Top tips for preparing to sell your IT business

Oculus, the virtual subsidiary of Facebook, has purchased British firm Surreal Vision as part of a drive to acquire virtual reality-focused businesses. The team at Surreal Vision is said to be moving to Washington to work at the Oculus lab. So how do small IT businesses get on the radar of the bigger companies if their owners have acquisition on their mind? Here are some top tips for you if you are considering selling your IT business and want to ensure that you attract the best buyers.

Get expert help

If you decide to sell, sitting back and waiting for a buyer is unlikely to get you the best possible price for your company. That is why many business owners choose to enlist the services of a company sales specialist.

This partnership provides access to in-depth advice as to how to sell your business and access to professional services that can result in the best possible price and overall outcome for you.

The right firm will have its finger on the pulse of your particular market. The very best company sales specialists will know exactly who is in the market buying when you want to sell to ensure you don’t miss out on the perfect opportunity.

A good exit

Expert advice on how to exit your business is often invaluable but, in an ideal world, you will have begun thinking about your exit strategy long before you make the final decision to sell.

The earlier you start planning your exit, the easier it is to maximise value. In addition, it allows you to take steps that will improve your business and your daily operations, like keeping accurate and up-to-date accounts, regardless of what steps you decide to take.

It is also important that you take an objective view of your business and assess it as though you were a potential buyer. Are there are anomalies in your cash flow that you would want explained or can you see areas in which expenses could be cut to make your business more attractive?

Setting exit parameters

Once you decide that selling your business is the most appropriate course of action (and even before the final decision), ensure that your company sales specialist works with you to fully understand your business, your parameters and your sector as a whole.

Forming a partnership with your sales specialist will allow you to develop and align your exit strategy, find the right buyer for your IT business, and collectively exploit contacts to maximise your company’s value through effective presentation and preparation.

Accept the right offer

Don’t feel obliged to accept the very first offer you receive. Always remember that if there is one party interested in your company, there will almost invariably be more. Different firms in different markets apply different valuation metrics and may offer a range of various cash, equity and earn-out elements in a given deal.

Sell your work to sell your business

Attract buyers and prompt better offers by highlighting your business’ potential. Make sure your Unique Selling Points are clear and clearly demonstrate any existing opportunities for growth.

Keep things normal

In the run-up to signing any deal, try to maintain a sense of normality for staff, suppliers and customers. A buyer will not want to see the reputation of their future business being damaged.

You should also aim to be transparent as to the reasons you are choosing to sell, whether it is because you see a brighter future for the company under a different owner or because you have received an offer that is simply too good to pass up.

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