149. The 9 Dos and 5 Don’ts of Selling Your Business

Selling your business is a complex and emotional process.

But it can also be a rewarding one.

By following these 9 Dos and 5 Don’ts, you will increase your chances of selling your business for top money … and on your terms.


  1. Start early – selling your business takes time and you need to put in a lot of work to get the business sale ready; plan on at least 12 months.
  2. Get organized. Before you start marketing your business, it’s important to get your ducks in a row. This means creating a detailed business exit plan.
  3. Get an experienced FD onboard early to help you to build your business exit strategy and to create an exit plan for both the business and for you – and best to do this while you are still growing your business. With the right systems and processes in place, you can focus on growth; and you will be ready to capitalise on the right exit opportunity when it comes along.
  4. Decide on your exit goals – what YOU want from a sale. Is it to maximise your cash or to ensure the business carries on in broadly the same way but under different ownership? A Tectona FD will help you make sense of the various options.
  5. Choose an FD who can work part-time – a mix of remotely and at your premises – who can focus on increasing profit and cash – and maximising the value of your business.
  6. Your part time FD will be able to help you pull together all the information that a prospective buyer will need (and expect) – sometimes called the “data room”.
  7. Make yourself redundant! Yes – this is critical. Your business should be able to operate without you and if it can grow without you, it will be far more attractive to potential purchasers.
  8. Maximise the value of your business. It’s not rocket science – the basic valuation approach is pretty simple – Value = (Profit) x (a multiple). All to often business owners focus solely on the making the profit element as attractive as possible. Tectona will help you address both underlying profitability and also help you to improve your multiple. Meaning you get the highest possible consideration.
  9. Get a corporate finance professional on board early. They are best placed to:
    • Advise on a realistic price.  If you price too high, you may scare away potential buyers. If you price too low, you may lose out.
    • Market your business. 
    • Screen potential buyers. Once you start getting inquiries from potential buyers, it’s important to screen them carefully. This means checking their financial background, their experience, and their goals – and their ‘proceedability’.
    • Negotiate the terms of the sale.  This includes the price, the payment terms, and the closing date.
    • Close the deal. Once you’ve reached an agreement on the terms of the sale, it’s time to close the deal. This involves signing all the necessary paperwork and transferring ownership of the business. An excellent corporate lawyer is crucial here.


  1. Undervalue your business. It’s important to set a realistic price for your business.
  2. Rush the sale. Selling your business is a big decision, so it’s important not to rush the process. Take your time and make sure you’re making the best decision for you and your business and that you have got the very best professional support.
  3. Be afraid to negotiate with potential buyers. This is your chance to get the best possible price for your business.
  4. Let your emotions get in the way. Selling your business can be an emotional experience. However, it’s important to stay focused on the business and commercials and not let your emotions get in the way of making a sound decision.
  5. Sign a contract without reading it carefully. Before you sign any contracts, be sure to read them carefully and understand all the terms. This will help protect you from any potential problems down the road. Again, a top-notch corporate lawyer is highly recommended.

By following these Dos and Don’ts, you will have every chance of selling your business for the right money and on your terms.

And if you want to scale fast and sell your business well –

Well, you know who to call …

About Tectona

Tectona Partnership helps business owners sleep at night by embedding one of our 16 commercially minded finance directors in your management team.

Very often, a part time FD is the most effective solution.

We make sure you have the necessary management information and strategic insight to make informed decisions and reduce risk; and we will absolutely tell you what you need to know, when you need to know it.

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