This month’s action plan

Best practice checklist for preparing your business for sale, merger or acquisition

Around 12% of businesses will exit the market each year, yet 80% of business owners have no exit or succession plan in place. 

For each item on the checklist mark it as: completed, not applicable for your business, or high/medium/low priority for action.

The overview (Stewart Clark, SCS Performance : business consultant and exit planning strategist)
  • We have clearly defined our forward personal and business objective/s
  • We have identified the most appropriate business strategy to achieve our objective/s (ie. sale, succession, acquisition, close etc)
  • We have undertaken a full stocktake of our resources, skills and performance
  • We have obtained guidance on the saleability and value of our business operation
  • We have identified a suitable process/plan to enable us to achieve our objective/s, inclusive of milestone points and timeframes
From an online reputation and brand management perspective (Ian Hopkinson, Mad Scientist Digital)
  • We have a robust strategy for managing our brand online (building reputation, reviews, thought leadership, trust with Google)
  • We have built a clearly defined brand identity (to be ready for a sale or the like you really need to have your house in order and have clear brand objectives)
  • We have built a database and connect with your customers consistently and with purpose.
  • We have a strategy to maintain the quality of our online reputation
  • We have clearly documented systems and processes for how our online marketing and assets can be best utilised.
From a commercial law perspective (Harvey Bowlt – Bowlt Commercial Lawyers)
  • We have proper employment contracts, which deal with confidentiality, intellectual property and non-solicitation of customers, suppliers and other employees on termination.
  • We have proper workplace policies dealing with the usage of computers, phones and other electronic devices and social media usage.
  • We have an ongoing education program for our employees regarding the risks of doing business on the Internet and cyber security issues and we have an education program in place for new employees.
  • We have a compliant privacy policy for our business. (You may also require a separate privacy policy for your website, particularly if you do a lot of business online.)
  • We have appropriate terms and conditions and other core contracts for our business.
  • We have checked that we are not infringing the copyright or trade marks of any other businesses (for businesses with an online marketing presence).
  • We have registered patents, trade marks or designs to protect our own products and brands.
From a Technology  perspective  (Greg Clarkson, Network Overdrive)
  • I know my technology debt and have a plan to manage it
  •  My business sets aside 8 hours a month to review competitors, the market and potential M&A opportunities and has the tools and the processes required to do that effectively
  • I consider post-merge integration cost especially in terms of technology as part of any M&A activity

Meet the expert panel

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