In fact, some of the most successful businesses in the world have been built with a mindset of preparing them for sale from day one.
What you probably want to avoid is reaching a point of crisis where a sale is forced on you, because there is no doubt that in such a scenario the price you can achieve will suffer very significantly.
There are two key points when preparing a business for sale. Firstly, the business must be operating effectively without your involvement, or the significant involvement of any other equity holder. If the business depends on you in order to function day by day, what's left for you to sell? This requires a clear vision and strategic plan, so that everyone knows what's expected of them, a great team of people that all share the same goals, and comprehensive systems - the '˜This is how we do it here' manual. Building these components takes time.
The second key thing to get right before a sale is a consistent period of strong, and ideally growing, profits. Again, these results won't happen by accident. It's important to plan for an eventual exit date and build your sales strategy, people needs and capital spends around this date.
Finally, it's important to ensure that once that deal is signed, you keep as much of the proceeds as possible. That means negotiating the best price and deal terms, and ensuring that the structure of the sale minimises your tax liability.
We are able to assist with all of the above. Very unusually for an accounting practice, we operate on the principles advocated above. DK runs effectively without the day to day involvement of the equity owners. When seeking advice for your business, it makes sense to listen to those who've been there already.