The very best way to ensure you get the best possible price is to engage in a competitive process where multiple buyers bid on your business. At the very least, you want potential buyers to believe that there’s a credible chance that other buyers may be interested and capable to make a viable bid to acquire the company.
The key is to avoid granting a potential buyer exclusivity before agreeing on the key terms of a deal in a thorough letter of intent and then keeping the exclusivity period short enough to give you the ability to keep the potential buyer’s feet to the fire.
If you can’t engage in a truly competitive process, then you’ll at least want to have a professional valuation performed by a qualified business appraiser so that you have some guidepost against which to judge a potential acquisition offer. Of course, an appraiser’s opinion of value doesn’t mean someone is willing to pay that appraised value, but it will give you a gut check to see if the prospective acquirer is in the ballpark.
While each of these professionals do generate additional costs, the right partner should more than pay for itself by helping you increase the purchase price – or by giving you peace of mind that you’re not selling yourself short.
We can help you find the right partner to conduct a competitive process and/or appraisal for your company, and we can help you to maintain your leverage through every step of the deal.