The future buyer of your business should be viewed as a customer.
As the owner of your business, you’ve become an expert at finding the needs of your customers. You spend significant time and resources to define the customer’s needs in order to fulfill them. You are most likely to have a tremendous amount of competitive drive to not only be the first or best at meeting your customer’s needs but also to be better than your competition.
Think of the future buyer of your company as your next customer. When preparing to sell your company, your goal should not only be to sell but also to sell at the highest possible price. This means there must be a concentrated effort to find the needs of your future customers who might someday bid for the privilege of buying your business. You want something from your customer, the future buyer: A very large check. Your future customer, the buyer, wants something from you: Information.
Preparing for your exit strategy means that you need to prepare information about your company for a future buyer so that they can make an informed decision. When I guide my clients through this process, I provide them with various checklists. These checklists are used to organize the vast amounts of information needed for a future buyer. It may appear overwhelming at first, but breaking down the tasks involved into manageable parts will make the process much easier. Here’s a sampling of checklists that I’ve suggested for my clients to use when gathering company information (see a full list in the Exit Strategy Handbook):
- general information checklist
- technology, software and hardware checklist
- insurance checklist
- contracts and leases checklist
- inventory checklist
With solid preparation, your future buyers will feel more confident about your offering. Thinking of your future buyer as a customer will help you to stay focused on activities that revolve around customer satisfaction.