When it comes time to sell your business, it’s vital that you find the right buyer for your company. Not just any buyer will do – you want one that will preserve your legacy and to build upon your past success. Here are six things to look for in an acquirer.
1. Values of the Acquirer
An acquisition is like a marriage – the two parties need to have a solid relationship and share similar values when it comes to running a business. Having that alignment ensures the success of the partnership and that the buyer will help your company, not hinder it. Therefore, take the time to find out the philosophy, values, and practices of any potential buyers and find one whose values are congruent with yours.
2. Growth Strategy
There are many ways to grow a business but not all strategies can achieve long term growth. Some buyers only believe in instilling cost saving measures to grow a business but that won’t work for the long term. Instead look for an acquirer who utilizes initiatives to achieve organic growth as that will allow your company to have sustainable profitability.
3. Long-Term Outlook
When a buyer has a long-term outlook, it affects the strategy of the business. They are willing to put the resources into the business so that the company is profitable for the long term. Investors with a short-term outlook, such as private equity firms or venture capitalists, only think about the gains they can achieve now which can end up stunting the business in the long term. Also, long term oriented buyers care about the people within the business and utilize talent management to develop those employees. They understand that a great business is made up of fantastic people, so it’s critical that those employees stay on board post acquisition.
4. Culture of Collaboration
The right acquirer recognizes that they can learn just as much from you as you learn from them. They realize that you have a wealth of experience and knowledge so it’s important to share those best practices. As well, great buyers will encourage collaboration and the sharing of best practices between its senior leaders and across the organization. You’ll be able to meet and learn from other successful entrepreneurs like yourself.
5. Financial Viability
It’s important to note the financial strength of the potential buyer. Is the buyer privately or publicly funded? What are their cash flows like? Do they have the resources to help your company grow? These are all important questions to consider when evaluating potential acquirers.
6. Established Success
Just like you wouldn’t trust a doctor who had a history of malpractice to care for you, you wouldn’t want a company with a bad track record to acquire your business. Look for a buyer that has made successful acquisitions in that past and has been able to grow and nurture the companies under their umbrella.
Finding the Right Fit
It’s a journey to find the right buyer so take the time to find the perfect fit for your needs. For more resources to help you during the M&A process, check out our Explore page.
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