Are you an entrepreneur with a successful business? Then you probably regularly think: "How do I actually sell my company?" Not a crazy question, because like most entrepreneurs you don't often sell a company. To answer your question, we have worked out a number of practical steps to ultimately sell your company successfully (and therefore smartly).

Step 1: Create a complete picture of your organization

Everything starts with determining the 0 situation, because how does your company actually stand? You are probably in the middle of it right now because you landed on this article. Of course you can put a proverbial 'For Sale' sign in your front yard today. However, we do not recommend this and advise you to take stock first. It is wise to ask yourself a few questions:

  • Why is now the right time to sell my company?
  • What can I do to make my business even more interesting in the coming months?
  • When do I want my sell company and at what price?
  • What ways are there to sell my business?

It is very valuable to have a clear picture of your motives for selling a company. It is also interesting to find out where the opportunities lie. This helps with a successful sale of your business.

This phase is all about creating a complete picture of your organization. If you eventually want to sell your company with a Dream Exit, it is wise to go through the QuickScan of No Monkey Business (NMB). The NMB QuickScan© is a handy tool that gives you a quick insight into the current state of your company. In 25 questions we let you think about your organization. Do the NMB QuickScan© free of charge and without obligation. After the NMB QuickScan©, a DeepScan© is also recommended. This tool helps you to provide the most complete picture of your organization.

In addition, it is also wise to orient yourself in the different ways to sell your company. There are roughly four categories of buyers:

  1. Strategic Buyers; companies that sell similar or additional products/services to which your company is a nice addition. Here we also see more and more non-tech buyers.  
  2. MBO/MBI: Management Buy Out (current management buys into the company) or Management Buy-In (people from outside the company buy in)
  3. venture capital & Private Equity; Private Equity buys 100% (or almost 100%) from the company and takes full control. Venture Capital buys in for a smaller share (50% or less).
  4. informal investors; these are high net worth individuals or smaller VCs who generally focus on smaller investments and often also in the early phases of a company (start-up)

Would you like to know more about these types of buyers? Then read the article “Selling a company? The price of everything and the value of nothing.”

Step 2: Come up with an improvement plan

The results of the analyzes in the first step lead you to the second step. This is the time to revisit the company's mission so that potential buyers know what kind of company they are dealing with. 

In this phase you take a critical look at a number of things and draw up new plans:

  • Mission vision
  • Proposition
  • Devise a strategy to enter the market
  • Come up with a plan to keep all promises

This is all done on the basis of the analyzes of the first step. Is your company's mission completely clear? Then you focus on the areas where there are still opportunities and improvements. 

At this stage it is also very interesting to pitch a deck and then a information memorandum to write. This is a document that describes all the ins and outs of a company that is for sale. So important for you and the future owner to know. Important parts of an information memorandum include:

  • A clear mission & vision: how does the future buyer know what the company stands for?
  • Market analysis: what can the future buyer imagine in the current market of which the company is a part?
  • Competitive position: what is the current position of the company in relation to competitors?
  • Revenue model: How does the company make money?
  • Financial information: What was the turnover, what were the costs and how much was the profit in recent years?

A valuable tip for an information memorandum is to make a teaser of the final document. You send this to interested parties first so that not all company information is immediately available to everyone. If you are seriously interested, please send the full document. Would you like to know more about this? Then read this blog about making one information memorandum.

Ultimately, this phase ends with a concrete improvement plan in which you will create the best version of your company in 12 to 24 months. 

Step 3: Get ready for the sale

In this step, your company is prepared for the big sale; the DreamExit. That is why it is time in this phase to put together a project team and to implement the improvement plan from the previous phase. No Monkey Business could help you to record the projects that have been set up and to take the lead in this. It is important to draw up a realistic schedule so that your company can be sold at the desired time. 

It is also crucial to prepare a Business Plan and Financial Memorandum in addition to the IM. Here your plans are concretized in numbers. 9 times out of 10, a buyer is quickly looking for the financial substantiation of your ideas. What is the Total Addressable Market, which share are you going to take and what costs are involved. All that information should be reflected in such a document. But also historical figures that underpin the intended growth are not to be missed.   

When this is completely clear, your company is ready for sale. You can now put the 'For Sale' sign in the garden with confidence. 

Step 4: Selling your business 

The last step focuses on your company and the market. At this point, your company has everything it needs for a successful sale: a clear mission, good proposition, market strategy and delivery method that shows how the promises are kept. Potential buyers are also examined in this phase. When you with No Monkey Business works, there is a network ready with potential buyers. It also looks at the list of your potential buyers.

In this phase, among other things, the concrete valuation is examined. What will your company really deliver? That's probably what you're most curious about. It can be a challenge to make an accurate valuation. There are different methods that are used to determine the value of a company. One thing is certain: at No Monkey Business, a professional team is at your service who knows what they are talking about and who want to get the most out of your company. It is good to remember that the value of your company is often not equal to the price you actually get from the sale. The business acquisition market is usually not in balance, as is often the case with the housing market. Want to know more about the valuation of your company? Then read this article where we go into more detail.

When you have completed the step-by-step plan of No Monkey Business, everything is ready. Thanks to the various analyzes that have been made, you can quickly provide potential buyers with information, which ensures a pleasant cooperation between buyer and seller and results in a successful sale. After the sales process, you enter the finalization phase where you go to a notary. After signing the purchase agreement, however, not everything is settled yet. When the deed of transfer, this is the document stating the transfer of real estate, is also in order, the company officially belongs to the new owner.