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The Secrets to Preparing Your Business for Sale with Ace Chapman

Expert guest: Ace Chapman from Partner's Equity LC

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There may come a time when you feel it is the right time to sell your business and move on. Perhaps you’ve got a new project in mind, fancy a change of location or have some personal matters to focus on. Whatever the reason may be, you want to make sure that you are able to get the best possible return on all the hard work you’ve put in to build up the business.

Joining us on this episode of your favourite small business podcast is Ace Chapman, who has bought and sold more than 40 different businesses over the years. Ace is going to share with us what is needed to prepare a business for sale and what to do to ensure the best return for the countless hours of blood, sweat and tears that you’ve put in.

For a lot of small enterprises, the owner is the business, meaning that the success of the business is down to the personal service of the owner and the relationships that they have built with customers are key to continued success. This is great when you are growing your own business, but when you come to sell that business, it can be seen as a negative, as buyers will be wary that a lot of regular custom could fade away after the owner leaves. In order to combat this if you’re thinking of selling, it’s a good idea to productize as many of your services as possible. That’s not to say that you need to be more distant from your valued customers, but it’s good to show potential buyers that there is a system that they will be able to continue to use to give the customers the same great experience.

Taking this one step further, an operational manual that outlines all of your processes and systems is a truly valuable resource. Think of franchises. The reason that they are often expensive in the beginning is because they come with a detailed manual of how to carry out every single process in that business. With this manual, the new owners of a franchise have a much better chance of success and will make back their money in the long run as they are able to follow the steps to provide customers with the experience that they have become accustomed to. You can do the same for your business if you decide to sell. This kind of manual is still valuable if you’re not thinking of selling right now as it allows you to see your processes laid out on paper and see if there is anywhere you could improve.

It’s better to see this manual as an ongoing project rather than something to cobble together in a hurry when you want or need to sell the business. It can point you toward areas in need of improvement and instead of throwing ideas at potential buyers of how they could improve the business, you can take your time, implement improvements yourself and then be in a better position to ask for a higher price when those changes take effect.

Of course, this all depends on the reasons why you are thinking of selling up. Unfortunately in life there are always things that we can’t plan for, but if you are thinking about selling and don’t have financial or family pressures, give yourself a little time to map out your processes, implement some changes and you could see a much higher return when you come to sell.

Issue Challenged in this Small Business Podcast:

How can I prepare my business for sale?

About Ace:

Ace Chapman started out in the world of business when he bought his first business at only 19 years of age. Since then, he has bought and sold more than 40 businesses, both online and off. As well as looking after his own deals, Ace now runs his own business acquisition consultancy. He has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs either find the right deal to help them expand their business portfolios or prepare their business for sale to another party.

Ace is with us on this episode of the number one small business podcast to share his story and some fantastic tips that can help you prepare your business for sale and ensure that you get the most return on all your hard work.

Actionable Tips:

  1. Start working yourself out of the business. Work out how you can put people and plans in place that will take care of the repetitive day-to-day tasks. Even something as small as hiring a virtual assistant can help you start moving away from the everyday tasks.
  2. Write an operational manual for the business. This is something that should be done over a long period of time and it should also be regularly updated and improved. One day in the future, this operational manual will become a fantastic resource. The reason that franchise businesses are often expensive is because they come with an extremely detailed operational manual that covers everything within the business. Even if you’re not planning on selling your business any time soon, an operational manual can be a great project that can highlight problems or possible improvements that could be made.
  3. Make sure you end things on an up note. Lots of business owners check out early when they decided to sell their business. It’s important to end on an up note, so it’s a good idea to have something in your back pocket that can be used to make a big impact before selling the business. Don’t tell potential buyers what they could do to make an impact, do it yourself! This could increase the value and attractiveness of your business.

129. Ace Chapman

Top Quotes:

  • “Sometimes just being bold and asking for the outrageous can get it done.”
  • “I always start to sell my businesses way before I need to sell them.”
  • “I never put myself in a position where I need to buy a business.”
  • “Make sure you end things on an up note!”

Ace’s Links:

Key Timestamps:

Don’t forget, the more you expect from yourself, the more you WILL excel!

About the author, Mark

Mark is the founder of Excellence Expected and shares straight talking content that draws upon his experience of building a successful business portfolio since 2003.

He tells it how it is and helps you cut through the online noise.

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Did you know?
I send select, high quality content exclusively to people like you who invest time in developing themselves.

The issue is not giving me the best email address to contact you on, the issue is whether you are serious about being the best you can be.

You in?