When selling your firm, remember these 7 points!

When selling your firm remember the old saying, “you never get a second chance to make a first impression”. This is true particularly in marketing your firm for sale.

Below are 7 things to consider to improve your first impression and at the same time increase your chances of getting the best price for your firm.

  1. Consider your firm from a buyer’s perspective. What would you like to see in a firm if you were considering a purchase or merger? It isn’t all about annual receipts. To prove profitability, provide tax returns and income statements. Have readily available owner benefit percentage/seller disposable earnings calculations as well as support documents.
  2. Don’t ignore the visual aspects of your office, inside and out. Is your office up to date with regard to equipment and furniture? Is your office neat and organized? Does the office have enough lighting to make the place bright, inviting and safe? Is your signage fresh, professional and informative?  Does your office have good curb appeal? If the answer is no to any of these questions, you should “stage” the office similar to staging the sale of residential real property.
  3. Are you current in regard to technology?  Are you using nationally accepted software? Is your office on a secure network server or cloud service? How about your online security, is it up-to-date regarding protection against hacking? Do you have a paperless office?
  4. How does the firm’s accounts receivables look? Are the receivables current or do they reflect a large amount of past due balances?
  5. Are your billing rates at current market levels? Astute buyers always ask what the firm’s current billing rates are. Low billing rates will result in missed profitability.  Current market rates enhance client retention in a merger/acquisition.
  6. Consider employee aspects.  Are your employees experienced and competent? Does your firm have regular continuing education? Does your firm have an up-to-date employee manual? Are personnel files current, reflecting the latest personnel evaluations, compensation rates as well as fringe benefits? Have employees signed non-solicitation agreements and confidentiality agreements with your firm?
  7. Can you provide documentation of professional liability history/exposure/insurance? Are your records current and coverage sufficient?  Have you considered “tail insurance”?

This is a limited list that prospects have asked about in previous sales. Many other questions can and probably will be asked.

Akins Professional Brokerage can help ensure that all your bases are covered, since we exclusively sell CPA, Enrolled Agent, Tax and Accounting firms. Are you ready when prospective buyers come to call?  We can assist.  Call us at 877-277-0272.