When you started your business, you most likely focused on the immediate tasks.  Things like getting clients or customers and building that following, generating revenue, and establishing a brand. 

One thing that we often don’t think about when we start out is the future sale of the business.  We are excited about our new venture and can’t conceive of ever wanting it to be sold. 

It is important to think of that strategy too though, even if you don’t think you will need it.  You never know how life will change or what you may want to do in the future if you have different opportunities or situations than you do now. 

Enhance Business Value

If you are established, putting the pieces in place to increase the value of your business if you decide to sell is just as important to your success now as it is to a possible buyer down the line. 

Prospective buyers are attracted to businesses that run smoothly and efficiently. When a company has well-documented processes and systems, it signals to potential buyers that the business can operate successfully without heavy reliance on the current owner. This reduces perceived risk and can significantly enhance the value of the business. Buyers are willing to pay a premium for businesses that show stability and predictability in their operations.

Facilitate a Smooth Transition

Having systems in place ensures that a transition, whether to a new employee or team member, or to a new owner, can occur with minimal disruption. 

Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), a solid strategy for growth, and clear organizational structures allow the existing team to know what to do and what the goals are. They also allow new owners to understand and integrate into the business more seamlessly. This not only makes the business more attractive now but also helps maintain its performance post-sale.

Reduce Owner Dependency

You didn’t go into business to constantly be working and never spend time with your loved ones. This is a complaint that I hear from many business owners when I work with them. Putting processes and systems in place to have the business run even when you are not available for a length of time is important to success and growth for the business. It is also a great selling point. One of the biggest red flags for buyers is a business that is overly dependent on its owner. If the business relies heavily on the owner’s relationships, expertise, or day-to-day involvement, it becomes less attractive. Systems and processes mitigate this risk by ensuring that the business can function independently of the current owner. This autonomy is crucial for demonstrating long-term viability and sustainability to potential buyers.

Improve Operational Efficiency

Streamlined processes lead to better productivity, reduced errors, increased profitability, and improved customer satisfaction. A well-oiled machine is easier to enjoy in the day to day now as well as to sell in the future. 

Support Compliance and Due Diligence

If you decide to sell the business, the due diligence phase is rigorous, with buyers scrutinizing every aspect of the business. Having detailed records and established systems helps ensure that your business complies with legal, financial, and regulatory requirements. This preparedness can speed up the due diligence process, reduce the likelihood of surprises, and build trust with the buyer. 

Plus, it can help you run a great operation now with your employees knowing that everything is in place that needs to be. 

Key Systems to Implement

To make sure your business is running smoothly and efficiently now, and prepare for a future sale, consider focusing on the following systems:

  • Financial: Be sure you have accurate accounting, budgeting, and financial reporting systems.
  • Operational: Have SOPs in place for all key processes. Use an effective system that works for everyone on your team so you can easily track and find customer interactions, data, notes, emails, files, etc. in one place. Have an easy way for your team to communicate when needed for quick responses. 
  • Human Resources (HR): Even if you are a small company, this is important to have in place.  Be sure you are clear on the processes for hiring, training, and managing employees. Have the paperwork that is needed in an easily accessible area.  Have a professional, such as a Fractional HR person help you with your employee handbook and documentation, so you are compliant. Their job is to know all the changes that happen suddenly so you can rest assured that you are covered in your business and won’t get sued for a technicality you didn’t realize you needed to implement. 

I know it can seem like a lot of work to get these things in place, but you will be so happy you did.  It will take a bit of time up front, but once everything is running smoothly, you can step away from the business more, know it will be successful, and get your life back! 

Plus, these efforts you put in now will enhance the value and attractiveness of your business to potential buyers, if you decide in the future to go that route. By investing in systems today, you are building a more resilient and valuable business for tomorrow.

If you need support in any of these areas, please reach out.  We would be happy to have a discussion to see what is needed and the best support (whether us or someone we trust that we can refer) so you can be successful, grow your business and sleep peacefully at night!