Denial is not just a river in Egypt – it’s also what keeps some business owners from getting fair value when selling their trucking companies. By failing to familiarize yourself with an exit strategy, you could be putting yourself at the mercy of the market.
Most owners don’t think about selling until they’ve decided to put their logistics business for sale. This is a mistake. Every business owner needs an exit strategy because every business owner will exit the marketplace at one time or another.
Getting comfortable with the idea of selling well in advance will help you get more out of the sale, whether it happens tomorrow or ten years from now. Timing is everything in business. Owners who are forced to sell due to unforeseen circumstances consistently receive lower prices, simply because they are less prepared. You can’t control your circumstances, but you can control how you react to them. It’s easier to take small steps to improve your business (possibly through recapitalization) over several years than it is to make these changes at the very last minute.
Do Your Research
Just like in high school, homework done on a Friday afternoon is always less sloppy than homework done late Sunday. When a business must be sold suddenly, it can be easy for normal operations to get put on hold while you navigate the sale process. Meanwhile, allowing your performance to decline can drive down the value of your business and lessen appeal to buyers. Researching the market beforehand, however, can give you the flexibility to keep your eye on the ball when it comes time to sell. If you know trucking businesses similar to your own take six to eighteen months to sell on average, you won’t waste time wringing your hands – or be inclined to accept a lowball offer – when you’re still on the market after two months.
Understanding what buyers may be looking for can keep you from making investments that won’t pay off, while giving you ideas about what sort of investments could boost value. Maybe that means replacing some of your older vehicles over the next several years, maybe it means beefing up your customer list, or maybe it means getting your books in order. Remember, if you want to receive a fair price for your company, you have to attract a buyer willing to pay it.
When you obtain an accurate trucking company valuation from an industry specialist, you’ll be in a better position to understand the market as well as the motives of potential buyers. There’s no such thing as too much education. The more information you obtain today, the better your chance of maximizing returns on your business tomorrow.