curb appeal

Getting ready to sell: Does your business have curb appeal?

Thought Leadership  presented by Foresight CFO Consulting, Inc.

Let’s say you’re in the market for buying a house and you go to view one that looks appealing in the ad. How does it look on the inside? The outside? What about the location? What is your general impression?

Like your house, your business projects an image to potential buyers. When they come to see your business for the first time, your “curb appeal” can attract a buyer to your business—or cause them to walk away from it.

Do you need to improve your curb appeal? Here’s a three-step plan:

1. Fix your leaky faucets

Perhaps, like many other business owners, you started your business from scratch with one or two employees and now you have 20 people working for you. But do you have the appropriate HR infrastructure in place for that size of a company? Perhaps you even take pride in your informal management style, but it can prove to be a liability when it comes time to sell.

Make sure your human resources policies are at least as stringent as those of the company you hope will buy your business. Some basics to have in place:

  • A written policy making it clear you forbid any form of harassment or discrimination;
  • A written letter of employment for each staff member;
  • A written description of your bonus system;
  • Written policies for employee expenses, travel and benefits.

2. Assemble your binder

When you go to buy a house, it will give you confidence if the owner has the instruction manuals for the appliances, information on where they were purchased, and who to call if one of them breaks down.

Similarly, when a potential buyer looks at your company, he wants to see that you have your business information in order. Documenting your office procedures, core processes, and other intellectual capital can help you attract more bidders and a higher price for your company, while also lowering the chance of the deal falling apart during diligence.

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