Selling your business? How you can gain from our mistakes

NordensThe thought of selling your business can obviously be a daunting prospect. Who’s likely to want it, who determines its worth and how can you know that your hard work and sacrifice will be properly valued? After all, there’s more to it than simply profitability. If you feel that your business is your baby, it surely deserves the loving care you’d endow on your first-born.  And that starts with careful planning.

At Nordens, we work closely with business owners to place them in a strong position that enables them to liaise confidently with a broker. We plan ahead, making sure they have the right internal reporting systems and forecasting, so that the business goes where we want it to and the valuations accurately reflect the business’ worth.

But lots of accountants say they can do that, right? The difference with Nordens is… I’ve been there.

Back in the 90s, I joined forces with a business partner to purchase an independent record label that was suffering financial problems. Over a period of time, we turned that business around, catapulting it to become one of the market leaders in its specialist area.

Back then, there was high demand for intellectual property, so our aim was to build a company with a large catalogue of rights which we would sell at some point in the future. A straightforward plan!

When one of our competitors sold out for in excess of £10m, we decided it was time to follow suit. With two potential buyers to battle it out, we were busy planning how we’d spend our hefty windfall.

However, once we met with the specialist to sell our business, we realised that we didn’t have our internal processes set up correctly. It took three months to get the business in a saleable state and, unfortunately for us, in those few weeks the stock market crashed! Our prospective purchasers were no longer in a position to buy, and the deal fell through. It was a harsh lesson to learn!

We learn more from our mistakes than our successes. (Although, I would have rather learnt that lesson in a simpler, less costly way!) This is why we work closely with entrepreneurs throughout the life of their business… it guarantees that they don’t make the same mistakes I made…

At Nordens Chartered Accountants, we specialise in assisting business owners to achieve their goals, whether that means to earn more, work less or simply enjoy a less stressful life. At some stage those goals normally include the personal goal of selling their business and retiring.

In the early stages, we develop a strategy that meets both personal and business goals. At that point the team at Evolution step on-board to work on potential valuations based on the forecasts, so it’s vital that the information is up-to-date and completely accurate. The in-depth management reports we produce on a regular basis give a clear picture of what’s going on, and we attend board meetings to discuss those figures and plans.

An important point to bear in mind is that when you decide to sell your business, it can’t be reliant on you. To achieve the highest sales value, as a starter, it needs a solid management structure, good internal controls and precise reporting systems.

Over the past few years, Nordens and Evolution have worked in partnership to ensure the best outcome for many clients. By taking business owners through a seamless process, they have been able to sell their businesses smoothly, for more money and with less stress.

If you’re considering selling, we’d be happy to get together to assess where your business currently stands. It’s an opportunity we missed with our record label back in the 90s, so we’re passionate for other businesses to benefit from the lessons we learned. If this sounds like music to your ears, call us on 020 8530 0720. We’re looking forward to meeting you!



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