The Purchase Agreement

Steps to Selling your Business Part 37. The purchase agreement is the kingpin of the sale process—a binding contract that will significantly impact the next stage of your life. Your Advisors must play a crucial role in shaping the final terms of the agreement to your advantage and have a responsibility to ensure they clearly […]

Protecting Your Name

Steps to Selling your Business Part 18. We can’t say this too strongly – you never want word of your company’s sale to be public knowledge – this is a private affair. Public knowledge of the sale can wreak havoc on the health of your business, attract vultures, and even interfere with getting the price […]

Making Initial Contact

Steps to Selling your Business Part 17. We’ve previously discussed the Sale Book as being one of the end products in the Preparatory Phase. The Sale Book contains everything a potential buyer needs to know to decide if they are interested in your company or not. In essence, it’s your advertisement.  Although we may approach ten different companies with […]

Who Are You Talking To?

Steps to Selling your Business Part 16. Previously, we introduced the task of developing and personalizing an initial list of potential buyers for your company. It’s not easy to do this well, and doing so is a mark of a great M&A Advisory team at work. Stillwater’s attention to detail on your custom-built buyer list […]

Keep Your Sales in Focus

Steps to Selling your Business Part 15. When you start formally working with Stillwater to sell your company, there is something we ask you to do right away that will have significant consequences for you, particularly when you move into the Market Outreach stage. Keep your focus on your sales. We’re talking about making strong […]

Setting the Pace for a Sale

Steps to Selling your Business Part 14. “How long does a sale process take?” an interviewer recently asked me. I answered, “that depends on how far back you want to put the starting line.”  So far in this series, we have focused our attention on the initial steps and work (Preparation) within the three-stage process […]

Identifying the Perfect Buyer

Steps to Selling your Business Part 13. As you complete the preparation stage, momentum will begin to build and you will feel a sense of acceleration as you strain towards the finish line. It is time to showcase your business in the marketplace. Who do we show it to? Going to market is one of […]

The Story We Will Tell

Steps to Selling your Business Part 12. So far in this series, we have looked in detail at the extensive preparation you must undertake with your M&A Advisors to get ready to sell your business. This is not easy work, and you may find yourself fatigued and tempted to rush things at this stage in […]

What’s Your Downside? The Truth About Honesty

Steps to Selling your Business Part 11. When you tell your company’s story to prospective buyers, make sure you are not hiding anything. This is simple enough advice; most of us have had enough life experience to know that honesty truly is the best policy. There are checks, safeguards, and penalties in place against outright […]

The Magic of Multiple Bids – No Regret Selling

Steps to Selling your Business Part 10. When new clients sit down with us for the first time, they have often already received an offer or have a particular buyer in mind. Having a single prospective buyer in mind makes the sale process look easy. Perhaps the buyer has already suggested a number, which sounds […]

Are You Stealing From Yourself?

Steps to Selling your Business Part 9. An old friend once said something to me that I’ve never forgotten. It was a single sentence that immediately became part of my arsenal of practical wisdom. My friend is an accountant; at one point, he bought another accountant’s practice. This accountant had been struggling financially for 20 […]

Canadian, Eh?

Photo by Sebastiaan Stam on Unsplash

Steps to Selling your Business Part 8. If you have been reading this series so far, you know the importance that Stillwater places on understanding your business’s story when it comes to optimizing conditions for its sale. This understanding comes from observing the details and data points in your numbers and from examining your history […]

Mapping Your Trajectory

Steps to Selling your Business Part 7. A wise colleague once told me that investors look at lines, not dots. Almost too simple as maxims go, but it has proved worthwhile. I try to keep this word picture in front of me when interacting with potential buyers. Lines, not dots. Lines, not dots, means you […]

You’re Not Abraham Yet

Steps to Selling your Business Part 6. In this series, I’ve returned several times to the importance of your business’s story and how that story often brings to light vital factors in the sale process, something which an analysis of the numbers might miss. However, your company’s numbers do matter; there is a danger when […]

Get in the (Value) Driver’s Seat

Steps to Selling your Business Part 5. In previous posts, we have focused on getting into the right mindset to begin selling your business. In doing so, we have warned you to expect a granular inspection of all your numbers. Potential buyers will be looking at reams of data, and it is crucial to prepare for the […]

Your M&A Advisor as Alchemist

Steps to Selling your Business Part 4. You have decided. It is time to sell your business. You have answered the critical questions:  Who will advise me on the selling of my business? Why am I thinking of selling my business? Why am I thinking of selling now? What am I going to do next? […]

Two Essential Questions to Ask Before You Decide to Sell

Steps to Selling your Business Part 3. You are giving serious thought to selling your business but are in uncharted territory. In this series, we have already identified several important points to consider before you initiate that process. However, you should think through this process strategically with an expert Mergers and Acquisition (M&A) advisor who […]