Finding the right advisor for the sale of your business

Choosing an advisor shouldn’t be a decision taken lightly. A good match for your business can maximise the final price whilst minimising the stress and disruption of the sale process.

Emma Jones BTG Advisory

By Emma Jones, director, BTG Advisory.

There are many points to consider.

Firstly, the nature of your business and its likely buyer. Advertising-driven brokers may be better for businesses that might sell to an individual (such as small shops and food outlets); but corporate enterprises better suit a hands-on, advisory led approach.

Sale value is maximised when all potential buyers have been approached, so your advisor needs a strong research function to identify all appropriate targets, as well as their own existing database of acquisitive parties.

Make sure that you have a realistic price expectation (not just what you want to hear!) and try to find an advisor with a high success rate at that level. Don’t be afraid to ask for references.

Ensure that you retain control of the process, in particular, release of confidential information about staff, customers, suppliers and competitors. Find out what’s required from you, what information will be supplied and to whom, and what the process involves once a buyer is found.

A good advisor will minimise the impact of the sales process on the performance of your business, acting as a filter. For example, only seriously interested parties with access to funding should get to meet you. Lastly, don’t forget to consider the chemistry and trust between yourself and the whole advisor team – you’ll be working closely with them through some intense and difficult meetings.