The Best Time To Sell A Manufacturing Business – Figuring It Out Before You Have To Sell
At a celebratory dinner with the Buyer and Seller of a recently sold VT based niche manufacturer, my client made an interesting comment. He said the decision to sell was based on the fact that he was on top of his game, not necessarily because he was immediately ready to retire. This was one smart client that provided a lesson that others in his shoes should hear. Selling when your business is on top and incredibly successful ensures that you’ll get the best possible sale price. If you wait until you have to sell, you may not get the price you want. Waiting until you have to sell can take many forms. Perhaps it’s because your sales have declined, you have a health issue or you have to leave the business to take care of an aging or ill spouse. No matter the reason, selling when you have to is NOT the best choice to maximize your retirement dollars.
When this particular client contacted the Accelerated Team, we told him that it generally takes 8-12 months to sell a manufacturing company of his size. He was very surprised when one month later a buyer submitted an LOI for almost the full list price. On the night of the closing he explained that he was surprised at the speed and a little bit disappointed that the process was going so quickly. Being psychologically ready to sell and emotionally ready are sometimes two different things. As it turned out in this case, it took a few months longer than anticipated for the deal to close and it did not sell to that original buyer, but another highly qualified buyer in an almost all cash transaction.
Don’t wait until you HAVE to sell to interview M&A professionals. Find out what your business is worth and put it on the market. Selling from a position of strength is always a better avenue to a well-funded retirement!