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Getting your financial advice business ready for ‘sale’

What you need to consider to prepare for a smooth transition

It’s no secret that the financial advice sector is consolidating. So whether you’ve spent decades building up your business and are planning to take a step back or you’re ready to let go and try something new, selling your business isn’t a decision that’s made lightly.

Selling your business is most likely a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence and is the cumulation of decades of hard work, which is why it is crucial to get it right. From deciding when it is the right time to sell to finding a buyer to finally legally completing the deal, it can be a complicated process.

Once that momentous decision to sell your business has been made, you must understand how the selling process works. If you’re thinking about selling your business, this is what you need to consider to prepare for a smooth transition.

Credible management team

Entrepreneurial businesses are, by definition, reliant upon their owners. However, a buyer will often want to ensure that the business they are buying is capable of operating and growing in their absence.

Ensuring that you have a credible management team who can continue to drive success when you step down will make your business far more attractive to a buyer and likely result in a higher price.

Financial information

Financial information needs to send the right message to a buyer. Good quality, up-to-date financials make sense and make a buyer’s ability to value your business and rely on the financial results much more accessible.

A buyer will undertake financial due diligence on your business as part of a sale, and being able to provide this information not only makes this process smoother but improves their perception of your business and may reduce the chance of challenges to the pre-agreed sale price.

Strong, growing profit pattern

For most financial advisory firms, the more profitable it is, the more valuable it is to a buyer. Illustrating a strong, growing profit pattern over a sustained period will increase the value of your business.

Understanding your firm’s profit trends, future growth opportunities, and underlying market dynamics will dictate the optimal time to sell your business. Being able to present your business’ future growth opportunities and potential future profits to appropriate buyers will also enhance its value.

Current and future risks

Managing the risk of your business, such as reliance on a small, niche, or a select number of clients, improves the defensibility of a business and reduces its risk profile in the eyes of a buyer.

In some cases, client concentration cannot be avoided, but this can be mitigated by incorporating or extending client agreements to enhance the strength of these relationships.

Manage cash, debt and working capital

Buyers will seek to acquire a business with a ‘normal’ level of working capital being retained. Understanding your business’ working capital cycle and driving efficiencies in its working capital management can unlock additional value in a sale process.

Typically, cash will be added to the headline value, with debt and debt-like items such as corporation tax liabilities deducted from the price.

Legal and financial tidy up

Again, ensuring compliance with your legal and financial reporting requirements sends the right impression to a buyer. From a legal perspective, ensure that items such as incorporation documents, share certificates, property leases, title deeds, intellectual property rights, employee contracts or client and supplier agreements are in place and up to date.

Tidying up removes the burden of tackling these whilst going through a sale process and presents your business governance in the best possible light.

Tax planning

If you sell your business, some essential tax planning can help to reduce this bill. But take your time to address this, as specific opportunities can be missed if discussed before a sale.

Are you ready to talk to Goldmine Media about creating business value for your exit?

At Goldmine Media, we can provide valuable advice to make your business sale ready,’ maximise its value and support you in executing a successful transaction. Our range of services has been developed to empower business owners to have greater control and visibility on their business exit. To find out more, please get in touch with us more information — call: 0845 686 0055 or email:

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