a good business deal. Negotiation is a double-edged sword. Try too hard, and you risk scaring the buyer; don’t push too much and the buyer will wonder if there is something ‘hidden’ in the deal.

Practice your pitch

Gather all the data you plan to present to a potential buyer and then practice your pitch well. Sometimes simple techniques such as those used during story telling can help you make the perfect pitch. Practice is important because that way you will not be caught unawares in your sales pitch.

Once you finalize on the decision of selling your business well, if you are not confident about any aspect of the process, such as negotiating well or evaluating your business’ worth, consider calling in a professional to help you with it.

Knowing What to Expect When Winding Up a Business

Winding up a business can be a confusing and detailed procedure. Whether you’re a company director or you belong to a company that is struggling financially, getting to know the process and understanding exactly what is involved can appear daunting.

Winding Up a Business

The first thing to do as a company director is find a company with extensive experience when it comes to company debt, someone who can help you create a business rescue plan to work on the process moving forward. How you proceed will be determined on a number of factors, including whether you’re a private company, a public company, if you have chosen liquidation voluntarily or whether you are being forced into liquidation.

There is member’s voluntary liquidation or MVL, this is when the company is still solvent and is still in the position to repay its debts before closing the doors. This is suitable when you realise that your company may not have a future or may have simply ran its natural course. Typically an MVL is used to release cash or valuable assets from the company in a tax efficientmanner. You must also be exceptionally careful when signing the director’s resolution, the Declaration of Solvency when filing for members voluntary liquidation. Any falsified information can have very severe consequences. It is your responsibility to ensure that all the information provided when submitting your application is accurate and true.

The second option is creditor’s voluntary liquidation or CVL, this is when the company is officially insolvent. A company becomes insolvent when it can no longer pay its bills or its liabilities, including contingent liabilities outweigh its assets. So, in simple terms selling off all the company assets would not completely repay the company creditors. During the winding up of a business, you will have engaged the services of an insolvency practitioner who becomes the liquidator once approved by the creditors. What many company directors don’t realise is that the liquidator actually acts on behalf of the creditors not the directors and will take over the entire company from the minute the liquidation process starts. Your main priority and legal responsibility is to provide the liquidator with all the information, bank statements, invoices and more that they need to close the business successfully.

When winding up a business you will find that once the assets have been sold and the liquidator has collected all the cash, all your secured debts will be paid in the first instance. From here your employees will be paid and then the remainder will be shared out among your unsecured debts.

Be very careful if you have signed any personal guarantees on any debts for the business, which is quite a common undertaking in the business world. If you have, you should seek professional rescue/insolvency advice as soon as possible preferably prior to engaging a liquidator.

It is critical to understand that once engaged the liquidator will act on behalf of the creditors of the company and is not allowed by law to act on the directors behalf. There is a duty of care where personal guarantees are involved but can be easily overlooked in the heat of liquidation. Where there are personal guarantees or other personal concerns technically these should be placed on the back burner. The key is to speak to a turnaround or company insolvency consultant who is allowed to look after and advise you on your personal matters throughout the liquidation.

Business Analysis – All You Need to Know

Business Analysis can be a confusing, vast topic; especially if you haven’t come across the term much before. The purpose of this article is to explain all the basics regarding business analysis in a clear and easy to understand manner.

What is Business Analysis?

The first and most important part of the article is determining exactly what business analysis is. Put simply, business analysis is a research process that identifies needs and aids solution development. A person this role is referred to as a business analyst or BA as it is often abbreviated.

One key thing to remember is that business analysis isn’t an action, but a process. What that means is that business analysis is an on-going procedure. The reason for this is that the competitive landscape is ever changing, so information must be refreshed regularly to ensure accuracy.

How do I become a Business Analyst?

Business analysis can be an interesting and varied career choice, and therefore it is only natural that this is a common question. Fortunately, there is a number of ways in which one can become a BA. The best route depends on life situation and previous level of education.

The first option is to study for a BCS Business Analysis Diploma. The course is designed to allow those who undertake it to develop skills that are relevant to both the individual and their organisation. This course is aimed at current busines and IT professionals. This course is commonly referred to as an ISEB Business Analysis Diploma.

If you have less experience, or you’re changing career paths entirely then a foundation certificate in Business Analysis is a good place to start. These courses are designed to provide people with the foundations of knowledge required to pursue a career in Business Analysis. As with the diploma mentioned earlier, the course can be studied in a variety of locations or even solely online.

University is another option. Although business analysis isn’t commonly offered as a standalone course at undergraduate level, it is more common as a postgraduate option. A postgraduate business analysis course has its pros and cons. Firstly, it is likely to be a more in depth look at business analysis as on average they require a year of full time study, and this is likely to qualify you for higher starting positions. On the negative side of things, university courses cost a lot of money and if you aren’t being funded by a company, you have to finance postgraduate courses yourself.

Common Methods of Business Analysis

Some people are shocked to discover that they have dabbled in analysis before and it is likely you have too, especially if you have ever studied business/marketing (or a related subject) at school, college, sixth form or University.

The SWOT analysis is one of the more common forms of business analysis. The purpose of a SWOT is to analyse the internal and external factors that are affecting your business or a competitor. This is done by examining strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. By doing this you are able to get a fairly detailed portrayal of the current market.

PESTLE is another common analysis technique. PESTLE is an acronym that stands for Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal and Environmental. The purpose of PESTLE is to examine the external macro environment in order to identify potential factors that could affect the market or company operations.

MOST is also a common analysis technique. It is similar to the PESTLE analysis except its purpose is to analyse the internal environment rather than the external environment. Like PESTLE, MOST is an acronym standing for Mission, Objectives, Strategies and Tactics.

Any demonstratable experience can be beneficial in a job interview. So, no matter how small it may seem, it’s always worth mentioning.

What does being a BA involve?

The role of a BA can vary depending on the industry in which you are working in. Generally speaking, though, a BA is responsible for identifying areas in which a company requires change, assessing the impact of those changes and then develop solutions to implement changes. Business analysts are often required to work to short, inflexible deadlines and to do this they must be calm under pressure and excellent communicators. They must also be good at solving problems, as the problems facing Business Analysts are often complex in nature.