EXIT STRATEGY

HOW TO SELL YOUR BUSINESS FOR THE BEST PRICE AND RIDE INTO THE SUNSET.

Here's what's in the book...

Exit Strategy - A practical guide to selling your business
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"Graham Watkins delivers solutions to business problems you don't even know exit. The knowledge he shares, in this book,is worth thousands of pounds," Dr. Robert Hughes Jones BSC. MSc. PhD. (Cantab) - Research Director - Schlumberger Cambridge Research Limited.

Chapter 1 It’s time to head for the hills.

The different reasons for selling up - Personal objectives - Why an exit strategy is needed - When to start planning your exit - Dealing with confidentiality.

 

Chapter 2 Find the right trail.

The alternative ways of selling a business - Public share offering - The London Stock Exchange – Amex - Ofex - Trade sale - Management buy out - Management buy in - Hybrid buy in – Acquisition - Voluntary liquidation - Compulsory liquidation.

 

Chapter 3 Head them off at the pass.

How to prepare the business before you begin to market it - Cosmetic improvements that will make a good first impression - Operational improvements that will excite the buyer - Structural improvements that will add a wow factor - Legal improvements that will stop your buyer walking away from the deal - The fiddle problem.

 

Chapter 4 Hired guns.

Why you need professional advisors - Where to find the good ones - The selection process to get the right ones for you - Negotiating fees - What your advisors should do for you - Avoiding conflicts of interest.

 

Chapter 5 How much is it worth?

Why you need a valuation of the business - The different methods used - Valuing minority shareholdings - The conditions needed for an open market - Defining a fair price - Net asset value - Comparison with a similar company - Using return on investment to calculate value - The value of goodwill.

 

Chapter 6 Howdy stranger.

How to begin to market your company - The advantages and drawbacks of advertising - Creating a buyer shortlist - Who to include and avoid - Why you need to keep control - Creating initial sales particulars that will attract the right buyer - Making the approach - Why you need confidentiality agreements and how they work - What to include in a stunning business profile - Dealing with unusual visitors.

 

Chapter 7 Let’s deal.

Negotiating the deal – How to prepare for the negotiation – Establishing your objectives – Building in flexibility – The right place to conduct the negotiations – How to conduct the negotiation – Why you use the ‘we’ word – Listing the issues – Making the agenda work for you – Refining issues to your advantage – When to use your fall back positions – Communicating with your team during the negotiations – How to deal with nasty surprises – Adding value to the deal with concessions – How to avoid overplaying your position –Heads of Agreement and what they do.

 

Chapter 8 Here comes the posse.

Due diligence – where the term comes from – What it means – Why the buyer conducts due diligence – The right way to answer questions – How to use your lawyer – Keeping copies – The benefits of full disclosure - The questions that will get asked – What the auditors are looking for – How to avoid a clash of culture – The fairness of due diligence.

 

Chapter 9 Back at the ranch.

Keeping the business going – The buyer is watching – How to keep your staff motivated – Ways to reduce the effects of stress – Preparing a cover story – Why you should make no structural changes – Avoiding short term gains – Your role as a caretaker.

 

Chapter 10 It’s a contract Jim, but not as we know it.

Purchase / Share Sale Agreements – What they are – How they protect the buyer – The structure of a Share Sale Agreement – What it includes – Definitions – Consideration – Completion – Completion accounts – Escrow accounts – Warranties and representations – Tax covenants – Restrictive covenants – Understanding the jargon – Negotiating through the lawyers – Using other lines of communication.

 

Chapter 11 We meet at dusk.

The completion meeting – What it is for – Who attends – Where it takes place – Timing – A stressful climax – Getting your paperwork ready – What happens during the completion meeting – How to make it a formality – What happens to the money.

 

Chapter 12 Riding into the sunset.

Dealing with announcements – Telling the staff – Handing over control – Consultancy agreements – Stocktaking – Completion accounts – Honouring your obligations – What next.

"This is the most comprehensive and easy to read advice about selling a business I have read; you should read it," Phil Oliver BSc. FCA. CTA .- Senior Partner -UHY Hacker Young, Chartered Accountants.
Three hours twenty minutes of
listening - Free to new audio 
customers.
"Exit Strategy does exactly what it says on the cover," David Riches - Owner - Eastern Scale Company.
"A really good read and packed with valuable ideas," Phillip Sibson - Sales Director - Aquila Business Products Limited.
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A definition of a business exit strategy

In entrepreneurship and strategic management an exit strategy or exit plan is a way to transition the ownership of a company to another company (e.g. through a merger or acquisition), to investors (e.g. through an Initial public offering) or to the owner's children or family. Other exit strategies are management or employee buyouts, liquidating or winding up a business, whether through a bankruptcy or voluntary dissolution.

Introducing strategic management and financial partners is also a form of partial exit, which can help ensure succession and survival of the business.

Exit strategies can also used to protect businesses making sure they are prepared for the termination of big contracts and other business relationships. There are lots of different reasons why contracts come to an end, including non-performance by either or both parties, a change in the needs of either side, or that the contract has been completed. In nearly all cases, a well-developed exit strategy is critical. The strategy is developed as a way to withdraw from a business relationship with a supplier or customer. It might include the transferring assets, re-deployment of key employees and stipulate the why and how a relationship can terminate, for example, the failure to meet service level agreements, changes in circumstances, and ethical breaches.

Transition companies are professional mergers and acquisitions companies, brokers, that help business owners with their exit strategy. Services offered are sometimes referred to as transition management services or brokerages which help with the thorny questions like; How do I sell my Company? Who can find a buyer for my business? Who will negotiate the deal?