Painting an exit plan!

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Published: 6 Apr 2016

What has painting & decorating to do with selling a company?

No, I “have not gone off my rocker”!

You see, if I am intending to sell my house and notice that the paintwork on the outside is fading or chipped and the decorating on the inside could, to use the current phrase, “do with a makeover”, I really need to spend some time, effort and money to put the house into proper order.

This preparatory work should ensure the best possible price for the house and lessen the risk of the sale falling through. That may mean more than just a coat of gloss and wallpapering over the cracks!

It is exactly the same with selling a company.

A review needs to be carried out on all aspects of a company’s operations before seriously looking for potential buyers. This means that you need to draw up a plan to make the company ready for sale to the sort of buyer you have in mind.

This plan can take up to 6-18 months to execute, before you look to sell or appoint sale agents. It is not just a question of reviewing “the financials”, but it also includes reviewing all operational matters, HR issues, marketing plans, and how agreements with customers and suppliers may be affected-to name but a few.

There are two workable options:

  1. You may consider that a member or members of your management team could assist you with planning this exit strategy, OR

  2. If you feel that the matter is too confidential to disclose to staff members at an early stage, you may employ an exit strategy consultant. This avoids staff being diverted from their normal duties so that the company can continue to be run without a fall in sales and profitability up to the date of sale.”

Do not forget: the sale price is dependent on the company’s trading results!

Like painting and decorating, it is all in the preparation. So always give yourself sufficient time and resource to sell the company at the best possible price in the shortest possible time.

David Cane of Sundial Tax & Finance Ltd helps business owners gain the best price for their business. If you would like to discuss your exit plan he can be contacted on 0330 122 8450 or 07749 080 806 or email