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20 January 2023

Thinking of an exit: Our letter to Business Owners

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Dear Dedicated Business Owners,

Congratulations on building a successful business and reaching a point where you're considering an exit strategy. As business consultants, we understand that the decision to sell or transfer ownership of your business can be a difficult and emotional one. However, with proper planning and preparation, you can ensure a smooth transition and maximise the value of your business.

One critical aspect to consider during the preparation for your exit strategy is your financial reporting. Having accurate and transparent financial reporting is essential for potential buyers or successors to evaluate the health and profitability of your business. Here are some key considerations to keep in mind:

  1. Get your books in order: Ensure that your financial records are accurate, up-to-date, and complete. This includes reconciling accounts, properly classifying expenses and revenues, and maintaining clear records of transactions.

  2. Keep track of all cash flows: Potential buyers or successors will want to know how much money is coming in and going out of the business. Make sure you have clear records of all cash flows, including revenue, expenses, investments, and loans.

  3. Analyse your financial statements: Analyse your financial statements to identify areas of improvement and opportunities for growth. Make sure you understand your balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement.

  4. Ensure compliance with accounting standards: Ensure that your financial reporting complies with all relevant accounting standards and regulations. Firstly this makes your information more comparable with others in the market, and secondly, non-compliance can lead to legal and financial risks and deter potential buyers or successors.

  5. Consider hiring a professional: Consider hiring a professional accountant or financial advisor to help you prepare your financial reporting and navigate the complexities of the selling process (obviously we can help you with that).

  6. Start now; even if your thoughts are in three to five years, starting now means you will have three to five years of evidence to show the value of your business.

By focusing on your financial reporting and ensuring that your books are in order, you'll be better positioned to maximise the value of your business when it's time to sell or transfer ownership. A well-prepared financial report will give potential buyers or successors the information they need to make informed decisions about your business.

In conclusion, an exit strategy can be a complex and emotional process, but with proper planning and preparation, it can also be a rewarding one. Take the time to get your financial reporting in order, and you'll be well on your way to a successful and profitable transition.

Best of luck to you and your business


Lince Salisbury

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